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Constraints on mantle plumes from the helium isotopic composition of basalts from the British Tertiary Igneous Province

Stuart, F.M., Ellam, R.M., Harrop, P.J., Fitton, J.G., and Bell, B.R. (2000) Constraints on mantle plumes from the helium isotopic composition of basalts from the British Tertiary Igneous Province. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 177 (3-4). pp. 273-285. ISSN 0012-821X (doi:10.1016/S0012-821X(00)00050-9)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0012-821X(00)00050-9

Abstract

Helium isotopes have been measured in olivines from igneous rocks spanning the history of the Palaeocene volcanic centre at the Isle of Skye, northwest of Scotland. He-3/He-4 in olivine phenocrysts from basalts from the Skye Lava Field are up to 22 times the atmospheric ratio which is consistent with their origin from the proto-Iceland mantle plume despite being erupted 1300 km from the plume axis. The He-3-anomaly of the Palaeocene starting plume in the North Atlantic appears to have been up to three times greater, for the same distance from the plume axis, than the modern Iceland plume. The Pb isotope and trace element (Delta Nb) composition of the least crustally contaminated Skye magmas resemble North Atlantic MORB rather than Iceland basalts. The proto-Iceland plume head appears to have been dominated by upper mantle material with a small deep mantle He contribution rather than undiluted deep mantle material as predicted in the classic plume model.

Item Type:Article
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ellam, Prof Robert
Authors: Stuart, F.M., Ellam, R.M., Harrop, P.J., Fitton, J.G., and Bell, B.R.
Subjects:Q Science > QE Geology
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Earth and Planetary Science Letters
ISSN:0012-821X

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