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Durham University

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Day, J. M. D., Pearson, D. G., Macpherson, C. G., Lowry, D. & Carracedo, J. C. (2009). Pyroxenite-rich mantle formed by recycled oceanic lithosphere: Oxygen-osmium isotope evidence from Canary Island lavas. Geology 37(6): 555-558.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

Plate tectonic processes result in recycling of crust and lithosphere into Earth's mantle. Evidence for long-term preservation of recycled reservoirs in the mantle comes from the enriched isotopic character of oceanic island basalt (OIB) lavas. Although recycled constituents can explain much of the geochemical variation in the OIB-source mantle, it has been shown that direct melting of these components would lead to magmas with evolved compositions, unlike OIB. Instead, it has been argued that either metasomatic pyroxene-rich peridotite that has inherited the trace element and isotopic character of subducted materials, or high-temperature intramantle metasomatism of lithosphere can explain OIB compositions. To test these models, we present new oxygen and osmium isotope data for lavas from the Canary Islands of El Hierro and La Palma. These islands have distinct O-18/O-16 and Os-187/Os-188 compositions that can be explained through melting of pyroxenite-enriched peridotite mantle containing <10% recycled oceanic lithosphere. We also assess O-Os isotope systematics of lavas from Hawai'i and the Azores and show that they also conform to addition of distinct recycled oceanic components, including lithosphere and pelagic sediment. We conclude that enriched isotopic signatures of some OIBs are consistent with pyroxenite-rich mantle sources metasomatized by recycled components.