Behavior of lutetium-hafnium, samarium-neodymium and rubidium-strontium isotopic systems during processes affecting continental crust.
AuthorBarovich, Karin Marie.
KeywordsGeology, Stratigraphic -- Archaean
Gneiss -- Analysis
Gneiss -- Newfoundland and Labrador -- Labrador -- Analysis
Isotope geology -- Newfoundland and Labrador -- Labrador
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractCombined Lu-Hf, Sm-Nd and Rb-Sr isotopic studies of continental crustal rocks were undertaken to assess the relative effects of secondary crustal processes on isotopic systematics of whole-rock systems. The processes studied include ductile deformation, and three cases of hydrothermal alteration, involving fluids of varying composition. The Rb-Sr system proved to be easily disturbed during all secondary processes, while Sm-Nd and Lu-Hf systems were, for the most part, resilient. These results show that Nd or Hf isotopic information obtained from old rocks that have undergone typical crustal deformational and alteration events can be counted on to be equally reliable. Nd and Hf isotopic analyses were performed on four suites of Early Archean felsic gneiss complexes from Greenland, Labrador, Swaziland, and Michigan to explore questions associated with Early Archean crustal growth. The Sm-Nd isotopic data yield initial ∊(Nd) values that are mostly consistent with published age data for the suites. Calculations show limited scatter may be attributed to subtle changes in the Sm/Nd ratio or Nd isotopic composition. The Hf isotopic results are more variable and complex than the Nd results. The relevance of the studies on isotopic mobility in the first part of this work is that they have demonstrated that Nd and Hf isotopes are equally resilient during a range of secondary crustal processes. Given the robustness of the Nd isotopic data from the Archean samples, however, it seems unreasonable to attribute the much wider variation in Hf isotopic data to post-Archean isotopic disturbances. Differences in initial Hf isotopic ratios from differing magma sources seem called for. Nd and Hf whole-rock analyses of a Late Archean pristine garnet-bearing granitoid complex from northern Canada point out the importance of garnet in fractionating Lu/Hf ratios, and in developing anomalous ∊(Hf) signatures in potential source regions. Calculations show that even short-lived upper mantle/lower crustal heterogeneities, products of previous partial melting events involving garnet fractionation, can develop the range of positive and negative ∊(Hf) values seen in the Early Archean samples.