Mantle plumes and entrainment: isotopic evidence. Academic Article uri icon


  • Many oceanic island basalts show sublinear subparallel arrays in Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic space. The depleted upper mantle is rarely a mixing end-member of these arrays, as would be expected if mantle plumes originated at a 670-kilometer boundary layer and entrained upper mantle during ascent. Instead, the arrays are fan-shaped and appear to converge on a volume in isotopic space characterized by low (87)Sr/(86)Sr and high (143)Nd/(144)Nd, (206)Pb/(204)Pb, and (3)He/(4)He ratios. This new isotopic component may be the lower mantle, entrained into plumes originating from the core-mantle boundary layer.

publication date

  • April 24, 1992