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Authors: Correale, A.* 
Martelli, M.* 
Paonita, A.* 
Rizzo, A.* 
Brusca, L.* 
Scribano, V.* 
Title: New evidence of mantle heterogeneity beneath the Hyblean Plateau (southeast Sicily, Italy) as inferred from noble gases and geochemistry of ultramafic xenoliths
Journal: Lithos 
Series/Report no.: /132-133 (2012) Elsevier
Issue Date: Feb-2012
DOI: 10.1016/j.lithos.2011.11.007
Keywords: noble gases
fluid inclusions
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.12. Fluid Geochemistry 
Abstract: We analyzed major and trace elements, Sr and Nd isotopes in ultramafic xenoliths in Miocenic age Hyblean diatremes, along with noble gases of CO2-rich fluid inclusions hosted in the same products. The xenoliths consist of peridotites and pyroxenites, which are considered to be derived from the upper mantle. Although the mineral assemblage of peridotites and their whole-rock abundance of major elements (e.g., Al2O3 = 0.8–1.5 wt.%, TiO2 = 0.03–0.08 wt.%) suggest a residual character of the mantle, a moderate enrichment in some incompatible elements (e.g., LaN/YbN = 9–14) highlights the presence of cryptic metasomatic events. In this context a deep silicate liquid is considered the metasomatizing agent, which is consistent with the occurrence of pyroxenites as veins in peridotites. Both the Zr/Nb and 143Nd/144Nd ratios of the investigated samples reveal two distinct compositional groups: (1) peridotites with Zr/Nb ≈ 4 and 143Nd/144Nd ≈ 0.5129, and (2) pyroxenites with Zr/Nb ≈ 20 and 143Nd/144Nd ≈ 0.5130. The results of noble-gas analyses also highlight the difference between the peridotite and pyroxenite domains. Indeed, the 3He/4He and 4He/40Ar* ratios measured in the fluid inclusions of peridotites (respectively 7.0–7.4 ± 0.1 Ra and 0.5–8.2, where Ra is the atmospheric 3He/4He ratio of 1.38 × 10− 6) were on average lower than those for the pyroxenites (respectively 7.2–7.6 Ra and 0.62–15). This mantle heterogeneity is interpreted as resulting from a mixing between two end-members: (1) a peridotitic layer with 3He/4He ≈ 7 Ra and 4He/40Ar* ≈ 0.4, which is lower than the typical mantle ratio (~ 1–4) probably due to melt extraction events, and (2) metasomatizing mafic silicate melts that gave rise to pyroxenites characterized by 3He/4He ≈ 7.6 Ra, with a variable 4He/40Ar* due to degassing processes connected with the ascent of magma at different levels in the peridotite wall rock. The complete geochemical data set also suggests two distinct mantle sources for the xenolithic groups highlighted above: (1) a HIMU (high-μ)-type source for the peridotites and (2) a DM (depleted mantle)-type source for the pyroxenites.
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