Part 4 - Wrap-up
Congratulations! You have learned some pretty important things about the global geochemical of mid-ocean ridge basalts, and what their geochemical variation may be telling us about physical conditions within the upper mantle. Of course, there are many additional and complicating factors which we haven't considered during this rather simplistic exercise. For example, how do temperature and pressure differences below the mid-ocean ridges control the melting behavior below the mid-ocean ridges? Additionally, we have totally neglected the important role of mantle plumes and hotspots--several of these features are found along the mid-ocean ridges (e.g., Iceland, the Azores, and the Galapagos), and related samples were included in your dataset that you downloaded from PETDB.Prominent hotspots. Image courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey
While you have only grazed the surface of this complex topic, you have basically duplicated part of the work published by [Klein and Langmuir, 1987] in their classic work on mid-ocean ridge geochemistry, but using a much, much larger dataset!