Atypically depleted upper mantle component revealed by Hf isotopes at Lucky Strike segment

The Earth's upper mantle is commonly depicted as a “marble cake” assemblage of a refractory component mingled with varying amounts of geochemically diverse enriched components. This depleted component controls the major element composition of Mid-Oceanic Ridge Basalts (MORBs). It has long been considered a fairly uniform reservoir, depleted by early melting and well homogenized by subsequent convective stirring. We present new Hf, Nd, Pb and Sr isotopes and trace element data for basalts from the center of the Lucky Strike segment of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR). Despite the limited size of our sampling area (1.6 km along-axis by 5 km across), these data show a large range of isotopic compositions (similar to that of the whole MAR). It has recently been shown that part of the reason for not observingmore segmentswith correlated Hf–Nd isotope systematics may be the lack of fine-scale sampling. Our data confirm this idea and showstrong correlations between all isotope ratios. The systematics of Hf–Nd isotopes in Lucky Strike basalts define an atypical correlation, distinct from the globalmantle array,with an anomalously high εHf for a given εNd.We illustrate that this atypical trend is the signature of an ancient refractory mantle rather than the product of kinetic processes during the melting event. The existence of this mantle component at Lucky Strike allows us to discuss the structure of the upper mantle around the Azores.


Oceanic basalts, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Lucky Strike, Mantle heterogeneity, Hf isotopes

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Hamelin Cedric, Bezos Antoine, Dosso Laure, Escartin Javier, Cannat Mathilde, Mevel Catherine (2013). Atypically depleted upper mantle component revealed by Hf isotopes at Lucky Strike segment. Chemical Geology. 341. 128-139.,

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