Boron (B) is an excellent geochemical tracer for investigating crustal recycling processes at convergent margins, due to its high fluid mobility under high P-T conditions, distinct elemental abundances and isotopic compositions in the mantle wedge and subducting slabs. The Northern Taiwan Volcanic Zone (NTVZ), wherein the nature of magma genesis has long been a topic of debate, is located at the rear side of the Okinawa Trough (OT), an atypical back-arc rift in the Ryukyu subduction system. In this study, B and B isotopes (δ11B) were measured in 19 volcanic rocks collected from the NTVZ and the middle Okinawa Trough (MOT) to assess the influence of the Ryukyu subduction system on magma genesis.The B concentrations in the MOT and NTVZ volcanic rocks are 5.8 to 13.6 mg/L and 2.2 to 48.6 mg/L, respectively. The large B abundances variation in the NTVZ was caused mainly by variable degrees of partial melting. The Nb/B and δ11B in the MOT have small ranges of 0.5 to 0.6 and -2.7‰ to 0.2‰, respectively, whereas they range widely from 0.4 to 2.5 and from -8.6‰ to 2.4‰, respectively in the NTVZ. These Nb/B values suggest that the magma contains a smaller subduction component than that normally observed in arcs, although this component is still more substantial than in a typical back-arc setting.The δ11B results indicate insignificant influence of the subducting Philippine Sea Plate at 2.6 Ma, but it becomes more substantial later in the NTVZ. The mixing proportions of sediment derived fluids in onshore volcanoes in the NTVZ imply a rather heterogeneous mantle wedge near the plate boundary, most likely due to either a heterogeneous source of slab derived fluids or more complicated mantle flow. A substantial B flux from the subducting slab in the incipient back-arc rifting in the MOT and NTVZ may reflect characteristics of a cold, steep and fast subducting slab, which may be capable of carrying volatiles efficiently into greater depth in subduction zones.The δ11B data also provide insight into the nature of the different subduction components. A three-end-member mixing model suggests that MOT and NTVZ magmas may have incorporated subduction fluids derived from altered oceanic crust or serpentinite, whereas the onshore volcanoes in the NTVZ, and in particular in the Tsaolingshan, may have involved a higher proportion of sediment component.
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