Tungsten in Hawaiian picrites: A compositional model for the sources of Hawaiian lavas

Thomas J. Ireland, Ricardo Arevalo, Richard J. Walker, William F. McDonough

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Concentrations of tungsten (W) and uranium (U), which represent two of the most highly incompatible elements during mantle melting, have been measured in a suite of Hawaiian picrites and primitive tholeiites from nine main-stage shield volcanoes. Tungsten abundances in the parental melts are estimated from correlations between sample W abundances and MgO contents, and/or by olivine correction calculations. From these parental melt determinations, along with independent estimates for the degree of partial melting at each volcanic center, we extrapolate the W content of the mantle sources for each shield volcano. The mantle sources of Hualalai, Mauna Loa, Kohala, Kilauea, Mauna Kea, Koolau and Loihi contain 9 ± 2 (2σ), 11 ± 5, 10 ± 4, 12 ± 4, 10 ± 5, 8 ± 7 and 11 ± 5 ng/g, respectively. When combined, the mean Hawaiian source has an average of 10 ± 3 ng/g W, which is three-times as enriched as the Depleted MORB Mantle (DMM; 3.0 ± 2.3 ng/g). The relatively high abundances of W in the mantle sources that contribute to Hawaiian lavas may be explained as a consequence of the recycling of W-rich oceanic crust and sediment into a depleted mantle source, such as the depleted MORB mantle (DMM). However, this scenario requires varying proportions of recycled materials with different mean ages to account for the diversity of radiogenic isotope compositions observed between Kea- and Loa-trend volcanoes. Alternatively, the modeled W enrichments may also reflect a primary source component that is less depleted in incompatible trace elements than the DMM. Such a source would not necessarily require the addition of recycled materials, although the presence of some recycled crust is permitted within our model parameters and likely accounts for some of the isotopic variations between volcanic centers. The physical admixture of ≤0.5 wt.% outer core material with the Hawaiian source region would not be resolvable via W source abundances or W/U ratios; however, W isotopes may provide a more sensitive to this mixing process. Recent W isotopic studies show no indication of core-mantle interaction, indicating that either such a process does not occur, or that mechanisms other than physical mixing may operate at the core-mantle boundary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4517-4530
Number of pages14
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Aug 1


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