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The composition of mantle plumes and the deep Earth

Hastie, Alan, Fitton, Godfrey, Kerr, Andrew Craig, McDonald, Iain, Schwindrofska, Antje and Hoernle, Haj 2016. The composition of mantle plumes and the deep Earth. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 444 , pp. 13-25. 10.1016/j.epsl.2016.03.023

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Abstract

Determining the composition and geochemical diversity of Earth's deep mantle and subsequent ascending mantle plumes is vital so that we can better understand how the Earth's primitive mantle reservoirs initially formed and how they have evolved over the last 4.6 billion years. Further data on the composition of mantle plumes, which generate voluminous eruptions on the planet's surface, are also essential to fully understand the evolution of the Earth's hydrosphere and atmosphere with links to surface environmental changes that may have led to mass extinction events. Here we present new major and trace element and Sr–Nd–Pb–Hf isotope data on basalts from Curacao, part of the Caribbean large igneous province. From these and literature data, we calculate combined major and trace element compositions for the mantle plumes that generated the Caribbean and Ontong Java large igneous provinces and use mass balance to determine the composition of the Earth's lower mantle. Incompatible element and isotope results indicate that mantle plumes have broadly distinctive depleted and enriched compositions that, in addition to the numerous mantle reservoirs already proposed in the literature, represent large planetary-scale geochemical heterogeneity in the Earth's deep mantle that are similar to non-chondritic Bulk Silicate Earth compositions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Ocean Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0012-821X
Funders: Natural Environment Research Council
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 12 March 2016
Last Modified: 13 May 2019 14:22
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/88180

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