This study presents major and trace element data for 243 mantle garnet xenocrysts from six kimberlites in parts of western North America. The geochemical data for the garnet xenocrysts are used to infer the composition, thickness, and tectonothermal affinity of the mantle lithosphere beneath western Laurentia at the time of kimberlite eruption. The garnets record temperatures between 800 and 1450??C using Ni-in-garnet thermometry and represent mainly lherzolitic mantle lithosphere sampled over an interval from about 110-260 km depth. Garnets with sinuous rare-earth element patterns, high Sr, and high Sc/V occur mainly at shallow depths and occur almost exclusively in kimberlites interpreted to have sampled Archean mantle lithosphere beneath the Wyoming Province in Laurentia, and are notably absent in garnets from kimberlites erupting through the Proterozoic Yavapai Mazatzal and Trans-Hudson provinces. The similarities in depths of equilibration, but differing geochemical patterns in garnets from the Cross kimberlite (southeastern British Columbia) compared to kimberlites in the Wyoming Province argue for post-Archean replacement and (or) modification of mantle beneath the Archean Hearne Province. Convective removal of mantle lithosphere beneath the Archean Hearne Province in a "tEctonic vise" during the Proterozoic terminal collisions that formed Laurentia either did not occur, or was followed by replacement of thick mantle lithosphere that was sampled by kimberlite in the Triassic, and is still observed there seismically today.
Additional publication details
Lithospheric roots beneath western Laurentia: The geochemical signal in mantle garnets