Advances in Earth Science ›› 2020, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (8): 789-803. doi: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.2020.068

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The Chemical Composition of Global Subducting Sediments and Its Geological Significance

Renjie Zhao 1, 2( ),Quanshu Yan 1, 2, 3( ),Haitao Zhang 1, 3,Yili Guan 1, 3,Zhenmin Ge 1, 3,Long Yuan 1, 2,Shishuai Yan 1, 3   

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Marine Geology and Metallogeny, First Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources, Qingdao 266061, China
    2.College of Earth Science and Engineering, Shandong University of Science and Technology, Qingdao 266590, China
    3.Laboratory for Marine Geology, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao 266061, China
  • Received:2020-05-19 Revised:2020-07-25 Online:2020-08-10 Published:2020-09-15
  • Contact: Quanshu Yan;
  • About author:Zhao Renjie (1990-), male, Shawan County, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Ph. D student. Research areas include subducted sediments. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    the National Natural Science Foundation of China “Geochemical study of subduction components of the Cocos Ridge and adjacent continental slope sediments and their constraints on the mechanism of subduction erosion”(41776070);The Taishan Scholarship from Shandong Province

Renjie Zhao,Quanshu Yan,Haitao Zhang,Yili Guan,Zhenmin Ge,Long Yuan,Shishuai Yan. The Chemical Composition of Global Subducting Sediments and Its Geological Significance[J]. Advances in Earth Science, 2020, 35(8): 789-803.

Subducted sediments play an important role in crust-mantle interaction and deep mantle processes, especially for subduction zone magmatism and mantle geochemistry. The current rate of Global Subducting Sediments (GLOSS) is 0.5~0.7 km3/a. The GLOSS are composed of terrigenous material(76 wt.%), calcium carbonate(7 wt.%), opal(10 wt.%) and mineral-bound H2O+(7 wt.%). The chemical compositions of GLOSS are similar to those of upper continental crust which is mainly controlled by the terrigenous materials, and yet the materials formed by marine processes will dilute the terrigenous materials. The components of subducted sediments are different among trenches. In the accretionary margin, the components of subducted sediments are similar to those of the upper crust, while in the non-accretionary margin the components are terrigenous materials plus those produced by marine processes. During subduction, subducted sediments will released fluids, melt or supercritical fluid to affect island arc/back-arc basin magmatism by means of aqueous fluid or sediment melt. In addition, a part of subducted sediments, together with underlying altered oceanic crust/lithosphere, recycle into the mantle and contribute to the mantle heterogeneity. Geochemical tracers indicate that subducted sediments play variable contributions to the magmatic processes in different tectonic setting. Thus, subducted sediments play an important role in two relatively independent dynamics systems (plate tectonics and mantle plume), as well as related mantle evolution models. As a result, by accurately calculating the compositions of subduction sediments and using various geochemical indicators, we can further limit the input and output fluxes of various elements or isotopes, and then obtain more accurately residual subducted components, which can provide us some important clues for geodynamic process.

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