Barium isotope composition of depleted MORB mantle constrained by basalts from the South Mid-Atlantic Ridge (5–11°S) with implication for recycled components in the convecting upper mantle

Fei Wu, Simon Turner, Kaj Hoernle, Folkmar Hauff, Bruce F. Schaefer, Thomas Kokfelt, Ilya Bindeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Stable barium (Ba) isotopes are emerging as tracers for the recycling of crustal material into the mantle. Small but significant Ba isotope variations have been found in global MORB (δ138/134Ba values of −0.04‰ to 0.15‰), but the processes causing these Ba isotope variations remain poorly understood. In addition, uncertainties still exist in the estimate of the Ba isotope composition of the depleted upper mantle. Here, we present a systematic study of Ba isotopes for well-characterized MORB glass samples from the South Mid-Atlantic Ridge (SMAR) between 5 and 11°S, which span a wide range of radiogenic isotope ratios and trace element contents. Our results show that the northernmost segment A0 basalts with highly depleted radiogenic isotope compositions have δ138/134Ba values ranging from −0.02 to 0.05‰. In comparison, the δ138/134Ba values of the isotopically enriched basalts from the A1-A4 segments vary from 0.02 to 0.11‰. Thus, while small, the enriched components involved can be observed to modify the Ba isotope composition of the mantle source beneath A1-A4 segments. Combining our new measurements with literature data, this study places new constraints on the Ba isotope composition of the depleted upper mantle, as well as the origin of Ba isotope heterogeneity in MORB. The Ba isotope composition of the depleted upper mantle in the absence of recycled components is estimated to have a δ138/134Ba value of 0.03 to 0.05‰, which can be adopted as the baseline for using Ba isotope ratios as a tracer of mass transfer processes between the crust and mantle. In comparison, global MORB have δ138/134Ba values ranging from −0.04‰ to 0.15‰. No global correlation is observed between Ba isotope ratios and geochemical parameters that record mantle enrichment, indicating that the Ba isotope variations in MORB cannot be simply ascribed to the addition of some single component, such as sediment. Models for melting and mixing between recycled materials and depleted mantle suggest that the variable Ba isotope compositions of the enriched MORB require a contribution from recycled altered oceanic crust and crustal sedimentary materials. Therefore, these recycled components both play important roles in the chemical budget of the convecting upper mantle, especially for incompatible elements such as Ba.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-98
Number of pages14
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Volume340
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023

Keywords

  • Ba isotope
  • Depleted upper mantle
  • Mantle heterogeneity
  • Mid-ocean-ridge basalt
  • South Atlantic Ocean

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 4: Mineral Resources

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