The chemical compositions of the residues of the mantle melting that produces mid-ocean ridge basalt can be altered by fluid-rock interactions at spreading ridges and, possibly, during seawater penetration along bending-related faults in plates approaching trenches. This chemically modified rock, if subducted deeply and after long-term residence within the deep Earth, is a potential source of chemical heterogeneity in the mantle. Here, we demonstrate that peridotites from the Horoman massif preserve the chemical signatures of sub-seafloor hydrothermal (SSH) alteration at a mid-ocean ridge approximately one billion years ago. These rocks have evolved chemically subsequent to this SSH alteration; however, they retain the SSH-associated enrichments in fluid mobile elements and H2O despite their long-term residence within the mantle. Our results indicate that ancient SSH alteration resulting in the production of sulfide leads to Pb enrichment that could affect the present-day Pb isotopic evolution of the silicate earth. Evidence from the Horoman massif of the recycling of hydrous refractory domains into the mantle suggests that both the flux of H2O content into the mantle and the size of the mantle H2O reservoir are higher than have been estimated recently.
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