Compositional trends of Icelandic basalts: Implications for short–length scale lithological heterogeneity in mantle plumes

Shorttle, Oliver and Maclennan, John (2011) Compositional trends of Icelandic basalts: Implications for short–length scale lithological heterogeneity in mantle plumes. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 12. Q11008. ISSN 1525-2027 DOI 10.1029/2011GC003748

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Abstract

Lithological variations in the mantle source regions under mid-ocean ridges and ocean islands have been proposed to play a key role in controlling melt generation and basalt composition. Here we combine compositional observations from Icelandic basalts and modelling of melting of a bi-lithologic peridotite-pyroxenite mantle to demonstrate that, while short-lengthscale major element variation is present in the mantle under Iceland, source heterogeneity does not make an important contribution to excess melt production. By identifying the major element characteristics of endmember Icelandic melts, we find enriched melts to be characterised by low SiO2 and CaO, but high FeO. We quantitatively compare endmember compositions to experimental partial melts generated from a range of lithologies, pressures and melt fractions. This comparison indicates that a single source composition cannot account for all the major element variation; depleted Icelandic melts can be produced by depleted peridotite melting, but the major element composition of enriched melts is best matched by melting of mantle sources that have been refertilised by the addition of up to 40% mid-ocean ridge basalt. The enriched source beneath Iceland is more fusible than the source of depleted melts, and as such will be over-represented in accumulated melts compared with its abundance in the source. Modelling of peridotite-pyroxenite melting, combined with our observational constraints on the composition of the Icelandic mantle, indicates that crustal thickness variations in the North Atlantic must be primarily due to mantle temperature and flow field variations.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union. Green open access according to Sherpa Romeo http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/issn/1525-2027/
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2011AREP; IA63; phd;
Subjects: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Divisions: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
08 - Green Open Access
Journal or Publication Title: Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems
Volume: 12
Page Range: Q11008
Identification Number: 10.1029/2011GC003748
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2011 14:44
Last Modified: 15 May 2014 13:02
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/2228

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