Noble gas abundances in basaltic glasses from ocean islands (OIBs) are generally lower than those of mid-oceanic ridge basalts (MORBs), contrary to most geodynamic models which usually require that the source of OIBs is less degassed (resulting in higher primordial noble gas abundances) and more trace element enriched (resulting in higher radiogenic noble gas abundances) than the MORB source. Therefore, noble gas abundances in OIBs are often thought to have been reduced by extensive gas loss from the magma before eruption. The extent of magmatic degassing can be tested as it will cause characteristic changes in the composition of the volatiles; notably the 4He/40Ar* ratio (where 40Ar* is 40Ar corrected for atmospheric contamination) will increase in residual volatiles due to the higher solubility of He relative to Ar. The degree of He-Ar fractionation for a given fraction of gas loss depends on the ratio of the solubilities, SHe/SAr, which is sensitive to (among other things) the CO2 and H2O content of the basalt at the time of degassing. From a global database of OIB and MORB glasses, we show that 4He/40Ar* ratios of MORB glasses are broadly consistent with degassing of a magma with an initial 40Ar ≈1.5 × 10-5 ccSTP/g, i.e., similar to that of the "popping rock." However, OIB glasses generally have lower 40Ar* concentration for a given 4He/40Ar*. While this would appear to require lower 40Ar* abundances in the undegassed OIB magmas, the higher volatile contents of OIBs will reduce SHe/ SAr (relative to MORBs) during degassing. By modeling SHe/SAr in OIBs, it is possible to show that extensive degassing of OIBs can occur without dramatically increasing the 4He/40Ar* ratio. We show that undegassed 40Ar concentrations of OIB magmas were probably similar to those of MORBs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geochemistry and Petrology