Insights into early Earth from the Pt-Re-Os isotope and highly siderophile element abundance systematics of Barberton komatiites

Abstract : Highly siderophile element (HSE: Os, Ir, Ru, Pt, Pd, and Re) abundance and Pt-Re-Os isotopic data are reported for well-preserved komatiites from the Komati and Weltevreden Formations of the Barberton Greenstone Belt in South Africa. The Re-Os data for whole-rock samples and olivine and chromite separates define isochrons with ages of 3484 +/- 38 and 3263 +/- 12 Ma for the Komati and Weltevreden systems, respectively. The respective initial Os-187/Os-188 = 0.10335 +/- 15 (gamma Os-187 = +0.34 +/- 0.15) and 0.10442 +/- 4 (gamma Os-187 = -0.14 +/- 0.04) are well within the range defined by chondritic meteorites. When considered together with the Re-Os data for late Archean komatiite systems, these data indicate that the mantle sources of most Archean komatiites evolved with essentially uniform long-term Re/Os that is well within the chondritic range. By contrast, the initial Os-186/Os-188 = 0.1198283 +/- 9 (epsilon Os-186 = -0.12 +/- 0.08) and 0.1198330 +/- 8 (epsilon Os-186 = +0.22 +/- 0.07) for the Komati and Weltevreden systems, respectively, are outside of known chondritic evolution paths, indicating that the mantle sources of these two komatiite systems evolved with fractionated time-integrated Pt/Os. The new 186,187 Os isotopic data for these early Archean komatiite systems, combined with published Nd-142,Nd-143 and Hf-176 isotopic data for these systems, are consistent with formation and long-term isolation of deep-seated mantle domains with fractionated time-integrated Sm/Nd, Lu/Hf, and Pt/Os ratios, at ca. 4400 Ma. These domains may have been generated as a result of late-stage crystallization of a primordial magma ocean involving Mg-perovskite, Ca-perovskite and Pt-alloys acting as the fractionating phases. The inferred fractionated mantle domains were sampled by the early Archean komatiites, but were largely mixed away by 2.7 Ga, as evidenced by uniform time-integrated Sm/Nd, Lu/Hf, and Pt/Os ratios inferred for the sources of most late Archean komatiite systems. The calculated total Pt + Pd abundances present in the sources of the early Archean komatiite systems fall only 7-14% short of those present in estimates for the modern primitive mantle. These are also within the range of the total Pt + Pd abundances present in the sources of late Archean komatiite systems, indicating little change in the HSE abundances in the Archean mantle between 3.5 and 2.7 Ga. The new HSE data for the early Archean komatiite systems may implicate late accretion of HSE to the mantle prior to completion of crystallization of a final terrestrial magma ocean, followed by sluggish mixing of diverse, post-magma ocean domains characterized by variably fractionated lithophile element and HSE abundances. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Igor S. Puchtel, Richard J. Walker, Mathieu Touboul, Euan G. Nisbet, Gary R. Byerly. Insights into early Earth from the Pt-Re-Os isotope and highly siderophile element abundance systematics of Barberton komatiites. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 2014, 125, pp.394--413. ⟨10.1016/j.gca.2013.10.013⟩. ⟨hal-02350705⟩

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