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Oxygen isotope evidence for the origin of enriched mantle beneath the mid-Atlantic ridge

Cooper, Kari M. and Eiler, John M. and Langmuir, Charles H. and Asimow, Paul D. (2004) Oxygen isotope evidence for the origin of enriched mantle beneath the mid-Atlantic ridge. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 220 (3-4). pp. 297-316. ISSN 0012-821X. doi:10.1016/S0012-821X(04)00058-5.

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Geochemical variations in mid-ocean ridge basalts have been attributed to differing proportions of compositionally distinct mantle components in their sources, some of which may be recycled crust. Oxygen isotopes are strongly fractionated by near-surface interactions of rocks with the hydrosphere, and thus provide a tracer of near-surface materials that have been recycled into the mantle. We present here oxygen isotope analyses of basaltic glasses from the mid-Atlantic ridge south of and across the Azores platform. Variations in δ^(18)O in these samples are subtle (range of 0.47‰) and may partly reflect shallow fractional crystallization; we present a method to correct for these effects. Relatively high fractionation-corrected δ^(18)O in these samples is associated with geochemical indices of enrichment, including high La/Sm, Ce/Pb, and ^(87)Sr/^(86)Sr and low ^(143)Nd/^(144)Nd. Our results suggest two first-order conclusions about these enriched materials: (1) they are derived (directly or indirectly) from recycled upper oceanic crustal rocks and/or sediments; and (2) these materials are present in the north Atlantic MORB sources in abundances of less than 10% (average 2–5%). Modeling of variations of δ^(18)O with other geochemical variables further indicates that the enriched component is not derived from incorporation of sediment or bulk altered oceanic crust, from metasomatism of the mantle by hydrous or carbonate-rich fluids, or from partial melting of subducted sediment. Instead, the data appear to require a model in which the enriched component is depleted mantle that has been metasomatized by small-degree partial melts of subducted, dehydrated, altered oceanic crust. The age of this partial melting is broadly constrained to ∼250 Ma. Reconstructed plate motions suggest that the enriched component in the north Atlantic mantle may have originated by subduction along the western margin of Pangea.

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Asimow, Paul D.0000-0001-6025-8925
Additional Information:© 2004 Elsevier B.V. Received 15 March 2003; received in revised form 4 September 2003; accepted 12 January 2004. We thank the OCE and Margins programs of the US National Science Foundation (grants to J.M.E.) and the Moore Foundation for a grant to Caltech that supported this research. We thank the captain and crew of the RV Atlantis II for their assistance during collection of the samples used in this study. Reviews by S. Shirey and an anonymous reviewer improved the quality of the manuscript. This is division of Geological and Planetary Sciences contribution 9049.[BW]
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:oxygen isotopes; MORB; Mid-Atlantic ridge; mantle heterogeneity
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Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences9049
Issue or Number:3-4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120831-104940451
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Official Citation:Kari M. Cooper, John M. Eiler, Paul D. Asimow, Charles H. Langmuir, Oxygen isotope evidence for the origin of enriched mantle beneath the mid-Atlantic ridge, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 220, Issues 3–4, 15 April 2004, Pages 297-316, ISSN 0012-821X, 10.1016/S0012-821X(04)00058-5. (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:33765
Deposited On:31 Aug 2012 18:09
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 21:37

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