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Mantle Hg isotopic heterogeneity and evidence of oceanic Hg recycling into the mantle TEXT SIZE: A A A
The geochemical cycle of mercury in Earth’s surface environment (atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere) has been extensively studied; however, the deep geological cycling of this element is less well known. Here we document distinct mass-independent mercury isotope fractionation (expressed as Δ199Hg) in island arc basalts and mid-ocean ridge basalts. Both rock groups show positive Δ199Hg values up to 0.34‰ and 0.22‰, respectively, which deviate from recent estimates of the primitive mantle (Δ199Hg: 0.00?±?0.10‰, 2?SD)1. The positive Δ199Hg values indicate recycling of marine Hg into the asthenospheric mantle. Such a crustal Hg isotope signature was not observed in our samples of ocean island basalts and continental flood basalts, but has recently been identified in canonical end-member samples of the deep mantle1, therefore demonstrating that recycling of mercury can affect both the upper and lower mantle. Our study reveals large-scale translithospheric Hg recycling via plate tectonics.

Publication name

 Nature Communications volume 13, Article number: 948 (2022) DOI10.1038/s41467-022-28577-1 PublishedFEB 17 2022


 Yin, Runsheng; Chen, Di; Pan, Xin; Deng, Changzhou; Chen, Liemeng; Song, Xieyan; Yu, Songyue; Zhu, Chuanwei; Xu, Yue; Feng, Xinbin; Blum, Joel D.; Lehmann, Bernd

Corresponding author(s) 

 YIN Runsheng
 State Key Laboratory of Ore Deposit Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang, China

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