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Azores mantle blob: rare-earth evidence
Schilling, J.-G. (1975). Azores mantle blob: rare-earth evidence. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 25(2): 103-115
In: Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 0012-821X, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Schilling, J.-G.

    Rare earths (RE) in basalts erupted within the rift of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge show a progressive change from light-RE enriched to depleted patterns from the Azores Platform (40°N) down to 33°30'N. South, the pattern remains light-RE depleted as along other “normal ridge” segments. A progressive increase in chemical variability of the basalts towards the Azores is also noted.The latitudinal RE profile and corresponding SFeO/SFeO + MgO variations, together, indicate that the origin of these basalts cannot be accounted for simply by considering variable extents of partial melting of a single mantle source and subsequent fractional crystallization during the ascent of the magmas. These two processes produce only second-order effects on the RE patterns. The data requires the presence of a distinct, light-RE richer, mantle source beneath the Azores Platform relative to that of south of 33°30'N and an intermediate zone where both mantle types mix. The relative contribution of the Azores mantle source to the mix appears to decrease fairly regularly southward along the ridge and becomes negligible at 33°30'N. Increasing chemical variability of the basalts towards the Azores is probably caused by correspondingly larger extent of fractional crystallization at shallow depth, and/or greater variability in the extent of partial melting, apparently subsequent to, and superimposed on the mixing of the two mantle sources.

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