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Mantle neon and atmospheric contamination

Farley, K. A. and Poreda, R. J. (1993) Mantle neon and atmospheric contamination. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 114 (2-3). pp. 325-339. ISSN 0012-821X.

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The apparent distinction between atmospheric and mantle ^(20)Ne/^(22)Ne ratios may provide a technique to quantify air contamination in mantle-derived materials. In the absence of mantle nuclear reactions, which produce either ^(20)Ne or ^(22)Ne in substantial quantities, it is likely that the entire mantle is characterized by a single, uniform ^(20)Ne/^(22)Ne ratio; a value of around 12.5 is suggested by analyses of MORBs, OIBs, diamonds and xenoliths. If this premise is correct, then any measured ^(20)Ne/^(22)Ne ratios in mantle samples that are lower than this must result from addition of an air component, with ^(20)Ne/^(22)Ne= 9.8. This is most likely a syn- or post-eruptive contaminant. The degree of air contamination inferred from ^(20)Ne/^(22)Ne ratios is generally small for diamonds, but is increasingly significant for MORBs and OIBs; many OIB's may carry > 90% air neon. We calculated “air-neon corrected” ^(21)Ne/^(22)Ne and ^(40)Ar/^(36)Ar ratios for the highly degassed MORB mantle and for the less degassed (high ^3He/^4He) “plume” reservoir. The inferred MORB composition is indistinguishable from measurements of some gas-rich glasses. The calculated plume composition is similar to the least air-like measurements from ocean islands, but is less air-like than has been proposed previously. This plume composition is not consistent with a completely undegassed reservoir. From these corrected mantle compositions, we calculated the relative time-integrated rare gas abundances in the mantle, using a simple evolutionary model, which simultaneously considers the isotopic compositions of He, Ne, Ar and Xe. The model shows that both MORB and plume reservoirs have evolved with nearly solar elemental abundances. This provides strong support to suggestions based on Ne isotopes that the Earth accreted with gases nearly solar in composition. Importantly, the inferred mantle Ne/Ar ratios are much higher than atmospheric, which is consistent with simultaneous fractionation of both the atmospheric neon isotope ratio and the Ne/Ar ratio by massive hydrodynamic escape. Mixing between MORB and plume reservoirs (with our calculated elemental and isotopic abundances), plus varying amounts of added air, can account for the rare gases in nearly all mantle-derived rocks.

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Farley, K. A.0000-0002-7846-7546
Additional Information:© 1993 Elsevier Science Publishers B.V. Received June 29, 1992; revision accepted November 20, 1992. We thank T. Trull and M. Honda for helpful reviews. This work was supported by NSF grants EAR-9204822 and EAR-9105032.
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Issue or Number:2-3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20121113-103255415
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Official Citation:K.A. Farley, R.J. Poreda, Mantle neon and atmospheric contamination, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 114, Issues 2–3, January 1993, Pages 325-339, ISSN 0012-821X, 10.1016/0012-821X(93)90034-7. (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:35424
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:13 Nov 2012 19:00
Last Modified:03 Mar 2020 13:01

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