Two-component mantle melting-mixing model for the generation of mid-ocean ridge basalts: Implications for the volatile content of the Pacific upper mantle
Shimizu, K and Saal, AE and Myers, CE and Nagle, AN and Hauri, EH and Forsyth, DW and Kamenetsky, VS and Niu, Y, Two-component mantle melting-mixing model for the generation of mid-ocean ridge basalts: Implications for the volatile content of the Pacific upper mantle, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 176 pp. 44-80. ISSN 0016-7037 (2016) [Refereed Article]
We report major, trace, and volatile element (CO2, H2O, F, Cl, S) contents and Sr, Nd, and Pb isotopes of mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB) glasses from the Northern East Pacific Rise (NEPR) off-axis seamounts, the Quebrada-Discovery-GoFar (QDG) transform fault system, and the Macquarie Island. The incompatible trace element (ITE) contents of the samples range from highly depleted (DMORB, Th/La ⩽ 0.035) to enriched (EMORB, Th/La ⩾ 0.07), and the isotopic composition spans the entire range observed in EPR MORB. Our data suggest that at the time of melt generation, the source that generated the EMORB was essentially peridotitic, and that the composition of NMORB might not represent melting of a single upper mantle source (DMM), but rather mixing of melts from a two-component mantle (depleted and enriched DMM or D-DMM and E-DMM, respectively). After filtering the volatile element data for secondary processes (degassing, sulfide saturation, assimilation of seawater-derived component, and fractional crystallization), we use the volatiles to ITE ratios of our samples and a two-component mantle melting-mixing model to estimate the volatile content of the D-DMM (CO2 = 22 ppm, H2O = 59 ppm, F = 8 ppm, Cl = 0.4 ppm, and S = 100 ppm) and the E-DMM (CO2 = 990 ppm, H2O = 660 ppm, F = 31 ppm, Cl = 22 ppm, and S = 165 ppm). Our two-component mantle melting-mixing model reproduces the kernel density estimates (KDE) of Th/La and 143Nd/144Nd ratios for our samples and for EPR axial MORB compiled from the literature. This model suggests that: (1) 78% of the Pacific upper mantle is highly depleted (D-DMM) while 22% is enriched (E-DMM) in volatile and refractory ITE, (2) the melts produced during variable degrees of melting of the E-DMM controls most of the MORB geochemical variation, and (3) a fraction (∼65% to 80%) of the low degree EMORB melts (produced by ∼1.3% melting) may escape melt aggregation by freezing at the base of the oceanic lithosphere, significantly enriching it in volatile and trace element contents. Our results are consistent with previously proposed geodynamical processes acting at mid-ocean ridges and with the generation of the E-DMM. Our observations indicate that the D-DMM and E-DMM have (1) a relatively constant CO2/Cl ratio of ∼57 ± 8, and (2) volatile and ITE element abundance patterns that can be related by a simple melting event, supporting the hypothesis that the E-DMM is a recycled oceanic lithosphere mantle metasomatized by low degree melts. Our calculation and model give rise to a Pacific upper mantle with volatile content of CO2 = 235 ppm, H2O = 191 ppm, F = 13 ppm, Cl = 5 ppm, and S = 114 ppm.