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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences


Publication details for Professor Yaoling Niu

Wendt, J.I., Regelous, M., Niu, Yaoling, Hekinian, R. & Collerson, K.D. (1999). Geochemistry of lavas from the Garrett Transform Fault: insights into mantle heterogeneity beneath the eastern Pacific. Earth & Planetary Science letters 173(3): 271-284.

Author(s) from Durham


Young intra-transform lavas erupted as a result of extension within the Garrett Transform Fault on the southern East Pacific Rise, are more porphyritic, less evolved, have lower concentrations of incompatible trace elements, and lower ratios of more incompatible to less incompatible elements (e.g. low K/Ti and La/Sm) compared to lavas from the adjacent East Pacific Rise ridge axis. Sr, Nd and Pb isotope compositions overlap with the depleted end of the field for Pacific mid-ocean ridge basalts, but extend to lower 87Sr/86Sr (0.702137), 206Pb/204Pb (17.462), 207Pb/204Pb (15.331), 208Pb/204Pb (36.831), and higher 143Nd/144Nd (0.513345) than any lavas previously reported from the Pacific. Peridotites from the Garrett Transform have Nd isotope compositions within the range of the intra-transform lavas. The unusual major and trace element compositions of the Garrett lavas appear to be characteristic of other intra-transform lavas from elsewhere in the Pacific. The chemical and isotopic features of the Garrett lavas can be explained by remelting, beneath the transform, a two-component upper mantle which was depleted in incompatible element-enriched heterogeneities during melting beneath the East Pacific Rise ridge axis (within the past 1 Ma). Our data place new constraints on the trace element and isotope composition of the depleted mantle component that contributes to magmatism in the Pacific, and show that this component is heterogeneous, both on the scale of a single transform fault, and on the scale of an ocean basin.