REE inverse modeling of HSDP2 basalts: Evidence for multiple sources in the Hawaiian plume

Mark D. Feigenson, Louise L. Bolge, Michael J. Carr, Claude T. Herzberg

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The rare earth element (REE) concentrations of lavas from the Hawaiian Scientific Drilling Project (HSDP2) can be used to provide additional constraints on phase equilibria and the nature of the Hawaiian source. Major element analyses separate Mauna Kea lavas into two distinct populations, a high-silica and a low-silica suite. The low-silica samples can be separated stratigraphically into an upper low-silica alkalic series and a low-silica tholeiitic group that occurs deeper in the section. These contrasting groups could result from different extents of source partial fusion, or lithologically distinct source regions, or some combination of both factors. Petrologic modeling is performed to calculate that primary magma compositions contain about 20% MgO, and can be formed by 8-15% melting of a depleted mantle source for low-silica alkalic and high-silica lavas, respectively. The low-silica tholeiites could be generated by higher degrees of melting of a more fertile source. REE ratios and various isotopic systems reinforce the division of the low-SiO2 samples into the upper alkalic series, characterized by high Gd/Yb, and the deeper low-silica tholeiitic group, with low Gd/Yb. REE inverse modeling of fractionation-corrected basalts is consistent with lower degrees of melting to generate the late-stage alkalic lavas, with garnet present as a residual phase. The relatively constant Gd/Yb for low-silica tholeiites suggests that garnet is not an important residual phase during partial melting, implying higher extents of melting. The low-silica tholeiites are characterized by relatively enriched isotopic signatures that are consistent with contributions from a primitive source or from recycled subduction components. High 3He/4He associated with the lowsilica lavas could derive from primitive mantle, mass transfer from the core, or from a refractory lithospheric contribution to a recycled subduction package. However, the combination of major element, REE and isotopic data suggests that the deeper low-silica suite is sampling the relatively fertile, interior part of the Hawaiian plume, whereas the high-silica lavas are extracted from the more depleted periphery; later alkalic lavas are generated from a depleted source as the volcano moves off the hot spot.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8706
JournalGeochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


  • Geochemistry
  • Hawaii
  • Rare earth elements


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