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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences


Publication details for Professor Yaoling Niu

Niu, Yaoling (1999). Mantle circulation and creation of compositional heterogeneities in the upper mantle beneath the East Pacific Rise. In Science & technology - advancing into the new millennium. J. Sun, L. Sun, J. Jin, A. Yu, Q. Zhang & P. Zhang Beijing: People’s Education Press. 215-239 and pp. 537-539.
  • Publication type: Chapter in book
  • ISSN/ISBN: 7-107-13208-3

Author(s) from Durham


The author summarises the results of his current studies on the nature and origin of mantle source heterogeneity beneath the East Pacific Rise (EPR). Trace element and isotopic data on seafloor volcanic rocks from the northern EPR region suggest the presence of a two-component mantle with the enriched component residing as physically distinct domains in the ambient depleted matrix. The enriched component and the depleted matrix both are constituents of recycled oceanic lithosphere. The recycled crustal lithologies are the major source of the enriched domains, whereas the recycled mantle peridotitic residues are the most depleted matrix. In the course of the long-term mantle circulation, these two types of lithologies may be well mixed, but not homogenised. Melting of such a two-component mantle beneath the EPR leads to the melting-induced mixing relationships on geochemical diagrams. The role of enriched veins accreted to the cooling and growing lithosphere at the lithosphere/asthenosphere interface needs further evaluation in comprehensive models of intraoceanic crust/mantle differentiation.