Actinium - 227 +Magma Transit Times
Melt Generation and Transport During Basalt Petrogenesis: Constraints from Measurements of 227Ac-231Pa Activity Ratios
Uranium-series isotopes have provided unique insight into geochemical rates and processes during genesis of basaltic magma from the earth's mantle. Specifically, recent measurements of the longer-lived isotopes of the U-decay series have placed important constraints on melting rates (related to solid mantle upwelling rates) and melt fractions. However, there have been relatively few measurements of the shorter-lived isotopes of the U decay series in basaltic samples. As a result, time-dependant parameters such as melt transport rates and magma storage times are not well known. To better constrain these parameters, under this SGER award, the PIs propose to measure short-lived 227Ac (t1/2 =21.8 y) in young basaltic samples from mid-ocean spreading centers and intraplate volcanoes like Hawaii. This geochronologic system has the potential to be an important chronometer for dating of young mid-ocean ridge basalts in the time range of 10-100 years. Development of a new counting technique for 227Ac has simplified its analysis making this research possible for the first time.