The existence of an intrinsic depleted component in mantle plumes has previously been proposed for several hotspots in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. However, formation of these depleted basalts is often associated with unusual tectonomagmatic processes such as plume-ridge interaction or multistage melting at plume initiation, where depleted basalts could reflect entrainment and melting of depleted upper mantle. Late Cretaceous to middle Eocene seamounts that accreted in Costa Rica and are part of the early Galapagos hotspot track provide new insights into the occurrence and nature of intrinsic depleted components. The Paleocene (ca. 62 Ma) seamounts include unusually depleted basalts that erupted on the Farallon plate far from a mid-ocean ridge. These basalts closely resemble Gorgona komatiites in terms of trace element and radiogenic isotope composition, suggesting formation from a similar, refractory mantle source. We suggest that this source may be common to plumes, but is only rarely sampled due to excessive extents of melting required to extract melts from the most refractory parts of a heterogeneous mantle plume.
- Received 18 December 2015.
- Revision received 28 March 2016.
- Accepted 28 March 2016.
- ©The Authors
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