Light Stable Isotopic Compositions of Enriched Mantle Sources: Resolving the Dehydration Paradox

J. E. Dixon, I. N. Bindeman, R. H. Kingsley, K. K. Simons, P. J. Le Roux, T. R. Hajewski, P. Swart, C. H. Langmuir, J. G. Ryan, K. J. Walowski, I. Wada, P. J. Wallace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Volatile and stable isotope data provide tests of mantle processes that give rise to mantle heterogeneity. New data on enriched mid-oceanic ridge basalts (MORB) show a diversity of enriched components. Pacific PREMA-type basalts (H2O/Ce = 215 ± 30, δDSMOW = −45 ± 5 ‰) are similar to those in the northern Atlantic (H2O/Ce = 220 ± 30; δDSMOW = −30 to −40 ‰). Basalts with EM-type signatures have regionally variable volatile compositions. Northern Atlantic EM-type basalts are wetter (H2O/Ce = 330 ± 30) and have isotopically heavier hydrogen (δDSMOW = −57 ± 5 ‰) than northern Atlantic MORB. Southern Atlantic EM-type basalts are damp (H2O/Ce = 120 ± 10) with intermediate δDSMOW (−68 ± 2 ‰), similar to δDSMOW for Pacific MORB. Northern Pacific EM-type basalts are dry (H2O/Ce = 110 ± 20) and isotopically light (δDSMOW = −94 ± 3 ‰). A multistage metasomatic and melting model accounts for the origin of the enriched components by extending the subduction factory concept down through the mantle transition zone, with slab temperature a key variable. Volatiles and their stable isotopes are decoupled from lithophile elements, reflecting primary dehydration of the slab followed by secondary rehydration, infiltration, and re-equilibration by fluids derived from dehydrating subcrustal hydrous phases (e.g., antigorite) in cooler, deeper parts of the slab. Enriched mantle sources form by addition of <1% carbonated eclogite ± sediment-derived C-O-H-Cl fluids to depleted mantle at 180–280 km (EM) or within the transition zone (PREMA).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3801-3839
Number of pages39
JournalGeochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • mantle geochemistry
  • metasomatism
  • oceanic basalt
  • stable isotopes
  • subduction
  • volatiles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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