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The evolution of the Galápagos mantle plume.

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The lavas associated with mantle plumes may sample domains throughout Earth's mantle and probe its dynamics. However, plume studies are often only able to take snapshots in time, usually of the most recent plume activity, leaving the chemical and geodynamic evolution of major convective upwellings in Earth's mantle poorly constrained. Here, we report the geodynamically key information of how the lithology and density of a plume change from plume head phase to tail. We use iron stable isotopes and thermodynamic modeling to show that the Galápagos plume has contained small, nearly constant, amounts of dense recycled crust over its 90-million-year history. Despite a temporal evolution in the amount of recycled crust-derived melt in Galápagos-related lavas, we show that this can be explained by plume cooling alone, without associated changes in the plume's mantle source; results are also consistent with a plume rooted in a lower mantle low-velocity zone also sampling primordial components.



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Sci Adv

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American Association for the Advancement of Science
Natural Environment Research Council (2072812)
NERC (NE/L002507/1)
NERC (NE/T012455/1)
NERC (NE/V000411/1)
NERC (NE/V011383/1)
European Commission Horizon 2020 (H2020) ERC (101020665)