The Nb/U and Th/U of the primitive mantle are 34 and 4.04 respectively, which compare with 9.7 and 3.96 for the continental crust. Extraction of continental crust from the mantle therefore has a profound influence on its Nb/U but little influence on its Th/U. Conversely, extraction of midocean ridge-type basalts lowers the Th/U of the mantle residue but has little influence on its Nb/U. As a consequence, variations in Th/U and Nb/U with Sm/Nd can be used to evaluate the relative importance of...[Show more]
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