Heavy Nitrogen in Carbonatites of the Kola Peninsula: A Possible Signature of the Deep Mantle

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Science  24 Dec 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5449, pp. 2488-2490
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5449.2488

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Nitrogen and argon isotopes were measured in carbonatites and associated rocks from the Kola Peninsula in Russia. The Kola mantle source, which is thought to be located in the deep mantle, is enriched in heavy nitrogen (+3 per mil relative to air) as compared to Earth's surface (atmosphere and crust, +2 per mil) and the shallow mantle (–4 per mil). Recycling of oceanic crust (+6 per mil) or metal-silicate partitioning may account for the nitrogen isotopic composition of the deep mantle.

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