2007 Volume 102 Issue 5 Pages 272-290
Geochemical and isotopic data are presented for Bure volcanic rocks from the northwestern Ethiopian plateau to investigate the processes involved in the genesis of the erupted magma and the nature of mantle source compositions during plume-induced continental rifting. The Bure area is mainly composed of flood basalts (30-25 Ma), ranging from transitional tholeiite to alkaline basalts, with a probable Quaternary alkaline basalt single lava flow, scoria cones and trachyte plugs. The transitional tholeiites have variable incompatible elements and isotopic ratios (87Sr/86Sr = 0.70329-0.70429, 143Nd/144Nd = 0.51281-0.51304 and 206Pb/204Pb = 18.36-19.08). In contrast, the alkaline basalts display a homogeneous incompatible element and Sr-Nd isotopic ratios (87Sr/86Sr = 0.70311-0.70363 and 143Nd/144Nd = 0.51279-0.51288) with a wide range of Pb isotopes (206Pb/204Pb = 18.91-19.83). Isotope and trace element variations within the Bure lavas reflect the involvement of: 1) an intrinsic isotopically depleted plume component, 2) a plume component having radiogenic Pb isotope and 3) an enriched crustal component. The first and third components played a significant contribution in the initial stage of plume-induced continental flood basalt magmatism.