A high carbon content of the Hawaiian mantle from olivine-hosted melt inclusions

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
By: , and 



The deep mantle carbon content and flux are fundamental quantities in understanding global volatile cycles and distributions. Here, we present CO2 concentrations measured in 407 olivine-hosted melt inclusions from Hualalai, Kilauea, Koolau, Loihi, and Mauna Loa to constrain the Hawaiian mantle CO2 content and flux. Quantification of melt inclusion CO2 is complicated by the ubiquitous presence of vapor or “shrinkage” bubbles. The contribution from exsolved shrinkage bubble CO2 was determined from the measured bubble size and a CO2 equation of state, and added to the dissolved CO2 to reconstruct total melt inclusion CO2 concentrations. Bubbles typically contain ~90% of melt inclusion C, much of which may be sequestered in precipitated phases on bubble walls, and thus not amenable to measurement by Raman spectroscopy. Based on our dataset of total (dissolved + bubble) CO2 concentrations, we estimate that parental melts from the five Hawaiian volcanoes have CO2 concentrations ranging from 3900 to 10,000 ppm CO2. Among the active volcanoes, CO2 concentrations decrease to the northwest, likely reflecting mantle source heterogeneity, although differences in the depths of the magma chambers may also play a role. Mantle sources of the Hawaiian volcanoes range from 380 to 480 ppm CO2 suggesting that the Hawaiian plume is at least a factor of ~4 more C-rich than the MORB mantle. This enrichment is likely due to the presence of recycled surficial C and/or C-rich primitive material in the Hawaiian mantle.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title A high carbon content of the Hawaiian mantle from olivine-hosted melt inclusions
Series title Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
DOI 10.1016/j.gca.2019.04.001
Volume 254
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Volcano Hazards Program
Description 17 p.
First page 156
Last page 172
Country United States
State Hawaii
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page