Consistent 3He/4He ratios have been measured for >25 years in geothermal fluids and gases from Cumbre Vieja, La Palma (9.4 ± 0.1RA, where RA is the 3He/4He of air), and Teide, Tenerife (6.8 ± 0.3RA), Canary Islands. Both locations are characterized by similar CO2/3He (~2 to 4 × 109), mantle-like δ13C (–3.3‰ to –4.4‰) and CO2 output (0.1–0.2 × 1010 mol yr–1). Helium isotopic differences between the islands cannot be explained by differential aging and 4He ingrowth in their mantle sources. Instead, distinct He reservoirs exist, with a high-μ (HIMU)–type mantle source for La Palma and a more enriched mantle, with possible lithospheric mantle influence, for Tenerife. Geothermal samples from the Canary Islands record a present-day He distribution distinct from higher 3He/4He in olivine from older eastern Canary Island lavas, indicating temporal variability in sources. Comparison of geothermal sample data versus olivine, pyroxene, and glass He isotope data for the Canary Islands, Azores, Cape Verde, Hawaiian islands, and Iceland reveals generally good correspondence, even across >1 m.y. of stratigraphy. However, in addition to the Canary Islands, there are examples of inter-island heterogeneity for He isotopes at Hawaii, the Azores, and within Iceland, preserved in hydrothermal samples, minerals, and glasses. In particular, in northwest Iceland, olivine separates from older lavas preserve higher 3He/4He than present-day geothermal samples from the same region. This difference likely reflects a reduced mantle-derived 3He input to Icelandic magmatism since the Miocene. Temporal variability in 3He/4He, assessed using geothermal and geological materials in conjunction, offers a powerful tool for examining heterogeneity and temporal evolution of mantle sources at intraplate volcanoes.
Research Article| September 18, 2020
Heterogeneous mantle-derived helium isotopes in the Canary Islands and other ocean islands
James M.D. Day;
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James M.D. Day, David R. Hilton; Heterogeneous mantle-derived helium isotopes in the Canary Islands and other ocean islands. Geology doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/G47676.1
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