Osmium isotopic constraints on the nature of the DUPAL anomaly from Indian mid-ocean-ridge basalts

Nature. 2004 Sep 2;431(7004):59-63. doi: 10.1038/nature02904.


The isotopic compositions of mid-ocean-ridge basalts (MORB) from the Indian Ocean have led to the identification of a large-scale isotopic anomaly relative to Pacific and Atlantic ocean MORB. Constraining the origin of this so-called DUPAL anomaly may lead to a better understanding of the genesis of upper-mantle heterogeneity. Previous isotopic studies have proposed recycling of ancient subcontinental lithospheric mantle or sediments with oceanic crust to be responsible for the DUPAL signature. Here we report Os, Pb, Sr and Nd isotopic compositions of Indian MORB from the Central Indian ridge, the Rodriguez triple junction and the South West Indian ridge. All measured samples have higher (187)Os/(188)Os ratios than the depleted upper-mantle value and Pb, Sr and Nd isotopic compositions that imply the involvement of at least two distinct enriched components in the Indian upper-mantle. Using isotopic and geodynamical arguments, we reject both subcontinental lithospheric mantle and recycled sediments with oceanic crust as the cause of the DUPAL anomaly. Instead, we argue that delamination of lower continental crust may explain the DUPAL isotopic signature of Indian MORB.