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The Characterisation and Temporal Evolution of the South Atlantic Plume


We propose to bring Dr David Murphy, (PhD Brisbane) to Manchester University to be trained in the application of noble gases and Arrear dating in combination with the Pub isotope techniques he obtained in his PhD studies. Further training and mentoring of a young scientist attracted back to Europe will improve European competitiveness and scientific excellence within the community. Ocean island basalts (OIB) represent the surface expression of plumes from the deep mantle. OIB, however, represent mixtures of material from both the deep and upper mantle. Agrochemical tools have to resolve the contributions from different source components in OIB. The South Atlantic Plume is ideal system to investigate the spatial and temporal evolution of the source components of OIB. This is because of the well-preserved record of 130 Ma of near continuous single plume volcanism creating the ocean islands of Dristan ad Conga, Inaccessible, Nightingale, and Gough, and the Etendeka igneous province, Namibia. Samples available from these locations will be analysed for trace element, major element, Pub isotope and noble gas isotopes as well as Arrear dates. Together, these techniques are a powerful tool for characterisation of the end member OIB components. There is a genetic link between Pub and He isotope generation by U decay. This is of great importance for the South Atlantic OIB because of their unusually high 207Pb/206Pb ratios that have variously been interpreted to represent ancient sub ducted material in the mantle and very primitive unfractionated mantle. These different models can be tested by the combined Pub and He isotope data base of this study. The debate over the existence of primitive mantle in the source of OIBOIB is of paramount importance for understanding the preservation of agrochemical reservoirs in the deep mantle, the source and role of plumes in the temporal evolution of the mantle over the history of the Earth.

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Oxford Road
United Kingdom

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