The xenon isotopic signature of the mantle beneath Massif Central

Abstract : The origin of the Central European Volcanic Province, which includes the Massif Central and the Eifel regions, is currently debated. Several different causes have been proposed to account for the volcanism observed in the area. Namely, both the presence of one or more mantle plumes under Europe, and the upwelling and melting of upper mantle related to the formation of the Alps, have been suggested as possible drivers of volcanism. In order to distinguish between these possibilities , we have analysed noble gases in the Lignat Spring to constrain the nature of the mantle source below the Massif Central. The gas has a 3 He/ 4 He ratio of 5.51 Ra, whereas its neon isotopic signature is identical to that of MORB source. The gas has an 40 Ar/ 36 Ar ratio of 1113 ± 3, far in excess of the atmospheric ratio. The xenon isotopic pattern is explained by 95 % atmospheric contamination of a MORB-like gas. The noble gases clearly show that the mantle beneath Massif Central has a geochemical signature similar to MORB source mantle, with the exception of helium, which more closely corresponds to SCLM signatures, and thus removes the need for the presence of a mantle plume in the region.
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Submitted on : Monday, November 5, 2018 - 3:53:07 PM
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M. Moreira, V. Rouchon, E. Muller, S. Noirez. The xenon isotopic signature of the mantle beneath Massif Central. Geochemical Perspectives Letters, European Assoication of Geochemistry, 2018, 6, pp.28 - 32. ⟨10.7185/geochemlet.1805⟩. ⟨hal-01912704⟩

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