Combined Sm-Nd, Lu-Hf, and 142Nd study of Paleoarchean basalts from the East Pilbara Terrane, Western Australia

David Murphy, Hanika Rizo, Jonathan O'Neil, Robert Hepple, Daniel Wiemer, Anthony Kemp, Jeffrey Vervoort

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Abstract

The chemistry of the major reservoirs in the silicate Earth reflects a long history of differentiation into- and interaction between- incompatible element enriched crust and depleted mantle. Evidence from 142Nd variability in ancient mantle-derived rocks imply such differentiation began very early in Earth's history, while the short-lived 146Sm (half-life 103 Ma) was extant, but the size and composition of primitive reservoirs in the Hadean and early Archean is debated. Therefore, pivotal to the study of Earth evolution is the recognition of well-preserved ancient magmatic rocks that can provide robust constraints on source compositions to test geodynamic models. We present the first combined petrological, geochemical and isotope (146-147Sm-142-143Nd and 176Lu–176Hf) study of basaltic rocks from the East Pilbara Terrane, Pilbara Craton, Western Australia. The basaltic pillow lavas, from the ca. 3470 Ma Mount Ada Basalt of the Pilbara Supergroup, include quartz-phyric quartz-normative tholeiites, plagioclase-phyric olivine-normative tholeiites and clinopyroxene spinifex textured olivine-normative tholeiites and include samples that classify as siliceous high Mg basalts. Their major and trace-element compositions suggest that the basalts are high-degree partial melts (20–30%) produced at shallow mantle depths of 0.5–1 GPa, which is consistent with formation of both quartz-normative and olivine-normative parental magmas. Isotopic data from this sample suite defines Sm–Nd and Lu–Hf isochrons with dates of 3484 ± 113 Ma and 3463 ± 50 Ma, respectively. The samples yield coupled initial εNd = +1.1 and εHf = +2.1, and μ142Nd values indistinguishable from the modern mantle. The uniform initial εNd and εHf in samples from this study and other Mount Ada Basalt basaltic samples across four greenstone belts indicates that this portion of the Paleoarchean mantle was well mixed at the scale of melt generation and evolved with slightly suprachondritic Sm/Nd and Lu/Hf. Absence of 142Nd variations suggests the portion of the Paleoarchean Pilbara mantle sampled by these basalts retains no signature of Hadean Sm/Nd fractionation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120301
JournalChemical Geology
Volume578
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sep 2021

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