Halogen variations through the quenched margin of a MORB lava: evidence for direct assimilation of seawater during eruption

Michael Broadley, Raymond Burgess, Hidenori Kumagai, Natalie Curran, Christopher Ballentine

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    Halogens and noble gases within submarine basaltic glasses are critical tracers of interactions between the surface volatile reservoirs and the mantle. However, as the halogens and noble gases are concentrated within seawater, sediments and the oceanic crust this makes the original volatile signature of submarine basaltic lavas susceptible to geochemical overprinting. This study combines halogen (Cl, Br and I), noble gas, and K concentrations within a single submarine basaltic quenched margin to quantify the amount of seawater assimilation during eruption, and to further elucidate the mechanisms of overprinting. The outer sections of the glass rim are enriched in Cl compared to the interior of the margin, which maintains mantle-like Br/Cl, I/Cl and K/Cl ratios. Low Br/Cl and K/Cl in the outer sections of the basaltic glass margin indicate that the Cl enrichment in the outer glass is derived from the assimilation of a saline brine component with up to 70% of the Cl within the glass being derived from brine assimilation. Atmospheric noble gas contamination is decoupled from halogen contamination with contaminated outer sections maintaining MORB-like 40Ar/36Ar, suggesting seawater derived brine assimilation during eruption is not the dominant source of atmospheric noble gases in submarine basalts. Volatile heterogeneities in submarine basalts introduced during and after eruption, as we have shown
    in this study, have the potential to expand the range of mantle halogen compositions and only by better understanding these heterogeneities can the Br/Cl and I/Cl variance in mantle derived samples be determined accurately.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2413-2428
    Number of pages16
    JournalGeochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
    Issue number7
    Early online date3 Jul 2017
    Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2017


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