Research ArticleGEOCHEMISTRY

Paired EMI-HIMU hotspots in the South Atlantic—Starting plume heads trigger compositionally distinct secondary plumes?

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Science Advances  08 Jul 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 28, eaba0282
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba0282


Age-progressive volcanism is generally accepted as the surface expression of deep-rooted mantle plumes, which are enigmatically linked with the African and Pacific large low–shear velocity provinces (LLSVPs). We present geochemical and geochronological data collected from the oldest portions of the age-progressive enriched mantle one (EMI)-type Tristan-Gough track. They are part of a 30- to 40-million year younger age-progressive hotspot track with St. Helena HIMU (high time-integrated 238U/204Pb) composition, which is also observed at the EMI-type Shona hotspot track in the southernmost Atlantic. Whereas the primary EMI-type hotspots overlie the margin of the African LLSVP, the HIMU-type hotspots are located above a central portion of the African LLSVP, reflecting a large-scale geochemical zonation. We propose that extraction of large volumes of EMI-type mantle from the margin of the LLSVP by primary plume heads triggered upwelling of HIMU material from a more internal domain of the LLSVP, forming secondary plumes.

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