Osmium-187 Enrichment in Some Plumes: Evidence for Core-Mantle Interaction?

Science  11 Aug 1995:
Vol. 269, Issue 5225, pp. 819-822
DOI: 10.1126/science.269.5225.819


Calculations with data for asteroidal cores indicate that Earth's outer core may have a rhenium/osmium ratio at least 20 percent greater than that of the chondritic upper mantle, potentially leading to an outer core with an osmium-187/osmium-188 ratio at least 8 percent greater than that of chondrites. Because of the much greater abundance of osmium in the outer core relative to the mantle, even a small addition of metal to a plume ascending from the D" layer would transfer the enriched isotopic signature to the mixture. Sources of certain plume-derived systems seem to have osmium-187/osmium-l88 ratios 5 to 20 percent greater than that for chondrites, consistent with the ascent of a plume from the core-mantle boundary.

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