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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2023
  2. Volcanic hotspots are thought to be fed by hot, active upwellings from the deep mantle, with excess temperatures ( T ex ) ~100° to 300°C higher than those of mid-ocean ridges. However, T ex estimates are limited in geographical coverage and often inconsistent for individual hotspots. We infer the temperature of oceanic hotspots and ridges simultaneously by converting seismic velocity to temperature. We show that while ~45% of plume-fed hotspots are hot ( T ex ≥ 155°C), ~15% are cold ( T ex ≤ 36°C) and ~40% are not hot enough to actively upwell (50°C ≤ T ex ≤ 136°C). Hot hotspots have an extremely high helium-3/helium-4 ratio and buoyancy flux, but cold hotspots do not. The latter may originate at upper mantle depths. Alternatively, the deep plumes that feed them may be entrained and cooled by small-scale convection.
  3. Abstract To deconvolve contributions from the four overlapping hotspots that form the “hotspot highway” on the Pacific plate—Samoa, Rarotonga, Arago-Rurutu, and Macdonald—we geochemically characterize and/or date (by the 40Ar/39Ar method) a suite of lavas sampled from the eastern region of the Samoan hotspot and the region “downstream” of the Samoan hotspot track. We find that Papatua seamount, located ~60 km south of the axis of the Samoan hotspot track, has lavas with both a HIMU (high μ = 238U/204Pb) composition (206Pb/204Pb = 20.0), previously linked to one of the Cook-Austral hotspots, and an enriched mantle I (EM1) composition, which we interpret to be rejuvenated and Samoan in origin. We show that these EM1 rejuvenated lavas at Papatua are geochemically similar to rejuvenated volcanism on Samoan volcanoes and suggest that flexural uplift, caused by tectonic forces associated with the nearby Tonga trench, triggered a new episode of melting of Samoan mantle material that had previously flattened and spread laterally along the base of the Pacific plate under Papatua, resulting in volcanism that capped the previous HIMU edifice. We argue that this process generated Samoan rejuvenated volcanism on the older Cook-Austral volcano of Papatua. We also study Waterwitch seamount, located ~820 km WNW of the Samoanmore »hotspot, and provide an age (10.49 ± 0.09 Ma) that places it on the Samoan hotspot trend, showing that it is genetically Samoan and not related to the Cook-Austral hotspots as previously suggested. Consequently, with the possible exception of the HIMU stage of Papatua seamount, there are currently no known Arago-Rurutu plume-derived lava flows sampled along the swath of Pacific seafloor that stretches between Rose seamount (~25 Ma) and East Niulakita seamount (~45 Ma), located 1400 km to the west. The “missing” ~20-million-year segment of the Arago-Rurutu hotspot track may have been subducted into the northern Tonga trench, or perhaps was covered by subsequent volcanism from the overlapping Samoan hotspot, and has thus eluded sampling. Finally, we explore tectonic reactivation as a cause for anomalously young volcanism present within the western end of the Samoan hotspot track.« less
  4. The noble gas isotope systematics of ocean island basalts suggest the existence of primordial mantle signatures in the deep mantle. Yet, the isotopic compositions of lithophile elements (Sr, Nd, Hf) in these lavas require derivation from a mantle source that is geochemically depleted by melt extraction rather than primitive. Here, this apparent contradiction is resolved by employing a compilation of the Sr, Nd, and Hf isotope composition of kimberlites—volcanic rocks that originate at great depth beneath continents. This compilation includes kimberlites as old as 2.06 billion years and shows that kimberlites do not derive from a primitive mantle source but sample the same geochemically depleted component (where geochemical depletion refers to ancient melt extraction) common to most oceanic island basalts, previously called PREMA (prevalent mantle) or FOZO (focal zone). Extrapolation of the Nd and Hf isotopic compositions of the kimberlite source to the age of Earth formation yields a143Nd/144Nd-176Hf/177Hf composition within error of chondrite meteorites, which include the likely parent bodies of Earth. This supports a hypothesis where the source of kimberlites and ocean island basalts contains a long-lived component that formed by melt extraction from a domain with chondritic143Nd/144Nd and176Hf/177Hf shortly after Earth accretion. The geographic distribution of kimberlitesmore »containing the PREMA component suggests that these remnants of early Earth differentiation are located in large seismically anomalous regions corresponding to thermochemical piles above the core–mantle boundary. PREMA could have been stored in these structures for most of Earth’s history, partially shielded from convective homogenization.

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  5. Abstract

    Lavas erupted at hotspot volcanoes provide evidence of mantle heterogeneity. Samoan Island lavas with high87Sr/86Sr (>0.706) typify a mantle source incorporating ancient subducted sediments. To further characterize this source, we target a single high87Sr/86Sr lava from Savai’i Island, Samoa for detailed analyses of87Sr/86Sr and143Nd/144Nd isotopes and major and trace elements on individual magmatic clinopyroxenes. We show the clinopyroxenes exhibit a remarkable range of87Sr/86Sr—including the highest observed in an oceanic hotspot lava—encompassing ~30% of the oceanic mantle’s total variability. These new isotopic data, data from other Samoan lavas, and magma mixing calculations are consistent with clinopyroxene87Sr/86Sr variability resulting from magma mixing between a high silica, high87Sr/86Sr (up to 0.7316) magma, and a low silica, low87Sr/86Sr magma. Results provide insight into the composition of magmas derived from a sediment-infiltrated mantle source and document the fate of sediment recycled into Earth’s mantle.

  6. Rare high-3He/4He signatures in ocean island basalts (OIB) erupted at volcanic hotspots derive from deep-seated domains preserved in Earth’s interior. Only high-3He/4He OIB exhibit anomalous182W—an isotopic signature inherited during the earliest history of Earth—supporting an ancient origin of high3He/4He. However, it is not understood why some OIB host anomalous182W while others do not. We provide geochemical data for the highest-3He/4He lavas from Iceland (up to 42.9 times atmospheric) with anomalous182W and examine how Sr-Nd-Hf-Pb isotopic variations—useful for tracing subducted, recycled crust—relate to high3He/4He and anomalous182W. These data, together with data on global OIB, show that the highest-3He/4He and the largest-magnitude182W anomalies are found only in geochemically depleted mantle domains—with high143Nd/144Nd and low206Pb/204Pb—lacking strong signatures of recycled materials. In contrast, OIB with the strongest signatures associated with recycled materials have low3He/4He and lack anomalous182W. These observations provide important clues regarding the survival of the ancient He and W signatures in Earth’s mantle. We show that high-3He/4He mantle domains with anomalous182W have low W and4He concentrations compared to recycled materials and are therefore highly susceptible to being overprinted with low3He/4He and normal (not anomalous)182W characteristic of subducted crust. Thus, high3He/4He and anomalous182W are preserved exclusively in mantle domains least modified by recycledmore »crust. This model places the long-term preservation of ancient high3He/4He and anomalous182W in the geodynamic context of crustal subduction and recycling and informs on survival of other early-formed heterogeneities in Earth’s interior.

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