Noble gas isotopic compositions of seamount lavas from the central Chile trench: Implications for petit-spot volcanism and the lithosphere asthenosphere boundary

Junji Yamamoto, Naoto Hirano, Mark D. Kurz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We report new noble gas isotopic compositions of submarine basaltic glasses sampled from two seamounts discovered offshore of Chile, and inferred to have erupted as petit-spot volcanoes near the Juan Fernández hotspot. The samples have 3He/4He of 1–15 times atmosphere (Ra). Their neon isotope compositions are similar to those of the Hawaiian Islands and Réunion Island. Their 40Ar/36Ar range from atmospheric to 2300. Although the lavas are likely to be influenced by a hotspot-related component, the cause of the 3He/4He variation must be clarified to ascertain the mantle source. Variations in 3He/4He are not attributable to processes occurring at the Earth's surface such as degassing fractionation, mixing with atmosphere dissolved in seawater, or in-situ post-eruptive addition of 4He. A combination of the Ne-Ar isotope ratios corrected for atmospheric influence and He isotope ratios indicates that the noble gas isotopes of the lavas are a mixture of a hotspot magma, MORB-source, and radiogenic components. The lower 3He/4He are attributed to assimilation with the oceanic lithosphere, suggesting that the pristine 3He/4He of the lavas is hotspot-like. These features can be interpreted as indicating that part of the Juan Fernández plume infiltrated the lithosphere–asthenosphere boundary (LAB), and that the ponding magma has erupted as petit-spot volcanoes because of plate bending. The noble gas data indicate that LAB can be a reservoir for exotic melts, which might have lubricated plate tectonics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116611
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume552
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 15 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science

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