Tracing a Plume

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Science  05 Jan 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5501, pp. 15
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5501.15d

The Hawaiian islands are a chain of basaltic volcanoes within the Pacific Plate and may represent the surface manifestation of a classic hot spot plume. Chemical analyses of the concentrations of trace elements such as noble gases or the platinum group elements in the lavas have suggested that the plume samples the core-mantle boundary. Recent Os isotopic data has been explained by either the addition of Os from the metallic core, implying a core-mantle boundary source, or the addition of Os from recycled oceanic crust, implying a shallow crustal source. Bennett et al. have measured the platinum group elements and Re from different volcanoes and found variations in these elements that are not consistent with either model. They suggest that variable amounts of residual sulfides in the magma reservoir may be producing these variations. — LR

Earth Planet. Sci. Lett.183, 513 (2000).

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