Abstract

Concentrations of noble metals (Ir, Ru, Rh, Pt, Pd, and Au) in ocean-island basalts from the Cook Islands, Polynesia, were determined by improved fire-assay and tellurium coprecipitation techniques with an inductively-coupled-plasma mass spectrometer. Isotope, major element, and trace element compositions of these basalts indicate that the present samples include distinctive HIMU (high µ = high 238U/204Pb) and normal non-HIMU basalts. Examination based on Ni-Mg-Fe partitioning between olivine and liquid suggests an only minor effect of accumulation of phenocrysts in governing the compositional variations of the present samples. The fractionation trends obtained show monotonic decrease and increase in noble-metal elements with decreasing MgO content in HIMU and non-HIMU basalts, respectively. These characteristic trends indicate that HIMU magmas are differentiated by fractional crystallization and have higher sulfide/silicate ratios than non-HIMU basalts.

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