Hawaiian double volcanic chain triggered by an episodic involvement of recycled material: Constraints from temporal Sr-Nd-Hf-Pb isotopic trend of the Loa-type volcanoes

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The two parallel loci of recent Hawaiian volcanoes, Kea and Loa, have been regarded as the best targets to interpret the chemical structure of an upwelling mantle plume derived from the lower mantle. Here we show that the Sr-Nd-Hf-Pb isotopic data of the shield-building lavas along the Loa locus form a systematic trend from the main shield stage of Koolau (> 2.9 Ma) to the active Loihi volcanoes. During the growth of the Koolau volcano, the dominant material in the melting region successively changed from the proposed KEA, DMK (depleted Makapuu), to EMK (enriched Makapuu) components. The proportion of EMK, dominated by a recycled mafic component, is typified by some Koolau Makapuu-stage and some Lanai lavas. Subsequently, the EMK component decreased and LOIHI component increased toward the Loihi lavas. The temporal coincidence between the episodically elevated magma production rate and the abrupt appearance of the typical Loa-type lavas that is restricted to the last 3 Myr should be linked to magma genesis. We suggest that the abrupt appearance of Loa-type magmatism should be attributed to the transient incorporation of the relatively dense recycled material and surrounding less degassed lower mantle material that accumulated near the core-mantle boundary into the upwelling plume. This episodic involvement could have been trigged by episodic thermal pulses and buoyancy increases in the plume. The continuous appearance of Kea-type lavas during the long history of Hawaiian-chain magmatism and the larger magma volume of Kea-type lavas relative to that of the Loa-type lavas in the last 3 Myr indicate that the Kea locus is closer to the thermal centre of the Hawaiian plume relative to that of the Loa locus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450-465
Number of pages16
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 30 2008



  • Hawaiian plume
  • Hf isotope
  • Kea and Loa trends
  • Koolau volcano
  • plume component

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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