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Helium and argon isotopic compositions of mantle xenoliths from Tallante and Calatrava, Spain

By M. Martelli, G. Bianchini, L. Beccaluva and A. Rizzo


We have analyzed by single-step crushing helium and argon isotopes in olivine and orthopyroxene from mantle xenoliths of Calatrava (CLV) in central Spain and Tallante (TL) in southeast Spain. The investigation focused on carefully selected samples previously characterized in terms of major and trace elements on both bulk rock and constituent minerals, and Sr and Nd isotopes on clinopyroxene separates. Six analyses were performed on protogranular spinel lherzolites from CLV, and 17 were performed on spinel harzburgites, lherzolites, and orthopyroxenites from TL. The 40Ar/36Ar ratio was between 296 and 622, indicating atmospheric contamination, which probably occurred during exposure to the surface. The helium-isotope ratio (3He/4He) ranged between 3.6 and 6.5 Ra in CLV samples and between 1.4 and 5.7 Ra in TL samples. There was a positive correlation between the 3He/4He and 4He/40Ar* ratios, possibly reflecting diffusive fractionation between 3He, 4He, and 40Ar within mantle sections interacting with ascending melts. However, the difference between the maximum 3He/4He ratios measured in CLV and TL appears to be related to significant differences in the metasomatic melts that affected the two sectors of the lithospheric mantle. In agreement with the findings of previous studies, the helium isotopes at CLV are compatible with metasomatism due to ascending HIMU-type asthenospheric melts. In contrast, the lower 3He/4He values recorded at TL suggest subduction-related metasomatic components that are possibly related to the Cenozoic subduction of the Betic system. Such event plausibly introduced crust-derived fluids that metasomatized the mantle wedge, slightly decreasing its 3He/4He value. Noble gases appear decoupled from other elements during these mantle processes, since comparatively low 3He/4He values have been recorded also in samples that are relatively unmetasomatized in terms of incompatible lithophile elements. We hypothesize a role for volatile-dominated, CO2-rich fluids progressively decoupling from the ascending metasomatic melts and migrating in the surrounding peridotite matrix to form a diffuse aureola enriched in noble gases

Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2010.11.015
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