The Re - Os isotopic systematics of komatiites and spatially associated basalts from Gorgona Island, Colombia, indicate that they were produced at 155??43 Ma. Subsequent episodes of volcanism produced basalts at 88.1??3.8 Ma and picritic and basaltic lavas at ca. 58 Ma. The age for the ultramafic rocks is important because it coincides with the late-Jurassic, early-Cretaceous disassembly of Pangea, when the North- and South-American plates began to pull apart. Deep-seated mantle upwelling possibly precipitated the break-up of these continental plates and caused a tear in the subducting slab west of Gorgona, providing a rare, late-Phanerozoic conduit for the komatiitic melts. Mantle sources for the komatiites were heterogeneous with respect to Os and Pb isotopic compositions, but had homogeneous Nd isotopic compositions (??Nd+9??1). Initial 187Os/186Os normalized to carbonaceous chondrites at 155 Ma (??Os) ranged from 0 to +22, and model-initial ?? values ranged from 8.17 to 8.39. The excess radiogenic Os, compared with an assumed bulk-mantle evolution similar to carbonaceous chondrites, was likely produced in portions of the mantle with long-term elevated Re concentrations. The Os, Pb and Nd isotopic compositions, together with major-element constraints, suggest that the sources of the komatiites were enriched more than 1 Ga ago by low (<20%) and variable amounts of a basalt or komatiite component. This component was added as either subducted oceanic crust or melt derived from greater depths in the mantle. These results suggest that the Re - Os isotope system may be a highly sensitive indicator of the presence of ancient subducted oceanic crust in mantle-source regions. ?? 1991 Springer-Verlag.
Additional publication details
Re - Os isotopic constraints on the origin of volcanic rocks, Gorgona Island, Colombia: Os isotopic evidence for ancient heterogeneities in the mantle