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Constraints on mantle melting at mid-ocean ridges from global 238U–230Th disequilibrium data

Abstract

The extent of radioactive disequilibrium between 238U and its daughter product 230Th in mid-ocean-ridge basalts from around the world is negatively correlated with axial ridge depth; local positive correlations with inferred mantle source composition are also observed. The larger 230Th excesses seen in samples from shallow ridges reflect a larger melt contribution from a garnet-bearing source which may be explained by a deepening of the solidus in hotter mantle regions. These observations provide important constraints for modelling melt generation at mid-ocean ridges.

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Bourdon, B., Zindler, A., Elliott, T. et al. Constraints on mantle melting at mid-ocean ridges from global 238U–230Th disequilibrium data. Nature 384, 231–235 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1038/384231a0

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