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Science. 2000 Sep 15;289(5486):1912-6.

Osmium isotopic evidence for mesozoic removal of lithospheric mantle beneath the sierra nevada, california

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Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, 20 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. Department of Geological Sciences, Gould-Simpson Building, Building 77, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85712, USA.


Thermobarometric and Os isotopic data for peridotite xenoliths from late Miocene and younger lavas in the Sierra Nevada reveal that the lithospheric mantle is vertically stratified: the shallowest portions (<45 to 60 kilometers) are cold (670 degrees to 740 degrees C) and show evidence for heating and yield Proterozoic Os model ages, whereas the deeper portions (45 to 100 kilometers) yield Phanerozoic Os model ages and show evidence for extensive cooling from temperatures >1100 degrees C to 750 degrees C. Because a variety of isotopic evidence suggests that the Sierran batholith formed on preexisting Proterozoic lithosphere, most of the original lithospheric mantle appears to have been removed before the late Miocene, leaving only a sliver of ancient mantle beneath the crust.

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