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The global pattern of trace-element distributions in ocean floor basalts

O'Neill, Hugh St.C. and Jenner, Frances E. (2012). The global pattern of trace-element distributions in ocean floor basalts. Nature, 491(7426) pp. 698–704.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1038/nature11678
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Abstract

The magmatic layers of the oceanic crust are created at constructive plate margins by partial melting of the mantle as it wells up. The chemistry of ocean floor basalts, the most accessible product of this magmatism, is studied for the insights it yields into the compositional heterogeneity of the mantle and its thermal structure. However, before eruption, parental magma compositions are modified at crustal pressures by a process that has usually been assumed to be fractional crystallization. Here we show that the global distributions of trace elements in ocean floor basalts describe a systematic pattern that cannot be explained by simple fractional crystallization alone, but is due to cycling of magma through the global ensemble of magma chambers. Variability in both major and incompatible trace-element contents about the average global pattern is due to fluctuations in the magma fluxes into and out of the chambers, and their depth, as well as to differences in the composition of the parental magmas.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited.
ISSN: 0028-0836
Keywords: geochemistry; petrology; volcanology
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
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Item ID: 38162
Depositing User: Frances Jenner
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2013 09:45
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 10:17
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/38162
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