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The extent of radioactive disequilibrium between U-238 and its daughter product Th-230 in midocean-ridge basalts from around the world is negatively correlated with axial ridge depth; local positive correlations with inferred mantle source composition are also observed. The larger Th-230 excesses seen in samples from shallow ridges reflect a larger melt contribution from a garnet-bearing source which may be explained by a deepening of the solidus in hotter mantle regions. These observations provide important constraints for modelling melt generation at mid-ocean ridges.
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