Volatiles in submarine basaltic glasses from the Ontong Java Plateau (ODP Leg 192): implications for magmatic processes and source region compositions

Submarine basaltic glasses from five widely separated sites on the Ontong Java Plateau (OJP) were analysed for major and volatile elements (H2O, CO2, S, Cl). At four of the sites (1183, 1185, 1186, 1187) the glass is from pillow basalt rims, whereas at Site 1184 the glass occurs as non-vesicular glass shards in volcaniclastic rocks. Glassy pillow rims from Site 1187 and the upper group of flows at Site 1185 have 8.3–9.3 wt% MgO compared with values of 7.2–8.0 wt% MgO for glasses from Sites 1183, 1184 1186, and the lower group of flows at Site 1185. Low-MgO glasses have slightly higher H2O contents (average 0.22 wt% H2O) than high-MgO glasses (average 0.19 wt%), with the exception of Site 1184, where low-MgO glasses have lower H2O (average 0.16 wt%). Average S concentrations are 910 ± 60 ppm for the high-MgO glasses v. 1030 ± 60 ppm for the low-MgO glasses. When compared with mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB), the OJP glasses have lower S at comparable FeOT. This suggests that OJP basaltic magmas were not saturated with immiscible sulphide liquid during crystallization, but small decreases in S/K2O and S/TiO2 with decreasing MgO require some sulphide fractionation. Measurements of the wavelength of the S K peak in the glasses indicate low oxygen fugacities comparable to MORB values. Chlorine contents of the glasses are very high compared with MORB, and Cl/K ratios for all glasses are relatively high (>0.7). This ratio is sensitive to assimilation of hydrothermally altered material, so the high values indicate assimilation during shallow-level crystallization of OJP magmas. Ratios of H2O to Ce, which have similar incompatibility to each other, are higher than most depleted and enriched MORB. However, these high H2O/Ce values are probably also caused by the same assimilation process that results in high Cl. The water content of the high MgO-magmas before contamination is estimated to be approximately 0.07 wt% H2O, corresponding to H2O/Ce of 135 for OJP basalts, a value at the low end of the range for Pacific MORB. There is no evidence for high H2O contents that would have significantly increased extents of mantle melting beneath the OJP, and the estimated H2O content of the OJP mantle source region (170 ± 30 ppm H2O) is similar to that of the depleted MORB source (140 ± 40 ppm H2O). Instead, large extents of melting beneath the OJP must have been caused by a relatively high mantle potential temperature, consistent with upwelling of a hot mantle plume.

Julie Roberge1, Rosalind V. White2 & Paul J. Wallace1
1 Department of Geological Sciences, 1272 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-1272, USA pwallace@darkwing.uoregon.edu
2 Department of Geology, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK