UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Hawaiian hot spot dynamics as inferred from the Hf and Pb isotope evolution of Mauna Kea volcano. Weis, Dominique


The present work reports multiple collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS) measurements of the isotopic compositions of Hf and Pb in the first 3 km of the deep core retrieved by the Hawaii Scientific Drilling Project. The measurements cover all the samples from the standard geochemical reference set, glasses from the deep hole, and replicates from the pilot hole. Both Hf and Pb are less radiogenic in Mauna Loa compared to Mauna Kea. The transition between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa lavas in the deep core is progressive for εHf and 208Pb/204Pb, but a sharp discontinuity is observed for 208Pb*/206Pb*. There is no correlation between the alkalinity of the samples and isotopic composition. In detail, the Hf isotope compositions of samples from the pilot hole are not all identical to those of the HSDP-2 core for samples retrieved from a similar depth, suggesting that steep topography existed at the time of emplacement or that a different eruptive sequence was recorded. The strong correlation between 208Pb*/206Pb* and 3He/4He (He data from M. D. Kurz et al. (Rapid helium isotopic variability in Mauna Kea shield lavas from the Hawaiian Scientific Drilling Project, submitted to Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 2002)) requires the episodic incorporation of a component that resembles the basalts erupted by either Kilauea or the Loihi eruptive centers (this component is referred to as K/L). The data suggest that some 500 kyr ago, Mauna Kea was tapping a mantle source similar to that tapped by Kilauea today. Isotopic variability of Pb and He cannot be accounted for by radiogenic ingrowth in a closed system, but requires the mixing of mantle source components with distinct outgassing histories. The time series of isotopic and concentration data in Mauna Kea samples spanning about 350,000 years of age indicate the recurrence of geochemical patterns in the melting column. Ignoring the most recent alkalic samples, we find that the dominant fluctuations of εHf and 207Pb/204Pb correspond to a period of 50,000 years. For La/Yb, Zr/Nb, 87Sr/86Sr, 206Pb/204Pb, 207Pb/206Pb, and 208Pb/206Pb, a dominant period of ca. 18,000 years is obtained. Once provision is made for the existence of harmonics, the consistency between the isotopic spectrum of the pilot hole and the HDSP-2 core is very good. The input of the K/L component does not seem to be periodic. We use these recurrence intervals in conjunction with the upwelling rate deduced from buoyancy flux and seismic evidence of the maximum dimension of scatterers to constrain the radius of the Hawaiian plume conduit to be in the range of 10–50 km and the upwelling velocity to be in the range of 0.13–3 m/yr. Plausible vertical length scales of heterogeneities in the conduit are 6.5–160 km. An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright 2003 American Geophysical Union.

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