Abstract

Forty-two fragments of young, fresh basalts, dredged from the Explorer Ridge, Paul Revere Ridge (Fracture Zone), and Dellwood Knolls, have been analysed for 34 major, minor, and trace elements, and 87Sr/86Sr ratios have been determined in seven of the fragments.The Explorer Ridge basalts have major element compositions similar to most mid-ocean ridge basalts (MORB), particularly to the iron-rich basalts of the southern Juan de Fuca Ridge. The basalts exhibit variability in trace element content, largely attributable to crystal fractionation at low pressure. With respect to MORB the incompatible minor and trace elements are weakly to strongly enriched in the Explorer samples, and are most strongly enriched in basalts from Explorer Deep. Adjacent ridge segments erupt basalts with variable incompatible element concentrations and ratios. This could be an indicator of a chemically heterogeneous mantle source, or may be the result of intermittent injection of enriched magmas from a hotspot beneath Explorer Deep. 87Sr/86Sr ratios are similar for both basalt types, and values are typical of most MORB.Based on their very different rare earth element patterns and 87Sr/86Sr ratios, the two Dellwood Knolls appear to have different mantle sources, one typically depleted and one chemically and radiogenically enriched.

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