Research Article

182W Evidence for Long-Term Preservation of Early Mantle Differentiation Products

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Science  16 Feb 2012:
DOI: 10.1126/science.1216351


Late accretion, early mantle differentiation, and core-mantle interaction are processes that could have created subtle 182W isotopic heterogeneities within Earth's mantle. Tungsten isotopic data for 2.8 Ga Kostomuksha komatiites show a well-resolved 182W excess relative to modern terrestrial samples, whereas data for 3.5 Ga Komati komatiites show no excess. Combined 182W, 186,187Os, and 142,143Nd isotopic data indicate that the mantle source of the Kostomuksha komatiites included material from a primordial reservoir that represents either a deep mantle region that underwent metal-silicate equilibration, or a product of large-scale magmatic differentiation of the mantle. The preservation of this reservoir, likely formed within the first 30 Myr of solar system history, until at least 2.8 Ga, indicates that the mantle may have never been well mixed.