Ancient recycled lower crust in the mantle source of recent Italian magmatism

Janne M. Koornneef*, Igor Nikogosian, Manfred J. van Bergen, Pieter Z. Vroon, Gareth R. Davies

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Recycling of Earth’s crust through subduction and delamination contributes to mantle heterogeneity. Melt inclusions in early crystallised magmatic minerals record greater geochemical variability than host lavas and more fully reflect the heterogeneity of magma sources. To date, use of multiple isotope systems on small (< 300 μm) melt inclusions was hampered by analytical limitations. Here we report the first coupled Sr-Nd-Pb isotope data on individual melt inclusions from potassium-rich lavas from neighbouring Quaternary volcanoes in central Italy and infer the presence of a previously unidentified ancient lower crustal component in the mantle. We suggest derivation from Variscan or older basement included in the upper mantle by either delamination, sediment recycling, subduction erosion and/or slab detachment processes during Cenozoic subduction and collision of the western Mediterranean. The capability to determine isotope ratios in individual melt inclusions permits the detection of distinctive mantle contaminants and can provide insights into how geodynamic processes affect subduction recycling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3237
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2019


This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 759563 (ERC-StG ReVolusions) and 654208 (Europlanet 2020 RI)). We also ack-owledge financial support from the Netherlands Research Centre for Integrated Solid Earth Sciences (ISES) through grant 6.2.12 to IN and MJvB.

FundersFunder number
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme871149
H2020 European Research Council759563, 654208
European Research Council
Netherlands Research Centre for Integrated Solid Earth Sciences6.2.12


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