Abstract

Dredged glass from the southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge near the Bouvet Triple Junction has unique major element, trace element, and isotopic composition, distinct from typical mid-ocean ridge basalts. It is a high-Mg (Mg# 67.8), high-Ni (NiO 290 ppm) andesite depleted in highly incompatible and heavy rare-earth elements with an isotopic signature of ancient continental lithosphere (i.e., low 206Pb/204Pb and 143Nd/144Nd and high 87Sr/86Sr and δ18O). The origin of this glass is attributed to melting of a Precambrian garnet-bearing, mafic lithology, possibly related to lower crustal blocks stranded in the upper mantle during breakup of Gondwana and opening of the Atlantic. This composition can be used to explain anomalous geochemical features of oceanic rocks in the Southern Hemisphere

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