Evidence of ghost plagioclase signature induced by kinetic fractionation of europium in the Earth’s mantle

Romain Tilhac*, Károly Hidas, Beñat Oliveira, Carlos J. Garrido*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


Crustal recycling in the Earth’s mantle is fingerprinted by trace-element and isotopic proxies in oceanic basalts. Positive Eu and Sr anomalies in primitive lavas and melt inclusions that are not otherwise enriched in Al2O3 are often interpreted as reflecting the presence of recycled, plagioclase-rich oceanic crust in their mantle source – referred to as “ghost plagioclase” signatures. Here, we report natural evidence of Eu anomalies and extreme crystal-scale heterogeneity developed kinetically in mantle peridotite clinopyroxene. Numerical modelling shows that diffusional fractionation between clinopyroxene and melts can account for this intra-crystal heterogeneity and generate Eu anomalies without requiring plagioclase. We demonstrate that kinetically induced Eu anomalies are likely to develop at temperatures, redox conditions and transport timescales compatible with the genesis of mid-ocean ridge and ocean island basalts. Our results show that, in the absence of converging lines of evidence such as radiogenic isotope data, ghost plagioclase signatures are not an unequivocal proxy for the presence of recycled crust in oceanic basalt sources.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1099
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2023

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Copyright the Author(s) 2023. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


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