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Contrasting origins of the upper mantle revealed by hafnium and lead isotopes from the Southeast Indian Ridge

A Corrigendum to this article was published on 02 December 2004

Abstract

The origin of the isotopic signature of Indian mid-ocean ridge basalts has remained enigmatic, because the geochemical composition of these basalts is consistent either with pollution from recycled, ancient altered oceanic crust and sediments, or with ancient continental crust or lithosphere. The radiogenic isotopic signature may therefore be the result of contamination of the upper mantle by plumes containing recycled altered ancient oceanic crust and sediments1, detachment and dispersal of continental material into the shallow mantle during rifting and breakup of Gondwana2, or contamination of the upper mantle by ancient subduction processes3,4. The identification of a process operating on a scale large enough to affect major portions of the Indian mid-ocean ridge basalt source region has been a long-standing problem. Here we present hafnium and lead isotope data from across the Indian–Pacific mantle boundary at the Australian–Antarctic discordance region of the Southeast Indian Ridge, which demonstrate that the Pacific and Indian upper mantle basalt source domains were each affected by different mechanisms. We infer that the Indian upper-mantle isotope signature in this region is affected mainly by lower continental crust entrained during Gondwana rifting, whereas the isotope signature of the Pacific upper mantle is influenced predominantly by ocean floor subduction-related processes.

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Figure 1: Regional setting of the AAD along the SEIR between Australia and Antarctica, schematic tectonic summary, and sample dredge locations.
Figure 2: The ɛHf, ɛNd and 206Pb/204Pb variations of MORB from the AAD region of the SEIR.
Figure 3: Contrasting Δ208Pb and ɛHf isotopic variations for MORB from the AAD (this work) and the Indian Ocean basin21 in general, versus the Pacific Ocean basin21.

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful for comments from D. Graham. We thank P. Télouk for help with the Plasma 54. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation and the Institut National des Sciences de l'Univers.

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Correspondence to Barry B. Hanan.

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Supplementary information

Supplementary Table 1

Hf, Nd, and Pb isotopic compositions and latitude and longitude of MORB from the Australian–Antarctic discordance, Southeast Indian Ridge. Includes legend. (DOC 145 kb)

Supplementary Figure 1

Longitude versus εHf and Δ208Pb for MORB from the Australian–Antarctic discordance, Southeast Indian Ridge. Includes legend. (PDF 33 kb)

Supplementary Data 1

Supplementary references for the Hf, Nd, and Pb isotopic compositions and latitude and longitude of MORB from the Supplementary Table legend. (DOC 20 kb)

Supplementary Data 2

Supplementary references for schematic tectonics shown in Figure 1a. (DOC 19 kb)

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Hanan, B., Blichert-Toft, J., Pyle, D. et al. Contrasting origins of the upper mantle revealed by hafnium and lead isotopes from the Southeast Indian Ridge. Nature 432, 91–94 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature03026

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