Detection of a Ca-rich lithology in the Earth's deep (>300 km) convecting mantle

Brenker, F.E. et al. (2005) Detection of a Ca-rich lithology in the Earth's deep (>300 km) convecting mantle. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 236, pp. 579-587. (doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2005.05.021)

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Abstract

Earth's deep convecting upper mantle is believed to represent a rather homogenous geochemical reservoir of spinel or garnet lherzolite with primitive major element and moderately depleted trace element composition. Only where subduction occurs is this homogeneity disrupted by a suite of rocks ranging from eclogites/garnet pyroxenites (former oceanic crust) to residual harzburgites. In addition to these well documented peridotitic and metabasaltic rocks we have now discovered the presence of a chemically distinct reservoir in the deep convecting upper mantle. In situ structural analyses (micro X-ray diffraction and micro Raman spectroscopy) and three-dimensional trace element mapping (confocal micro X-ray fluorescence imaging) of polyphase inclusions in a diamond from Guinea that formed at about 300–360 km depth reveal the existence of a deep Ca-rich source, in the absence of several common mantle minerals, like olivine, garnet and low-Ca pyroxene. This reservoir may represent metasomatized oceanic lithosphere (rodingites, ophicarbonates) or metamorphosed carbonaceous sediments.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Harris, Dr Jeff
Authors: Brenker, F.E., Vincze, L., Vekemans, B., Nasdala, L., Stachel, T., Vollmer, C., Kersten, M., Somogyi, A., Adams, F., Joswig, W., and Harris, J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Earth and Planetary Science Letters

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