In search of a hidden long-term isolated sub-chondritic 142Nd/144Nd reservoir in the deep mantle : implications for the Nd isotope systematics of the Earth

Murphy, David T., Brandon, Alan, Debaille, Vinciane, Burgess, Ray, & Ballentine, Chris (2010) In search of a hidden long-term isolated sub-chondritic 142Nd/144Nd reservoir in the deep mantle : implications for the Nd isotope systematics of the Earth. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 74(2), pp. 738-750.

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Here we search for evidence of the existence of a sub-chondritic 142Nd/144Nd reservoir that balances the Nd isotope chemistry of the Earth relative to chondrites. If present, it may reside in the source region of deeply sourced mantle plume material. We suggest that lavas from Hawai’i with coupled elevations in 186Os/188Os and 187Os/188Os, from Iceland that represent mixing of upper mantle and lower mantle components, and from Gough with sub-chondritic 143Nd/144Nd and high 207Pb/206Pb, are favorable samples that could reflect mantle sources that have interacted with an Early-Enriched Reservoir (EER) with sub-chondritic 142Nd/144Nd.

High-precision Nd isotope analyses of basalts from Hawai’i, Iceland and Gough demonstrate no discernable 142Nd/144Nd deviation from terrestrial standards. These data are consistent with previous high-precision Nd isotope analysis of recent mantle-derived samples and demonstrate that no mantle-derived material to date provides evidence for the existence of an EER in the mantle.

We then evaluate mass balance in the Earth with respect to both 142Nd/144Nd and 143Nd/144Nd. The Nd isotope systematics of EERs are modeled for different sizes and timing of formation relative to ε143Nd estimates of the reservoirs in the μ142Nd = 0 Earth, where μ142Nd is ((measured 142Nd/144Nd/terrestrial standard 142Nd/144Nd)−1 * 10−6) and the μ142Nd = 0 Earth is the proportion of the silicate Earth with 142Nd/144Nd indistinguishable from the terrestrial standard. The models indicate that it is not possible to balance the Earth with respect to both 142Nd/144Nd and 143Nd/144Nd unless the μ142Nd = 0 Earth has a ε143Nd within error of the present-day Depleted Mid-ocean ridge basalt Mantle source (DMM). The 4567 Myr age 142Nd–143Nd isochron for the Earth intersects μ142Nd = 0 at ε143Nd of +8 ± 2 providing a minimum ε143Nd for the μ142Nd = 0 Earth. The high ε143Nd of the μ142Nd = 0 Earth is confirmed by the Nd isotope systematics of Archean mantle-derived rocks that consistently have positive ε143Nd.

If the EER formed early after solar system formation (0–70 Ma) continental crust and DMM can be complementary reservoirs with respect to Nd isotopes, with no requirement for significant additional reservoirs. If the EER formed after 70 Ma then the μ142Nd = 0 Earth must have a bulk ε143Nd more radiogenic than DMM and additional high ε143Nd material is required to balance the Nd isotope systematics of the Earth.

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22 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 29008
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Earth’s early history, Nd isotopes, Ocean Island basalts, Mass balance in the Earth
DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2009.10.005
ISSN: 0016-7037
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EARTH SCIENCES (040000) > GEOCHEMISTRY (040200) > Isotope Geochemistry (040203)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EARTH SCIENCES (040000) > GEOLOGY (040300) > Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology (040304)
Divisions: Past > Schools > Biogeoscience
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Elsevier
Copyright Statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, [VOL 74, ISSUE 2, (2010)] DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2009.10.005
Deposited On: 02 Dec 2009 00:31
Last Modified: 30 Oct 2013 04:01

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