Plume-lithosphere interactions in the ocean basins: constraints from the source mineralogy

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Earth and Planetary Science Letters
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Trace element relationships of near-primary alkalic lavas from La Grille volcano, Grande Comore, in the Indian Ocean, as well as those of the Honolulu volcanic series, Oahu, Hawaii, show that their sources contain amphibole and/or phlogopite. Small amounts of each mineral (2% amphibole in the source of La Grille and 0.5% phlogopite plus; some amphibole in the source of the Honolulu volcanics) and a range of absolute degrees of partial melting from similar to 1 to similar to 5% for both series are consistent with the observed trace element variation. Amphibole and phlogopite are not stable at the temperatures of convecting upper mantle or upwelling thermal plumes from the deep mantle; however, they are stable at pressure-temperature conditions of the oceanic lithospheric mantle. Therefore, the presence of amphibole and/or phlogopite in the magma source region of volcanics is strong evidence for lithospheric melting, and we conclude that the La Grille and the Honolulu series formed by melting of the oceanic lithospheric mantle.The identification of amphibole +/- phlogopite in the source region of both series implies that the metasomatism by fluids or volatile-rich melts occurred prior to melting. The presence of hydrous phases results in a lower solidus temperature of the lithospheric mantle, which can be reached by conductive heating by the thermal plumes. Isotope ratios of the La Grille and the Honolulu series display a restricted range in composition and represent compositional end-members for each island. Larger isotopic variations in shield lavas, represented by the contemporaneous Karthala volcano on Grande Comore and the older Koolau series on Oahu, reflect interaction of the upwelling thermal plumes with the lithospheric mantle rather than the heterogeneity of deep-seated mantle plume sources or entrainment of mantle material in the rising plume. Literature Os-Sr isotope ratio covariations constrain the process of plume-lithosphere interaction as occurring through mixing of plume melts and low-degree melts from the metasomatized oceanic lithospheric mantle.The characterization of the lithospheric mantle signature allows the isotopic composition of the deep mantle plume components to be identified, and mixing relationships show that the Karthala and Koolau plume end-members have nearly uniform isotopic compositions. Based on independent arguments, isotopic variations on Heard and Easter islands have been shown to be a result of mixing between deep plume sources having distinct isotopic compositions with lithosphere or shallow asthenospheric mantle. To the extent that these case studies are representative of oceanic island volcanism, they indicate that interaction with oceanic lithospheric mantle plays an important role in the compositions of lavas erupted during the shield-building stage of plume magmatism, and that isotopic compositions of deep mantle plume sources are nearly uniform on the scale that they are sampled by melting. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science B.V.


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