Ancient recycled crust beneath the Ontong Java Plateau: Isotopic evidence from the garnet clinopyroxenite xenoliths, Malaita, Solomon Islands

Akira Ishikawa, Takeshi Kuritani, Akio Makishima, Eizo Nakamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


We present a Sr, Nd, Hf and Pb isotope investigation of a set of garnet clinopyroxenite xenoliths from Malaita, Solomon Islands in order to constrain crustal recycling in the Pacific mantle. Geological, thermobarometric and petrochemical evidence from previous studies strongly support an origin as a series of high-pressure (> 3 GPa) melting residues of basaltic material incorporated in peridotite, which was derived from Pacific convective mantle related to the Ontong Java Plateau magmatism. The present study reveals isotopic variations in the pyroxenites that are best explained by different extents of chemical reaction with ambient peridotite in the context of a melting of composite source mantle. Isotopic compositions of bimineralic garnet clinopyroxenites affected by ambient peridotite fall within the oceanic basalt array, similar to those of Ontong Java Plateau lavas. In contrast, a quartz-garnet clinopyroxenite, whose major element compositions remain intact, has lower 206Pb/204Pb-143Nd/144Nd and higher 87Sr/86Sr-207Pb/204Pb ratios than most oceanic basalts. These isotopic signatures show some affinity with proposed recycled sources such as the so-called EM-1 or DUPAL types. Constraints from major and trace element characteristics of the quartz-garnet clinopyroxenite, the large extent of Hf-Nd isotopic decoupling and the good coincidence of Pb isotopes to the Stacey-Kramers curve, all indicate that pollution of southern Pacific mantle occurred by the subduction or delamination of Neoproterozoic granulitic lower crust (0.5-1 Ga). This crustal recycling could have taken place around the suture of Rodinia supercontinent, a part of which resurfaced during mantle upwelling responsible for creating the Cretaceous Ontong Java Plateau.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-148
Number of pages15
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 15 2007


  • Ontong Java Plateau
  • mantle plumes
  • pyroxenite
  • recycled crust
  • xenoliths

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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