Identification of an ancient mantle reservoir and young recycled materials in the source region of a young mantle plume: Implications for potential linkages between plume and plate tectonics
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Whether or not mantle plumes and plate subduction are genetically linked is a fundamental geoscience question that impinges on our understanding of how the Earth works. Late Cenozoic basalts in Southeast Asia are globally unique in relation to this question because they occur above a seismically detected thermal plume adjacent to deep subducted slabs. In this study, we present new Pb, Sr, Nd, and Os isotope data for the Hainan flood basalts. Together with a compilation of published results, our work shows that less contaminated basaltic samples from the synchronous basaltic eruptions in Hainan–Leizhou peninsula, the Indochina peninsula and the South China Sea seamounts share the same isotopic and geochemical characteristics. They have FOZO-like Sr, Nd, and Pb isotopic compositions (the dominant lower mantle component). These basalts have primitive Pb isotopic compositions that lie on, or very close to, 4.5- to 4.4-Ga geochrons on 207Pb/204Pb versus 206Pb/204Pb diagram, suggesting a mantle source developed early in Earthʼs history (4.5–4.4 Ga). Furthermore, our detailed geochemical and Sr, Nd, Pb and Os isotopic analyses suggest the presence of 0.5–0.2 Ga recycled components in the late Cenozoic Hainan plume basalts.This implies a mantle circulation rate of >1 cm/yr, which is similar to that of previous estimates for the Hawaiian mantle plume. The identification of the ancient mantle reservoir and young recycled materials in the source region of these synchronous basalts is consistent with the seismically detected lower mantle-rooted Hainan plume that is adjacent to deep subducted slab-like seismic structures just above the core–mantle boundary. We speculate that the continued deep subduction and the presence of a dense segregated basaltic layer may have triggered the plume to rise from the thermal–chemical pile. This work therefore suggests a dynamic linkage between deep subduction and mantle plume generation.
NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 377-378 (2013). DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2013.07.003
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