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Science. 2007 Apr 20;316(5823):412-7. Epub 2007 Mar 29.

The amount of recycled crust in sources of mantle-derived melts.

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Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Chemistry, Post Office Box 3060, 55020 Mainz, Germany.


Plate tectonic processes introduce basaltic crust (as eclogite) into the peridotitic mantle. The proportions of these two sources in mantle melts are poorly understood. Silica-rich melts formed from eclogite react with peridotite, converting it to olivine-free pyroxenite. Partial melts of this hybrid pyroxenite are higher in nickel and silicon but poorer in manganese, calcium, and magnesium than melts of peridotite. Olivine phenocrysts' compositions record these differences and were used to quantify the contributions of pyroxenite-derived melts in mid-ocean ridge basalts (10 to 30%), ocean island and continental basalts (many >60%), and komatiites (20 to 30%). These results imply involvement of 2 to 20% (up to 28%) of recycled crust in mantle melting.

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10.1126/science. 1138113
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