We report results of detailed petrological analyses of volcanic rocks from the Enpo seamount chain that reveal the characteristics of volcanism in a backarc en echelon seamount chain in an oceanic island arc setting. We identified two types volcanic rock suites in the Enpo seamount chain based on bulk rock trace element chemistry and compositions of chrome spinels included in olivine phenocrysts of primitive basalts. "More Enriched Suites" (MES) have enriched HFSE compositions (such as Nb, Ta), higher Nb/Zr values, and low Cr# in spinel. "Less Enriched Suites" (LES) have depleted HFSE compositions, lower Nb/Zr values, and high Cr# in spinel. These results require distinct mantle sources with different for the volcanic rocks constituting the Enpo seamount chain. Mineralogical and geochemical analyses show that petrological variations within LES lavas are explained by fractionation with open system magma mixing. In contrast, variations between MES lavas require different mechanisms of magma genesis because petrological variation within this suite cannot be explained by fractionation. MES basalts also exhibit mineralogical evidence for magma mixing. Volcanism on the Enpo seamount chain is characterized by complex spatial and temporal relationships between MES lavas consisting of subalkaline basalt, alkaline andesite, and hornblende (water rich) andesite, and LES lavas consisting of subalkaline basalt and fractionated andesite. We suggest that these features are characteristic of variability within magma systems that feed backarc seamount chains in oceanic island arcs.
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