Hofmann Albrecht W.

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Albrecht W.

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  • Article
    FOZO, HIMU, and the rest of the mantle zoo
    (American Geophysical Union, 2005-05-19) Stracke, Andreas ; Hofmann, Albrecht W. ; Hart, Stanley R.
    The parameter μ describes the 238U/204Pb ratio of an Earth reservoir. Mantle domains labeled HIMU (high μ) originally defined reservoirs with highly radiogenic Pb isotope ratios observed in basalts from a select number of ocean islands, St. Helena in the Atlantic Ocean and the Cook-Austral islands in the South Pacific Ocean. While some authors use the term HIMU in this original sense, others refer to HIMU as a widespread component in many mid-ocean ridge and ocean island basalt (MORB and OIB) sources. Here we show that highly radiogenic Pb isotope signatures in MORB and OIB originate from two different sources. In addition to the classical HIMU component observed at St. Helena and the South Pacific (named HIMU in the following), we define a component with slightly less radiogenic Pb but significantly more radiogenic Sr isotope signatures. This component lies at the extension of the (Atlantic and Pacific) MORB array in a Sr-Pb isotope ratio diagram and is argued to be a ubiquitous component in MORB and many OIB sources. The inferred role of this component in the mantle and its inferred genetic origin closely resemble those originally suggested for a mantle component termed FOZO by Hart and coworkers. By redefining the composition, the origin, and the role of FOZO in the mantle, we establish a simple conceptual framework that explains the isotopic variability in both MORB and OIB with the lowest number of components. OIB are grouped into HIMU-type OIB and basalts from islands that diverge from the MORB-FOZO array toward various isotopically “enriched” compositions (EM). The apparent ubiquity of FOZO in the mantle and the calculated isotopic evolution of compositionally diverse MORB suggest that normal mantle melting and continuous subduction and aging of that crust during recycling through the mantle are the dominant causes of the MORB-FOZO array. In contrast to FOZO, HIMU-type OIB are quite rare, and if an origin by recycling of oceanic crust is also postulated, the production of HIMU sources has to be a special and rare combination of age and composition of subduction-modified recycled oceanic crust.
  • Article
    Archean cratonic mantle recycled at a mid-ocean ridge
    (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2022-04-15) Liu, Chuan-Zhou ; Dick, Henry J. B. ; Mitchell, Ross N. ; Wei, Wu ; Zhang, Zhen-Yu ; Hofmann, Albrecht W. ; Yang, Jian-Feng ; Li, Yang
    Basalts and mantle peridotites of mid-ocean ridges are thought to sample Earth’s upper mantle. Osmium isotopes of abyssal peridotites uniquely preserve melt extraction events throughout Earth history, but existing records only indicate ages up to ~2 billion years (Ga) ago. Thus, the memory of the suspected large volumes of mantle lithosphere that existed in Archean time (>2.5 Ga) has apparently been lost somehow. We report abyssal peridotites with melt-depletion ages up to 2.8 Ga, documented by extremely unradiogenic 187Os/188Os ratios (to as low as 0.1095) and refractory major elements that compositionally resemble the deep keels of Archean cratons. These oceanic rocks were thus derived from the once-extensive Archean continental keels that have been dislodged and recycled back into the mantle, the feasibility of which we confirm with numerical modeling. This unexpected connection between young oceanic and ancient continental lithosphere indicates an underappreciated degree of compositional recycling over time.