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2018
Haroardottir, S, Halldorsson SA, Hiltons DR.  2018.  Spatial distribution of helium isotopes in Icelandic geothermal fluids and volcanic materials with implications for location, upwelling and evolution of the Icelandic mantle plume. Chemical Geology. 480:12-27.   10.1016/j.chemgeo.2017.05.012   AbstractWebsite

The distribution of helium isotope ratios (He-3/He-4) in Icelandic geothermal fluids, volcanic glasses and phyric lavas is investigated. Along with presenting a new helium isotope dataset using phyric lavas largely from off-rift regions, we compiled published data and constructed a database of all available helium isotope data from Iceland. The new dataset reveals an exceptionally high He-3/He-4 ratio from a phyric lava in NW-Iceland (47.5 R-A, where R-A is the He-3/He-4 ratio of air), which is among the highest values measured in any mantle-derived magma to date. Modifications of primary (i.e., mantle-derived) helium isotope ratios, due to additions of air-derived helium and He from radiogenic ingrowth, were evaluated and the database was filtered accordingly. The geographical information system ArcGIS (ESRI) was used to perform spatial analysis on the filtered database and the interpolation method, Natural Neighbor, was used to calculate representative helium isotope ratios for all parts of Iceland, including off-rift regions. The results show that helium isotope ratios for the whole of Iceland vary from 5.1 to 47.5 R-A. However, this study allows for a fine-scale distinction to be made between individual rift segments and off-rift regions. The results clearly reveal that each rift zone has its own distinctive mean isotope signature: 12-17 R-A in the Western Rift Zone, 8-11 R-A in the Northern Rift Zone and 18-21 R-A in the Eastern Rift Zone. Our isoscape map places new constraints on a previously inferred high-helium plateau region in central Iceland (Breddam a al., 2000). The plateau continues southward along the propagating Eastern Rift Zone and through to the South Iceland Seismic Zone and the Mid-Iceland belt. Its location coincides with many geological features, e.g., eruption rates, location of abandoned rift segments, seismic velocity and gravity anomalies. Such high helium isotope ratios have been associated with undegassed and primordial mantle sources that have been isolated in the lower mantle over Earth's history. Thus, high-helium domains throughout Iceland are interpreted to mark the loci of present and past plume conduits which help explain the considerable spatial variation in the sampling of a primordial mantle He component beneath the Iceland hotspot.

2005
Day, JMD, Hilton DR, Pearson DG, Macpherson CG, Kjarsgaard BA, Janney PE.  2005.  Absence of a high time-integrated He-3/(U+Th) source in the mantle beneath continents. Geology. 33:733-736.   10.1130/g21625.1   AbstractWebsite

Volcanic rocks from ocean island and continental flood basalt provinces can exhibit He-3/He-4 ratios greatly in excess of those of mid-oceanic-ridge basalts (MORB). High He-3/He-4 ratios must indicate derivation from a mantle source with high time-integrated He-3/(U+Th) relative to depleted MORB-source mantle. The location of the high He-3/He-4 mantle reservoir is a poorly resolved but important issue because of the constraints it places upon the structure and convective style of Earth's mantle. It has been proposed that the high He-3/He-4 reservoir resides in the upper mantle, rather than the lower mantle, because Earth should be volatile poor and highly differentiated, with incompatible elements (such as He) concentrated in the upper mantle and crust. This hypothesis can be tested using continental intraplate alkaline volcanics (CIAV) that are generated at or near the boundary between the conducting lithospheric and convecting asthenospheric mantle. Olivine and clinopyroxene phenocrysts from Cretaceous to Miocene CIAV from Canada, South Africa, and Uganda have He-3/He-4 ratios more radiogenic than MORB, strongly arguing against a widespread high He-3/He-4 source in the continental lithosphere or the underlying convecting upper mantle. Combined with a global data set of CIAV and continental lithosphere mantle xenoliths, these results provide no evidence for high He-3/He-4 in any samples known to originate from this environment. Therefore, volcanic rocks with He-3/He-4 greater than MORB He-3/He-4 are likely to sample a mantle source with high time-integrated He-3/(U+Th) that cannot exist within or below the continents. This reservoir is also unlikely to exist within the upper mantle as defined by the He-3/He-4 distribution in MORB.

2003
Peate, DW, Baker JA, Blichert-Toft J, Hilton DR, Storey M, Kent AJR, Brooks CK, Hansen H, Pedersen AK, Duncan RA.  2003.  The Prinsen af Wales Bjerge formation lavas, East Greenland: The transition from tholeiitic to alkalic magmatism during Palaeogene continental break-up. Journal of Petrology. 44:279-304.   10.1093/petrology/44.2.279   AbstractWebsite

We present elemental and isotopic (Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf-Os-He) data on primitive alkalic lavas from the Prinsen af Wales Bjeige, East Greenland. Stratigraphical, compositional and Ar-40-Ar-39 data indicate that this inland alkalic activity was contemporaneous with the upper parts of the main tholeiitic plateau basalts and also postdated them. The alkalic rocks show a marked crustal influence, indicating establishment of new magmatic plumbing systems distinct from the long-lived coastal systems that fed the relatively uncontaminated plateau basalts. The least contaminated lavas have high He-3/He-4 isotope ratios (R/R-A 12.4-18.5), sub-chondritic Os-187/(OSi)-O-88 (0.120-0.126), low epsilonNd(i) (similar to + 4) and epsilonHf(i) (similar to+ 6) that plot below the 'Nd-Hf mantle array', and trace element characteristics similar to HIMU ocean. island basalt. (OIB). The uncontaminated magma is inferred to have more radiogenic Pb-206/Pb-204 values (>19.2) than the plateau basalts and Icelandic basalts, and thus represents a possible 'enriched' component to explain the compositional variations within the plateau basalts. One model to explain these compositional features is preferential melting of recycled material within the plume upwelling beneath the thick lithospheric cap, with He-3 contributed from volatile-rich fluids from elsewhere in the Icelandic plume. The exact nature of the recycled component is not yet resolved, although Hf isotope compositions rule out any significant role for recycled pelagic sediment, and the low Os-187/Os-188 limits the participation of recycled basaltic material and argues instead for a contribution from the mantle section of the recycled slab.