Volatile element content of the heterogeneous upper mantle

Friday, 19 December 2014
Kei Shimizu1, Alberto E Saal1, Erik H Hauri2, Donald W Forsyth1, Vadim S Kamenetsky3 and Yaoling Niu4, (1)Brown University, Department of Geological Sciences, Providence, RI, United States, (2)Carnegie Inst Washington, Washington, DC, United States, (3)University of Tasmania, CODES, Hobart, Australia, (4)University of Durham, Department of Earth Sciences, Durham, United Kingdom
The physical properties of the asthenosphere (e.g., seismic velocity, viscosity, electrical conductivity) have been attributed to either mineral properties at relevant temperature, pressure, and water content or to the presence of a low melt fraction. We resort to the geochemical studies of MORB to unravel the composition of the asthenosphere. It is important to determine to what extent the geochemical variations in axial MORB do represent a homogeneous mantle composition and variations in the physical conditions of magma generation and transport; or alternatively, they represent mixing of melts from a heterogeneous upper mantle. Lavas from intra-transform faults and off-axis seamounts share a common mantle source with axial MORB, but experience less differentiation and homogenization. Therefore they provide better estimates for the end-member volatile budget of the heterogeneous upper mantle.

We present major, trace, and volatile element data (H2O, CO2, Cl, F, S) as well as Sr, Nd, and Pb isotopic compositions [1, 2] of basaltic glasses (MgO > 6.0 wt%) from the NEPR seamounts, Quebrada-Discovery-Gofar transform fault system, and Macquarie Island. The samples range from incompatible trace element (ITE) depleted (DMORB: Th/La<0.035) to enriched (EMORB: Th/La>0.07) spanning the entire range of EPR MORB. The isotopic composition of the samples correlates with the degree of trace element enrichment indicating long-lived mantle heterogeneity.

Once shallow-level processes (degassing, crystallization, and crustal assimilation) have been considered, we conducted a two-component (DMORB- and EMORB-) mantle melting-mixing model. Our model reproduces the major, trace and volatile element contents and isotopic composition of our samples and suggests that (1) 90% of the upper mantle is highly depleted in ITE (DMORB source) with only 10% of an enriched component (EMORB source), (2) the EMORB source is peridotitic rather than pyroxenitic, and (3) NMORB do not represent an actual mantle source, but the product of magma mixing between D- and E-MORB. Finally we use the volatile to trace element ratios of our samples to estimate the volatile element budget of the end-member components of the upper mantle.

[1] Niu, Y. et al. (2002) EPSL, 199, 327-345. [2] Kamenetsky, V. S. et al. (2000) J. Petrology, 41, 411-430.