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The Nature of Pristine Noble Gases in Mantle Plumes

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Science  12 May 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5468, pp. 1036-1038
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5468.1036

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Abstract

High-precision noble gas data show that the Hawaiian and Icelandic mantle plume sources contain uniquely primitive neon that is composed of moderately nucleogenic neon-21 and a primordial component indistinguishable from the meteoritic occurrence of solar neon. This suggests that Earth's solar-type rare gas inventory was acquired during accretion from small planetesimals previously irradiated by solar wind from the early sun. However, nonradiogenic argon, krypton, and xenon isotopes derived from the mantle display nonsolar compositions and indicate an atmosphere-like fingerprint that is not due to recent subduction.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: trieloff{at}pluto.mpi-hd.mpg.de

  • Present address: Mineralogisches Institut, Universität Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 236, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany.

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