The composition of mantle plumes and the deep Earth

Hastie, Alan R., Fitton, J. Godfrey, Kerr, Andrew C., McDonald, Iain, Schwindrofska, Antje and Hoernle, Kaj (2016) The composition of mantle plumes and the deep Earth Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 444 . pp. 13-25. DOI 10.1016/j.epsl.2016.03.023.

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Supplementary data:



• Mantle plumes have broadly distinctive depleted and enriched compositions.
• The Earth's lower mantle has a non-chondritic composition.
• The deep mantle has large planetary-scale geochemical heterogeneity.
• New normalising factors presented for modelling mantle-derived igneous rocks.


Determining the composition and geochemical diversity of Earth's deep mantle and subsequent ascending mantle plumes is vital so that we can better understand how the Earth's primitive mantle reservoirs initially formed and how they have evolved over the last 4.6 billion years. Further data on the composition of mantle plumes, which generate voluminous eruptions on the planet's surface, are also essential to fully understand the evolution of the Earth's hydrosphere and atmosphere with links to surface environmental changes that may have led to mass extinction events. Here we present new major and trace element and Sr–Nd–Pb–Hf isotope data on basalts from Curacao, part of the Caribbean large igneous province. From these and literature data, we calculate combined major and trace element compositions for the mantle plumes that generated the Caribbean and Ontong Java large igneous provinces and use mass balance to determine the composition of the Earth's lower mantle. Incompatible element and isotope results indicate that mantle plumes have broadly distinctive depleted and enriched compositions that, in addition to the numerous mantle reservoirs already proposed in the literature, represent large planetary-scale geochemical heterogeneity in the Earth's deep mantle that are similar to non-chondritic Bulk Silicate Earth compositions.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000375818800002
Keywords: primary magma, mantle plume, Caribbean oceanic plateau, Ontong Java Plateau, non-chondritic Bulk Silicate Earth (BSE), normalising factor
Research affiliation: Kiel University
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-MUHS Magmatic and Hydrothermal Systems
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.epsl.2016.03.023
ISSN: 0012-821X
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2016 10:27
Last Modified: 04 May 2017 11:29

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