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Rhenium and platinum group element abundances correlated with isotopic compositions in Hawaiian picrites: sulphides in the plume

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 12:37 authored by Bennett, VC, Norman, MD, Garcia, MO
Core addition and crustal recycling models that seek to explain the radiogenic Os isotopic compositions of primitive Hawaii tholeiites predict distinctive geochemical consequences for chalcophile and siderophile element abundances in the mantle plume. To test these models and to improve our understanding of compositional variability in the Hawaiian plume, the platinum group element (PGE) and Re contents of primitive shield picrites from several Hawaiian volcanoes were measured. PGE abundances span a large range, from similar to MORB for a picrite from Koolau, to compositions similar to those of basaltic komatiites for picrites from Kilauea and Loihi. Re concentrations range from 0.25 to 0.95 ng/g and with a mean of 0.73 ng/g, higher than previously compiled global averages for ocean island basalts (OIB) (0.38 ng/g) and closer to average MORB (0.98 ng/g) than previously recognised. Some subaerial tholeiites, notably from Kilauea and Mauna Kea, have anomalously low Re abundances and high Cu/Re ratios, possibly reflecting Re loss upon eruption or during degassing of shallow magma chambers. These data show that the PGE and primary Re contents of primitive Hawaiian picrites are well correlated with isotopic compositions of these lavas, linking the PGE and Re characteristics directly with source features of the mantle plume. However, mixing models that describe the isotopic effects of core addition and crustal recycling do not account for the PGE and Re abundances. The range of PGE and Re contents in these lavas does not appear to reflect abundance variations in the plume components, but some aspect of the melting process that is linked to source characteristics of the plume. One possibility is that the PGE and Re characteristics of Hawaiian tholeiites may reflect variable amounts or compositions of residual sulphide during melting. In this scenario, the high PGE and Re contents of Kilauea and Loihi picrites may be indicating a relatively small amount of residual sulphide during melting, whereas the low PGE and Re contents of Koolau primitive magmas may be indicating greater amounts of residual sulphide in the plume. The systematic compositional variations of PGE and Re in primitive tholeiites must be accounted for by any model for the origin of the Hawaiian plume. © 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.


Publication title

Earth and Planetary Science Letters










School of Natural Sciences



Place of publication

Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences

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