The Influence Of Small-Scale Mantle Heterogeneities On Mid-Ocean Ridge Volcanism- Evidence From The Southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge (7 Degrees 30 ' S To 11 Degrees 30 ' S) And Ascension Island

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Journal Article: The Influence Of Small-Scale Mantle Heterogeneities On Mid-Ocean Ridge Volcanism- Evidence From The Southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge (7 Degrees 30 ' S To 11 Degrees 30 ' S) And Ascension Island

Abstract
Volcanism along Mid-Ocean Ridges is known to exhibit significant isotopic and elemental variations, traditionally regarded as reflecting global scale variations in mantle depletion history and refertilization processes. The similar to 400 km long Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) between the Ascension and Bode Verde Fracture Zones (7 degrees 30 ' S to 11 degrees 30 ' S) has been sampled at high spatial resolution (c. 10 km along-axis scale) and large elemental and isotopic variations have been identified covering almost the entire compositional spectrum of MAR basalts. In this paper we employ a multi-isotope (Sr-Nd-Hf-Pb) and trace element approach in order to explore the geodynamic implications of along-ridge compositional variations and their relationship to off-axis volcanism on nearby Ascension Island, commonly regarded as plume-related. The studied portion of the MAR consists of four major segments. Isotopic data from the deeply incised northern and southern segments A1 and A4 define a trend involving a high-epsilon Hf depleted mantle endmember. This isotopic signature is inferred to result from an ancient melting event in the garnet stability field, causing high time-integrated Lu/Hf and elevated (176)Hf/(177)Hf. In contrast, a low-epsilon Hf depleted mantle endmember is indicated by the compositional trend for samples from the topographically elevated central portion (segments A2 and A3). Both trends converge at a common enriched endmember with least diluted compositions represented by samples from the subaerial eruptive stage of nearby Ascension Island. Because linear co-variations between isotope compositions and the respective parent-daughter ratios cannot be explained as representing "mantle isochrons" we infer that our data reflect arrays related to physical mixing of depleted and enriched mantle domains. This implies that distinctive mantle domains at kilometer scale may survive convection processes over time spans in the order of 1-2 Ga. This finding corroborates the results of recent Os-isotope studies of abyssal peridotite which returned similar conclusions. The systematics of along-axis isotopic variations show that mantle upwelling is highly variable. A systematic decrease of the enriched isotopic signature from the central segment A3 toward the northern termination of the segment A2 suggests a northward flow of enriched mantle material. In marked contrast, the compositional variations along the marginal segments A1 and A4 are random indicating heterogeneous mixing of mantle domains at a spatial resolution of <50 km to 10 km (along-axis scale). With regard to Ascension Island we show that the submarine volcanic stage, sampled by a 3216 m long drill hole, was fed by a distinctive enriched mantle source currently inaccessible to partial melting. We interpret this observation within the framework of recent local-scale geophysical investigations and infer an on-axis origin of the bulk of the Ascension volcanic edifice at around 5 to 6 Ma, synchronous with the surrounding oceanic crust. Off-axis partial melting of the current common enriched mantle endmember accounts for rejuvenation of volcanism on Ascension generating the volumetrically subordinate subaerial portion of the island. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Authors 
H. Paulick, C. Munker and S. Schuth








Published Journal 
Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Date Not Provided





DOI 
Not Provided
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Citation

H. Paulick,C. Munker,S. Schuth. . The Influence Of Small-Scale Mantle Heterogeneities On Mid-Ocean Ridge Volcanism- Evidence From The Southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge (7 Degrees 30 ' S To 11 Degrees 30 ' S) And Ascension Island. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. (!) .