A Low-Li Geochemical Province in the NE Atlantic

J. C. Bailey, R. Gwozdz

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Lithium was analysed in 392 basalts and related igneous rocks from the North Atlantic Tertiary-Recent province using activation analysis and Čerenkov counting. Monotonous Li values of 5.5±2 ppm in NE Atlantic basalts define a low-Li geochemical province which has persisted for 60 million years, over 20° of latitude and regardless of basalt type and chemistry. This low-Li province and the increasing Li contents of ocean-ridge tholeiites into the S Atlantic are believed to monitor Li heterogeneity in the underlying mantle. Li, like Na, increases gently during the differentiation of several basalt series. No whole-rock coherence is observed between Li and Mg, K, Rb or Ca. Mantle phlogopite is considered to play an insignificant rôle in controlling the Li levels of NE Atlantic basalts.
    Original languageEnglish
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)73-84
    Publication statusPublished - 1978


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