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Keywords:

  • oxygen isotopes;
  • Mauna Kea;
  • Hawaii;
  • HSDP

[1] Oxygen isotope ratios were measured in olivine phenocrysts (∼1 mm diameter), olivine microphenocrysts (generally ∼100–200 μm diameter), glass, and/or matrix from 89 samples collected from depths down to 3079.7 m in the second, and main, HSDP core (HSDP-2). Olivine phenocrysts from 11 samples from Mauna Loa and 34 samples from the submarine section of Mauna Kea volcano have δ18O values that are similar to one another (5.11 ± 0.10‰, 1σ, for Mauna Loa; 5.01 ± 0.07‰, for submarine Mauna Kea) and within the range of values typical of olivines from oceanic basalts (δ18O of ∼5.0 to 5.2‰). In contrast, δ18O values of olivine phenocrysts from 20 samples taken from the subaerial section of Mauna Kea volcano (278 to 1037 mbsl) average 4.79 ± 0.13‰. Microphenocrysts in both the subaerial (n = 2) and submarine (n = 24) sections of Mauna Kea are on average ∼0.2‰ lower in δ18O than phenocrysts within the same stratigraphic interval; those in submarine Mauna Kea lavas have an average δ18O of 4.83 ± 0.11‰. Microphenocrysts in submarine Mauna Kea lavas and phencrysts in Mauna Loa lavas are the only population of olivines considered in this study that are typically in oxygen isotope exchange equilibrium with coexisting glass or groundmass. These data confirm the previous observation that the stratigraphic boundary between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea lavas defines a shift from “normal” to unusually low δ18O values. Significantly, they also document that the distinctive 18O-depleted character of subaerial Mauna Kea lavas is absent in phenocrysts of submarine Mauna Kea lavas. Several lines of evidence suggest that little if any of the observed variations in δ18O can be attributed to subsolidus alteration or equilibrium fractionations accompanying partial melting or crystallization. Instead, they reflect variable proportions of an 18O-depleted source component or contaminant from the lithosphere and/or volcanic edifice that is absent in or only a trace constituent of subaerial Mauna Loa lavas, a minor component of submarine Mauna Kea lavas, and a major component of subaerial Mauna Kea lavas. Relationships between the δ18O of phenocrysts, microphenocrysts, and glass or groundmass indicate that this component (when present) was added over the course of crystallization-differentiation. This process must have taken place in the lithosphere and most likely at depths of between ∼5 and 15 km. We conclude that the low-δ18O component is either a contaminant from the volcanic edifice that was sampled in increasingly greater proportions as the volcano drifted off the center of the Hawaiian plume or a partial melt of low-δ18O, hydrothermally altered perdotites in the shallow Pacific lithosphere that increasingly contributed to Mauna Kea lavas near end of the volcano's shield building stage. The first of these alternatives is favored by the difference in δ18O between subaerial and submarine Mauna Kea lavas, whereas the second is favored by systematic differences in radiogenic and trace element composition between higher and lower δ18O lavas.