Melting and Mantle Sources in the Azores.

Beier, Christoph, Haase, Karsten M. and Brandl, Philipp A. (2018) Melting and Mantle Sources in the Azores. In: Volcanoes of the Azores. , ed. by Kueppers, U. and Beier, C.. Volcanoes of the World . Springer, Berlin, pp. 251-280. DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-32226-6_11.

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The Azores archipelago is geochemically distinct amongst the oceanic intraplate volcanoes in that it has trace element and radiogenic Sr–Nd–Pb–Hf isotope signatures that cover much of the global variation observed in Ocean Island Basalts. Thus, it is the prime example of an intraplate melting anomaly preserving the compositional heterogeneity of the Earth’s mantle. Here, we review the trace element and radiogenic isotope geochemistry of the Azores islands and few submarine samples analysed and published over the past decades and summarise these findings and conclusions. The volcanoes of all islands erupted lavas of the alkaline series and their compositions broadly range from basalts to trachytes (see also Chapter “ Petrology of the Azores Islands” by Larrea et al.). Temperatures and pressures of melting imply that melting in the Azores occurs as a result of both slightly increased temperatures in the mantle (~35 °C) and addition of volatile elements into the mantle source. Basalts from the island of São Miguel show a stronger enrichment in highly incompatible elements like K and the Light Rare Earth Elements than the other islands further to the west. The older and easternmost island Santa Maria has lavas that are more silica-undersaturated than the rocks occurring on the younger islands. Each of the eastern islands shows a different and distinct radiogenic isotope composition and much of this variability can be explained by variably enriched recycled components of different age in their source regions. Amongst the global array, the lavas from eastern São Miguel are uniquely enriched in that they display radiogenic 206Pb/204Pb, 208Pb/204Pb and 87Sr/86Sr isotope ratios best explained by a distinct source in the mantle. The implication of the preservation of such unique, enriched sources in the mantle may indicate that stirring processes in the Azores mantle are not efficiently homogenising heterogeneities over the timescales of recycling of 0.1–1 Ga and possibly even up to 2.5 Ga. One possible explanation is the low buoyancy flux of the Azores mantle when compared to other intraplate settings. The preservation of these source signatures in the lavas on the easternmost Azores islands are the result of smaller degrees of partial melting due to a thicker lithosphere. This likely prevents a homogenisation during magma ascent compared to the western islands, preferentially sampling deep, low degree partial melts from the more fertile mantle sources. The geochemical signatures of the two islands west of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (Corvo and Flores) imply a source enrichment and degrees of partial melting similar to those east of the ridge. Melting underneath the western islands is the result of a source that must be related to the Azores melting anomaly but has been modified by shallow level processes such as assimilation of oceanic crustal material.

Document Type: Book chapter
Keywords: Azores, Volcanoes, Ocean Islands, Geochemistry, Petrology, Mantle, Isotopes
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-MUHS > Marine Mineralische Rohstoffe
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-MUHS
DOI etc.: 10.1007/978-3-642-32226-6_11
ISSN: 2195-3589
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2018 09:07
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2018 09:14

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