Argon-Lead Isotopic Correlation in Mid-Atlantic Ridge Basalts

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Science  29 Jan 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5402, pp. 666-668
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5402.666

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Step-heating analyses for Mid-Atlantic Ridge glass samples show that maximum 40Ar/36Ar values correlate with206,207,208Pb/204Pb. These correlations hold for the whole Atlantic Ocean and therefore are unlikely to result from shallow-level contamination processes. Instead, they are taken as mixing hyperbolae between the degassed-depleted upper mantle and a recycled component characterized by high206Pb/204Pb ratios (19 to 21) and low40Ar/36Ar ratios (300 to 1000). These relations imply that argon may also be a tracer of mantle recycling.

  • Present address: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, Clarke Building, 360 Woods Hole Road, Mail Stop 25, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA.

  • Present address: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise, 14RN3, le 27e Km, 97418 La Plaine des Cafres, La Réunion, France.

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