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Arc volcanoes are typically located 90–180 km above the surface of downgoing slabs, as shown by Wadati-Benioff deep seismic foci (Gill 1981; Tatsumi 1989). The intimate relationship between the dip angles of the subducting slab and the locations of volcanic arcs indicates that subduction zone magmatism is triggered by material input from the subducting slab (Tatsumi and Eggins 1995). The slab-derived components are thought to be aqueous fluids or H2O-rich partial melts of subducted oceanic crust. Therefore, knowledge of the stability of hydrous phases and the chemical and physical properties of aqueous fluids in downgoing slabs is essential to understand the material transport in subduction zones. In this section, I will review the stability of hydrous phases in downgoing peridotite, basalt and sediment systems, and the chemical and the wetting properties of aqueous fluids.
Recent experimental studies indicate that 3–4 GPa, equivalent to 90–120 km depth, is a key pressure, where (1) the chemical compositions of silicate components dissolved in aqueous fluids equilibrated with mantle minerals approach the composition of mantle peridotite itself (Stalder et al. 2001; Mibe et al. 2002; Kawamoto et al. 2004), (2) the dihedral angle between olivine and aqueous fluids starts becoming smaller than 60° (Watson et al. 1990; Mibe et al. 1998, 1999), and (3) the immisciblity gap between peridotitic melts and aqueous fluids disappears and consequently hydrous minerals liberate supercritical aqueous fluids (Mibe et al. 2004a, 2006). The similarity between these pressures and the depths of downgoing slab underneath volcanic fronts, where the maximum numbers of volcanoes are formed, 124 ± 38 km (Gill 1981) or 112 ± 19 km (Tatsumi 1986), suggests that subduction zone magmatism can be triggered by the input of supercritical fluids from the downgoing peridotite and basalt.
LOW-PRESSURE HYDROUS MINERALS AND HIGH-PRESSURE HYDROUS PHASES
Many hydrous crystalline phases …