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Keywords:

  • Hawaii;
  • mantle plume;
  • lithium isotopes;
  • mantle composition;
  • Koolau volcano;
  • Mauna Kea;
  • Mauna Loa

[1] We determined lithium isotopic compositions of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea basalts from the 3.1 km drill hole of the Hawaiian Scientific Drilling Project (HSDP); for comparison Li isotopic ratios were also determined for basalts from Koolau volcano. These two suites of samples define geochemical extremes in the range of Hawaiian shield lavas. The 400 Ka record of Mauna Kea in the HSDP core shows temporal fluctuations between low δ7Li (∼4‰ relative to the L-SVEC standard) and high δ7Li (5–6‰), suggesting that the source components in the Hawaiian plume are heterogeneous in Li isotopic composition. Based on SiO2 content and isotopic ratios of He, Li, Nd, Hf and Pb, three geochemical groups are identified in Mauna Kea lavas. Mauna Kea basalts between 1900 and 2500 mbsl have relatively low δ7Li of about 4‰. They are low SiO2 lavas distinguished by the highest 3He/4He and 208Pb/204Pb, and low 176Hf/177Hf and 143Nd/144Nd. Like basalt from Loihi seamount, this Mauna Kea group is considered to originate from the core of the plume. Above 1900 mbsl, high δ7Li lavas with high SiO2 contents appear in both the submarine and subaerial sections. They are marked by low 3He/4He and high 176Hf/177Hf. The 7Li-rich signature of some samples (δ7Li up to 5.7) is indicative of recycled oceanic crust in the plume. This magma group defines the Kea component. The low SiO2 lavas in the subaerial section have low δ7Li (∼4‰), 3He/4He and 208Pb/204Pb. Their δ7Li values overlap the range of δ7Li in unaltered mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB) and are consistent with upper mantle material entrained by the plume or contamination of plume-derived magmas by the Pacific lithosphere. The δ7Li of Koolau lavas mostly fall within the range of 4.5 ± 0.3‰. Exceptions are two samples that have δ7Li of 2–3‰. The lightest isotopic values may indicate subducted Li that was isotopically fractionated during slab dehydration. In contrast to other isotopic systems, most Koolau samples, however, resemble Mauna Kea samples in Li isotopic composition. Mauna Loa samples have δ7Li values of 3.5 to 4.9‰, within the range of the Koolau and Mauna Kea lavas. Based on these data, the Loa trend volcanoes and Kea trend volcanoes have largely overlapping Li isotopic compositions. In summary, the Hawaiian plume is not highly variable in Li isotopic composition; δ7Li is typically ∼4‰ with perturbations by subducted components to lower and higher ratios (2.5 to 5.7‰). The overlap of most Hawaiian basalt and MORB in their range of Li isotopic ratios suggests minor influence of recycled oceanic crust in the plume and perhaps similar Li isotopic ratios in the upper and lower mantle.