Pb Isotopic Variability in Melt Inclusions from Oceanic Island Basalts, Polynesia

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Science  20 Nov 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5393, pp. 1481-1484
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5393.1481

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Previous studies have suggested that melting processes are responsible for the trace element variability observed in olivine-hosted basaltic melt inclusions. Melt inclusions from three individual lava samples (two from Mangaia, Cook Islands, and one from Tahaa, Society Islands) have heterogeneous Pb isotopic compositions, even though the erupted lavas are isotopically homogeneous. The range of Pb isotopic compositions from individual melt inclusions spans 50 percent of the worldwide range observed for ocean island basalts. The melt inclusion data can be explained by two-component mixing for each island. Our data imply that magmas with different isotopic compositions existed in the volcanic plumbing system before or during melt aggregation.

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