Rift–plume interaction reveals multiple generations of recycled oceanic crust in Azores lavas

Paul Béguelin*, Michael Bizimis, Christoph Beier, Simon Turner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present 176Hf/177Hf isotope ratios on 41 previously well-characterized subaerial and submarine samples from the Azores islands of São Miguel, Terceira, Graciosa, Faial, Pico and the João de Castro seamount (on the Terceira Rift). In εNd–εHf isotope space all Azores lavas fall below the mantle array reference line and do not overlap the proximal Atlantic MORB. Lavas from São Miguel and João de Castro form two distinct and well defined arrays extending below the mantle array, which has not been previously documented in other oceanic magmatic provinces. The Nd-Hf isotope compositions of João de Castro overlap those of HIMU type lavas, yet they lack the characteristically radiogenic Pb isotope ratios of HIMU. The combined Nd-Hf-Pb-Sr isotope systematics of both São Miguel and João de Castro endmembers can be explained by recycling of a single package of heterogeneous oceanic crust ranging from D-MORB to E-MORB in composition, with an age between 2.5 and 3.0 Ga, with no requirement for parent-daughter ratio modification during subduction. In contrast the Nd-Hf-Pb isotope systematics of lavas from São Jorge, Terceira, Graciosa, Pico and Faial are consistent with the presence of younger (<700 Ma) recycled crust that underwent low-temperature alteration and dehydration during subduction. There is no evidence in the erupted lavas for direct mixing between these two generations of recycled material within the plume. These data suggest that old recycling age and absence of sediments along with recycled oceanic crust are both required to develop isotopic compositions below the mantle array in εNd–εHf space. Our modeling shows that the compositional variability of erupted MORB is large enough that, given enough time, they can generate a wide range of isotope compositions such as observed in OIB. Lastly, lava compositions along the Terceira rift can be explained by a westward asthenospheric flux along a tilted lithosphere/asthenosphere boundary, where fertile components are exhausted by partial melting after ∼70 km of transport along the Terceira Rift. While this observation is broadly consistent with the plume source–ridge sink model, it also suggests that the lithosphere/asthenosphere boundary geometry can smear the view of the plume heterogeneity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-152
Number of pages21
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Volume218
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

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Keywords

  • Azores
  • HIMU
  • Hf isotopes
  • recycled oceanic crust
  • triple ridge junction

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