Phantom Archean crust in Mangaia hotspot lavas and the meaning of heterogeneous mantle

Citation:
Herzberg, C, Cabral RA, Jackson MG, Vidito C, Day JMD, Hauri EH.  2014.  Phantom Archean crust in Mangaia hotspot lavas and the meaning of heterogeneous mantle. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 396:97-106.

Abstract:

Lavas from Mangaia in the Cook–Austral island chain, Polynesia, define an HIMU (or high μ , where View the MathML source) global isotopic end-member among ocean island basalts (OIB) with the highest 206,207,208Pb/204Pb. This geochemical signature is interpreted to reflect a recycled oceanic crust component in the mantle source. Mass independently fractionated (MIF) sulfur isotopes indicate that Mangaia lavas sampled recycled Archean material that was once at the Earth's surface, likely hydrothermally-modified oceanic crust. Recent models have proposed that crust that is subducted and then returned to the surface in a mantle plume is expected to transform to pyroxenite/eclogite during transit through the mantle. Here we examine this hypothesis for Mangaia using high-precision electron microprobe analysis on olivine phenocrysts. Contrary to expectations of a crustal component and, hence pyroxenite, results show a mixed peridotite and pyroxenite source, with peridotite dominating. If the isotopic compositions were inherited from subduction of recycled oceanic crust, our work shows that this source has phantom-like properties in that it can have its lithological identity destroyed while its isotope ratios are preserved. This may occur by partial melting of the pyroxenite and injection of its silicic melts into the surrounding mantle peridotite, yielding a refertilized peridotite. Evidence from one sample reveals that not all pyroxenite in the melting region was destroyed. Identification of source lithology using olivine phenocryst chemistry can be further compromised by magma chamber fractional crystallization, recharge, and mixing. We conclude that the commonly used terms mantle “heterogeneities” and “streaks” are ambiguous, and distinction should be made of its lithological and isotopic properties.

DOI:

10.1016/j.epsl.2014.03.065