Sample records for archean barberton greenstone

  1. Petrochronology in constraining early Archean Earth processes and environments: Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa (United States)

    Grosch, Eugene


    Analytical and petrological software developments over the past decade have seen rapid innovation in high-spatial resolution petrological techniques, for example, laser-ablation ICP-MS, secondary ion microprobe (SIMS, nano-SIMS), thermodynamic modelling and electron microprobe microscale mapping techniques (e.g. XMapTools). This presentation will focus on the application of petrochronology to ca. 3.55 to 3.33 billion-year-old metavolcanic and sedimentary rocks of the Onverwacht Group, shedding light on the earliest geologic evolution of the Paleoarchean Barberton greenstone belt (BGB) of South Africa. The field, scientific drilling and petrological research conducted over the past 8 years, aims to illustrate how: (a) LA-ICP-MS and SIMS U-Pb detrital zircon geochronology has helped identify the earliest tectono-sedimentary basin and sediment sources in the BGB, as well as reconstructing geodynamic processes as early as ca. 3.432 billion-years ago; (b) in-situ SIMS multiple sulphur isotope analysis of sulphides across various early Archean rock units help to reconstruct atmospheric, surface and subsurface environments on early Archean Earth and (c) the earliest candidate textural traces for subsurface microbial life can be investigated by in-situ LA-ICP-MS U-Pb dating of titanite, micro-XANES Fe-speciation analysis and metamorphic microscale mapping. Collectively, petrochronology combined with high-resolution field mapping studies, is a powerful multi-disciplinary approach towards deciphering petrogenetic and geodynamic processes preserved in the Paleoarchean Barberton greenstone belt of South Africa, with implications for early Archean Earth evolution.

  2. Incipient basin inversion of the Middle Archean Moodies Basin, Barberton Supergroup, Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa (United States)

    Kirstein, Jens; Heubeck, Christoph; Lippold, Wigbert


    The Moodies Group of the Barberton Greenstone Belt is one of the oldest and best-preserved quartz-rich sedimentary sequences on Earth. Its strata, approx. 3 km thick, record an initial extensional setting, followed by a strong shortening pulse which resulted in the dominant large-scale final deformation of the greenstone belt. We investigated the apparently rapid transition from Moodies extensional to compressive setting through detailed mapping, correlation of measured sections and the analysis of a prominent basaltic lava which extends for approx. 60 km along strike, in order to constrain the tectonic and depositional setting of some of the earliest stable life-providing habitats on Earth. In the middle Moodies Group, large-scale cross-bedded coarse-grained sandstones, interpreted as an offshore dune field, are abruptly overlain by a discontinuous cobble and boulder conglomerate of up to 4 m thickness, possibly representing local small alluvial fans above a cryptic disconformity. A basaltic lava, reaching approx. 50 m thick, regionally exists above this unit and forms the most prominent marker unit in the Moodies Group. In most places, the lava is metasomatically altered to a fine-grained mesh of illite, sericite, chlorite and very fine-grained quartz. In its upper third, it contains abundant amygdules approx. 0.5 - 1 cm in diameter. We did not record significant thickness changes hinting at eruption centers, feeder channels, flow markers nor pillows. Two thin but regionally continuous dacitic tuffs overlying the lava yielded concordant single-zircon ages of 3229+-6 Ma (Heubeck et al., in prep.) which are statistically indistinguishable from underlying Fig Tree Group volcanics and suggest high depositional and subsidence rates (mm/yr or higher) of intervening Moodies Group strata. Overlying clastic sediments up to 1 km thick show a very high lateral and vertical variability in grain size and petrography. Their facies ranges from alluvial conglomeratic wedges

  3. Micro-XRF Analysis of Archean Spherule Layers and Host Rocks from the CT3 Drill Core, Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa (United States)

    Hoehnel, D.; Tagle, R.; Hofmann, A.; Reimold, W. U.; Mohr-Westheide, T.; Fritz, J.; Altenberger, U.


    Spherule layers and host rock samples from the Barberton Greenstone Belt were studied with a µ-XRF spectrometer. Elemental distribution maps indicate distinct folding that had been recognized neither by visual inspection nor by petrographic analysis.

  4. Archean deep-water depositional system: interbedded and banded iron formation and clastic turbidites in the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa (United States)

    Zentner, Danielle; Lowe, Donald


    The 3.23 billion year old sediments in the Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa include some of the world's oldest known deep-water deposits. Unique to this locality are turbidites interbedded with banded iron formation (BIF) and banded ferruginous chert (BFC). This unusual association may provide clues for reconstructing Archean deep-water depositional settings. For our study we examined freshly drilled core in addition to measuring ~500 m of outcrop exposures along road cuts. The stacking pattern follows an overall BIF to BFC to amalgamated turbidite succession, although isolated turbidites do occur throughout the sequence. The turbidites are predominately massive, and capped with thin, normally graded tops that include mud rip-ups, chert plates, and ripples. The lack of internal stratification and the amalgamated character suggests emplacement by surging high-density turbidity currents. Large scours and channels are absent and bedding is tabular: the flows were collapsing with little turbulence reaching the bed. In contrast, field evidence indicates the BIF and BFC most likely precipitated directly out of the water column. Preliminary interpretations indicate the deposits may be related to a pro-deltaic setting. (1) Deltaic systems can generate long-lived, high volume turbidity currents. (2) The contacts between the BIF, BFC, and turbidite successions are gradual and inter-fingered, possibly representing lateral facies relationships similar to modern pro-delta environments. (3) Putative fan delta facies, including amalgamated sandstone and conglomerate, exist stratigraphically updip of the basinal sediments.

  5. Carbonaceous matter and putative microfossils of the mid-Archean Kromberg type-section re-visited, Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa (United States)

    McLoughlin, Nicola; Grosch, Eugene


    Silicified seafloor sediments of the Kromberg Formation from the Onverwacht Group of the Barberton greenstone belt (BGB), South Africa, have been argued to contain some of the world's oldest preserved carbonaceous microfossils. Previous studies of these cherts have reported filamentous, spheroidal and ellipsoidal microfossils in thin-section (Walsh 1992); and bacteriomorph like structures in HF-etched samples (Westall et al. 2001). These microtextural studies however, lack supporting in-situ geochemical data, and are hampered to some degree by re-mobilisation of the carbonaceous matter (Van Zuilen et al. 2007). In light of these concerns, and ongoing debates surrounding carbonaceous remains in other Archean cherts (e.g., W Australia), further in-situ data from the Kromberg is required to positively identify carbonaceous matter of biogenic origin. New data will also help to address outstanding questions regarding the relative contribution of benthic versus planktonic microorganisms, and the putative microbial metabolisms involved. This study focuses on surface samples and drill core from the Barberton Scientific Drilling Programme, (BSDP, Grosch et al. 2009) from the southeastern limb of the Onverwacht anticline of the BGB. We sampled the Footbridge chert and a second chert horizon in drill core KD1 of the BSDP in the upper Kromberg Fm; and surface outcrops of two black cherts from the lower Kromberg Fm. Sedimentological logging reveals horizons rich in volcaniclastics with interbedded finely laminated grey-black chert, also intrusive black cherts, and sulphide rich horizons. The TOC of the sampled cherts is 1.24 to 5.40 wt%. Preliminary bulk carbon isotope values range from δ13C -21.1 to -35.3o values that are consistent with organic matter produced by anoxygenic photosynthesis. Microfabrics preserved in the Kromberg cherts include, primary wispy-laminated carbonaceous films suggesting compaction of early carbonaceous laminae. Also large composite carbonaceous

  6. Sm-Nd dating of Fig Tree clay minerals of the Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa (United States)

    Toulkeridis, T.; Goldstein, S. L.; Clauer, N.; Kroner, A.; Lowe, D. R.


    Sm-Nd isotopic data from carbonate-derived clay minerals of the 3.22-3.25 Ga Fig Tree Group, Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa, form a linear array corresponding to an age of 3102 +/- 64 Ma, making these minerals the oldest dated clays on Earth. The obtained age is 120-160 m.y. younger than the depositional age determined by zircon geochronology. Nd model ages for the clays range from approximately 3.39 to 3.44 Ga and almost cover the age variation of the Barberton greenstone belt rocks, consistent with independent evidence that the clay minerals are derived from material of the belt. The combined isotopic and mineralogical data provide evidence for a cryptic thermal overprint in the sediments of the belt. However, the highest temperature reached by the samples since the time of clay-mineral formation was <300 degrees C, lower than virtually any known early Archean supracrustal sequence.

  7. Drilling for the Archean Roots of Life and Tectonic Earth in the Barberton Mountains

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    Nicola McLoughlin


    Full Text Available In the Barberton Scientific Drilling Program (BSDP we successfully completed three drill holes in 2008 across strategically selected rock formations in the early Archean Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa. This collaborative project’s goal is to advance understanding of geodynamic and biogeochemical processes of the young Earth. The program aims to better define and characterize Earth’s earliest preserved ocean crust shear zones and microbial borings in Archean basaltic glass, and to identify biogeochemical fingerprints of ancient ecological niches recorded in rocks. The state-of-the-art analytical and imaging work will address the question of earliest plate tectonics in the Archean, the δ18O composition, the redox state and temperature of Archean seawater, and the origin of life question.

  8. Paleoarchean sulfur cycling : Multiple sulfur isotope constraints from the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa

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    Montinaro, Alice; Strauss, Harald; Mason, Paul R D; Roerdink, Desiree; Münker, Carsten; Schwarz-Schampera, Ulrich; Arndt, Nicholas T.; Farquhar, James; Beukes, Nicolas J.; Gutzmer, Jens; Peters, Marc


    Mass-dependent and mass-independent sulfur isotope fractionation archived in volcanic and sedimentary rocks from the Barberton Greenstone Belt (3550-3215. Ma), South Africa, provide constraints for sulfur cycling on the early Earth. Four different sample suites were studied: komatiites and tholeiite

  9. Study of Carbonaceous Material in cherts from Barberton Greenstone Belt and the Astrobiological Implications. (United States)

    Rull, F.; Venegas, G.; Montero, O.; Medina, J.


    Carbonaceous matter is present in chert deposits of Barberton Greenstone Belt (BGB), South Africa. This is a famous place in the world for its Archean geology, wich represents around 3.5 billion years of earth's history. Therefore this area provides us the opportunity to study and understand an important part history of our planet, and also allow to compare with the geological history of other planets in our solar system [1]. Raman micro-spectroscopy has proved to be a very important and non-destructive powerful tool for distinguish micro-sized particles of C-polymorphs, as it is very sensitive to the nature of carbon bonding [2]. The connection between the Raman characterization of these carbonaceous phases with ancient biogenic activity it's of special interest. Cherts of BGB have been interpreted as precipitates or diagenetic replacements of preexisting sedimentary and pyroclastic deposits in a silica saturated Archean ocean [3]. Several layered Samples of cherts from BGB utility for the present study were collected during the expedition carried out in August 2010 sponsored by CNES and ESA. A detailed Raman spectral analysis of carbon C-C vibrations has been performed in the first (1200-1800 cm-1) and second (2500-3200 cm-1) order regions [4]. The results show important changes in the G-D bands in the layered structure of chert. Additionally a UPLC-ESI-QTOF-MS was carried out trying to introduce new insight in the Raman interpretation of the bands and in the possible assignments to particular molecular groups which could be related with biotic or abiotic origin of the carbonaceous material. Among the tentative compounds obtained from UPLC-ESI-QTOF-MS study it is worth to mention hydroxy-lycopene and the hydroxyl derivative of β-carotene (i.e. β-cryptoxanthin), which are carotenoids produced by cyanobacteria. These results are consistent with the presence of 22-Hopanol and Tetrahymanol, which are characteristic hopanoids of photosynthetic cyanobacteria and have

  10. Geochemistry of Precambrian carbonates: II. Archean greenstone belts and Archean sea water. (United States)

    Veizer, J; Hoefs, J; Lowe, D R; Thurston, P C


    Carbonate rocks with geological attributes of marine sediments are a minor component of the Archean greenstone belts. Despite their relative scarcity, these rocks are important because they record chemical and isotopic properties of coeval oceans. The greenstones containing such carbonates appear to cluster at approximately 2.8 +/- 0.2 and approximately 3.5 +/- 0.1 Ga ago. The samples for the younger group are from the Abitibi, Yellowknife, Wabigoon (Steep Rock Lake), Michipicoten and Uchi greenstone belts of Canada and the "Upper Greenstones" of Zimbabwe. The older group includes the Swaziland Supergroup of South Africa, Warrawoona Group of Australia and the Sargur marbles of India. Mineralogically, the carbonates of the younger greenstones are mostly limestones and of the older ones, ferroan dolomites (ankerites); the latter with some affinities to hydrothermal carbonates. In mineralized areas with iron ores, the carbonate minerals are siderite +/- ankerite, irrespective of the age of the greenstones. Iron-poor dolomites represent a later phase of carbonate generation, related to post-depositional tectonic faulting. The original mineralogy of limestone sequences appears to have been an Sr-rich aragonite. The Archean carbonates yield near-mantle Sr isotopic values, with (87Sr/86Sr)o of 0.7025 +/- 0.0015 and 0.7031 +/- 0.0008 for younger and older greenstones, respectively. The best preserved samples give delta 13C of +1.5 +/- 1.5% PDB, comparable to their Phanerozoic counterparts. In contrast, the best estimate for delta 18O is -7% PDB. Archean limestones, compared to Phanerozoic examples, are enriched in 16O as well as in Mn2+ and Fe2+, and these differences are not a consequence of post-depositional alteration phenomena. The mineralogical and chemical attributes of Archean carbonates (hence sea water) are consistent with the proposition that the composition of the coeval oceans may have been buffered by a pervasive interaction with the "mantle", that is, with

  11. Erosion of Archean continents: The Sm-Nd and Lu-Hf isotopic record of Barberton sedimentary rocks (United States)

    Garçon, M.; Carlson, R. W.; Shirey, S. B.; Arndt, N. T.; Horan, M. F.; Mock, T. D.


    Knowing the composition, nature and amount of crust at the surface of the early Earth is crucial to understanding the early geodynamics of our planet. Yet our knowledge of the Hadean-Archean crust is far from complete, limited by the poor preservation of Archean terranes, and the fact that less attention has been paid to the sedimentary record that tracks erosion of these ancient remnants. To address this problem and get a more comprehensive view of what an Archean continent may have looked like, we investigated the trace element and Sm-Nd, Lu-Hf isotopic records of Archean metasedimentary rocks from South Africa. We focused our study on sandstone and mudstone from drill core in the Fig Tree Group (3.23-3.26 Ga) of the Barberton granite-greenstone belt, but also analyzed the 3.4 Ga Buck Reef cherts and still older (3.5-3.6 Ga) meta-igneous rocks from the Ancient Gneiss Complex, Swaziland. Based on principal component analysis of major and trace element data, the Fig Tree metasedimentary rocks can be classified into three groups: crustal detritus-rich sediments, Si-rich sediments and Ca-, Fe-rich sediments. The detritus-rich sediments have preserved the Sm-Nd and Lu-Hf isotopic signatures of their continental sources, and hence can be used to constrain the composition of crust eroded in the Barberton area in the Paleoarchean period. Based on Sm/Nd ratios, we estimate that this crust was more mafic than today, with an average SiO2 content of 60.5 ± 2 wt.%. This composition is further supported by isotopic mixing calculations suggesting that the sedimentary source area contained equal proportions of mafic-ultramafic and felsic rocks. This implies that the Archean crust exposed to weathering was more mafic than today but does not exclude a more felsic composition at depth. Neodymium and Hf crustal residence ages show that the eroded crust was, on average, ∼300-400 Ma older than the deposition age of the sediments, which highlights the importance of intracrustal

  12. New constraints on the Paleoarchean meteorite bombardment of the Earth - Geochemistry and Re-Os isotope signatures of spherule layers in the BARB5 ICDP drill core from the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa (United States)

    Schulz, Toni; Koeberl, Christian; Luguet, Ambre; van Acken, David; Mohr-Westheide, Tanja; Ozdemir, Seda; Reimold, Wolf Uwe


    Archean spherule layers, resulting from impacts by large extraterrestrial objects, to date represent the only remnants of the early meteorite, asteroid, and comet bombardment of the Earth. Only few Archean impact debris layers have been documented, all of them embedded in the 3.23-3.47 billion year old successions of the Barberton Greenstone Belt (BGB) in South Africa and the Pilbara Craton in Western Australia. Some of them might be correlated with each other. Given the scarcity of Archean spherule deposits, four spherule layer intersections from the recently recovered BARB5 drill core from the central Barberton Greenstone Belt, analyzed in this study, provide an opportunity to gain new insight into the early terrestrial impact bombardment. Despite being hydrothermally overprinted, siderophile element abundance signatures of spherule-rich samples from the BARB5 drill core, at least in part, retained a meteoritic fingerprint. The impact hypothesis for the generation of the BARB5 spherule layers is supported by correlations between the abundances of moderately (Cr, Co, Ni) and highly siderophile (Re, Os, Ir, Pt, Ru and Pd) elements, whose peak concentrations and interelement ratios are within the range of those for chondrites. Rhenium-Osmium isotope evidence further support the impact hypothesis. Collectively, this study provides evidence for extraterrestrial admixtures ranging between ∼40 and up to 100% to three of the four analyzed BARB5 spherule layers, and a scenario for their genesis involving (i) impact of a chondritic bolide into a sedimentary target, (ii) varying admixtures of meteoritic components to target materials, (iii) spherule formation via condensation in an impact vapor plume, (iv) transportation of the spherules and sedimentation under submarine conditions, followed by (v) moderate post-impact remobilization of transition metals and highly siderophile elements.

  13. Compositional Grading in an Impact-produced Spherule Bed, Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa: A Key to Condensation History of Rock Vapor Clouds (United States)

    Krull, A. E.; Lowe, D. R.; Byerly, G. R.


    The chemical and physical processes by which spherules form during the condensation of impact-produced rock vapor clouds are poorly understood. Although efforts have been made to model the processes of spherule formation, there is presently a paucity of field data to constrain the resulting theoretical models. The present study examines the vertical compositional variability in a single early Archean spherule bed in the Barberton Greenstone Belt (BGB), South Africa, in order to better identify the process by which impact vapor clouds condense and spherules form and accumulate. The BGB spherule beds are suitable for this type of study because of their great thickness, often exceeding 25cm of pure spherules, due to the massive sizes of the impactors. Two main problems complicate analysis of vertical compositional variability of graded spherule beds: (1) differential settling of particles in both the vapor and water column due to density and size differences and (2) turbulence within the vapor cloud. The present study compares sections of spherule bed S3 from four different depositional environments in the Barberton Greenstone Belt: (1) The Sheba Mine section (SAF-381) was deposited under fairly low energy conditions in deep water, providing a nice fallout sequence, and also has abundant Ni-rich spinels; (2) Jay's Chert section (SAF-380) was deposited in subaerial to shallow-water conditions with extensive post-depositional reworking by currents. The spherules also have preserved spinels; (3) the Loop Road section (loc. SAF-295; samp. KSA-7) was moderately reworked and has only rare preservation of spinels; and (4) the shallow-water Barite Syncline section (loc. SAF-206; samp KSA-1) has few to no spinels preserved and is not reworked. Although all of the spherule beds have been altered by silica diagenesis and K-metasomatism, most of the compositional differences between these sections appear to reflect their diagenetic histories, possibly related to their differing

  14. High-resolution geology, petrology and age of a tectonically accreted section of Paleoarchean oceanic crust, Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa (United States)

    Grosch, Eugene; Vidal, Olivier; McLoughlin, Nicola; Whitehouse, Martin


    The ca. 3.53 to 3.29 Ga Onverwacht Group of the Barberton greenstone belt (BGB), South Africa records a rare sequence of exceptionally well-preserved volcanic, intrusive and volcani-clastic Paleaoarchean rocks. Numerous conflicting models exist for the geologic evolution and stratigraphy of this early Archean greenstone belt, ranging from plume-type dynamics to modern-style plate tectonics. Although much work has focussed on the komatiites of the ca. 3.48 Ga Komati Formation since their discovery in 1969, far less petrological attention has been given to the younger oceanic rock sequences of the Kromberg type-section in the mid-Onverwacht Group. In this study, we present new field observations from a detailed re-mapping of the Kromberg type-section, and combine this with high-resolution lithological observations from continuous drill core of the Barberton Scientific Drilling Project [1]. The new mapping and field observations are compared to a recent preliminary study of the Kromberg type-section [2]. A U-Pb detrital provenance study was conducted on a reworked, volcani-clastic unit in the upper Kromberg type-section for the first time. This included U-Pb age determination of 110 detrital zircons by secondary ion microprobe analyses (SIMS), providing constraints on maximum depositional age, provenance of the ocean-floor detritus, and timing for the onset of Kromberg ocean basin formation. These new zircon age data are compared to a previous U-Pb detrital zircon study conducted on the structurally underlying sediments of the ca. 3.43 Ga Noisy formation [3]. A multi-pronged petrological approach has been applied to various rock units across the Kromberg, including thermodynamic modelling techniques applied to metabasalts and metapyroxenites for PT-estimates, bulk- and in-situ isotope geochemistry providing constraints on protolith geochemistry and metamorphic history. Consequently, it is shown that this previously poorly studied Kromberg oceanic rock sequence of the

  15. Sulfur isotope mass-independent fractionation in impact deposits of the 3.2 billion-year-old Mapepe Formation, Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa (United States)

    van Zuilen, M. A.; Philippot, P.; Whitehouse, M. J.; Lepland, A.


    Theoretical and experimental studies have shown that atmospheric SO2 isotopologue self-shielding effects in the 190-220 nm region of the solar spectrum are the likely cause for mass independent fractionation of sulfur isotopes (S-MIF). The main products of this photochemical reaction - SO3 and S0 - typically define a compositional array of ca. Δ33S/δ34S = 0.06-0.14. This is at odds with the generally observed trend in Archean sulfides, which broadly defines an array of ca. Δ33S/δ34S = 0.9. Various explanations have been proposed, including a diminution of δ34S caused by chemical and biogenic mass-dependent fractionation of sulfur isotopes (S-MDF), mixing with photolytic products produced during felsic volcanic events, or partial blocking of the low-wavelength part of the spectrum due to the presence of reduced atmospheric gases or an organic haze. Early in Earth history large meteorite impacts would have ejected dust and gas clouds into the atmosphere that shielded solar radiation and affected global climate. It is thus likely that at certain time intervals of high meteorite flux the atmosphere was significantly perturbed, having an effect on atmospheric photochemistry and possibly leaving anomalous sulfur isotopic signatures in the rock record. Here we describe the sulfur isotopic signatures in sulfides of spherule beds S2, S3 and S4 of the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa. In particular, in spherule bed S3 - and to a lesser extent S4 - a trend of ca. Δ33S/δ34S = 0.23 is observed that closely follows the expected trend for SO2-photolysis in the 190-220 nm spectral range. This suggests that an impact dust cloud (deposited as spherule beds), which sampled the higher region of the atmosphere, specifically incorporated products of SO2 photolysis in the 190-220 nm range, and blocked photochemical reactions at higher wavelengths (250-330 nm band). By implication, the generally observed Archean trend appears to be the result of mixing of different MIF

  16. Spherule Beds 3.47-3.24 Billion Years Old in the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa: A Record of Large Meteorite Impacts and Their Influence on Early Crustal and Biological Evolution (United States)

    Lowe, Donald R.; Byerly, Gary R.; Kyte, Frank T.; Shukolyukov, Alexander; Asaro, Frank; Krull, Alexander


    Four layers, S1-S4, containing sand-sized spherical particles formed as a result of large meteorite impacts, occur in 3.47-3.24 Ga rocks of the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa. Ir levels in S3 and S4 locally equal or exceed chondritic values but in other sections are at or only slightly above background. Most spherules are inferred to have formed by condensation of impact-produced rock vapor clouds, although some may represent ballistically ejected liquid droplets. Extreme Ir abundances and heterogeneity may reflect element fractionation during spherule formation, hydraulic fractionation during deposition, and/or diagenetic and metasomatic processes. Deposition of S1, S2, and S3 was widely influenced by waves and/or currents interpreted to represent impact-generated tsunamis, and S1 and S2 show multiple graded layers indicating the passage of two or more wave trains. These tsunamis may have promoted mixing within a globally stratified ocean, enriching surface waters in nutrients for biological communities. S2 and S3 mark the transition from the 300-million-year-long Onverwacht stage of predominantly basaltic and komatiitic volcanism to the late orogenic stage of greenstone belt evolution, suggesting that regional and possibly global tectonic reorganization resulted from these large impacts. These beds provide the oldest known direct record of terrestrial impacts and an opportunity to explore their influence on early life, crust, ocean, and atmosphere. The apparent presence of impact clusters at 3.26-3.24 Ga and approx. 2.65-2.5 Ga suggests either spikes in impact rates during the Archean or that the entire Archean was characterized by terrestrial impact rates above those currently estimated from the lunar cratering record.

  17. Spherule Beds 3.47-3.24 Billion Years Old in the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa: A Record of Large Meteorite Impacts and Their Influence on Early Crustal and Biological Evolution (United States)

    Lowe, Donald R.; Byerly, Gary R.; Kyte, Frank T.; Shukolyukov, Alexander; Asaro, Frank; Krull, Alexander


    Four layers, S1-S4, containing sand-sized spherical particles formed as a result of large meteorite impacts, occur in 3.47-3.24 Ga rocks of the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa. Ir levels in S3 and S4 locally equal or exceed chondritic values but in other sections are at or only slightly above background. Most spherules are inferred to have formed by condensation of impact-produced rock vapor clouds, although some may represent ballistically ejected liquid droplets. Extreme Ir abundances and heterogeneity may reflect element fractionation during spherule formation, hydraulic fractionation during deposition, and/or diagenetic and metasomatic processes. Deposition of S1, S2, and S3 was widely influenced by waves and/or currents interpreted to represent impact-generated tsunamis, and S1 and S2 show multiple graded layers indicating the passage of two or more wave trains. These tsunamis may have promoted mixing within a globally stratified ocean, enriching surface waters in nutrients for biological communities. S2 and S3 mark the transition from the 300-million-year-long Onverwacht stage of predominantly basaltic and komatiitic volcanism to the late orogenic stage of greenstone belt evolution, suggesting that regional and possibly global tectonic reorganization resulted from these large impacts. These beds provide the oldest known direct record of terrestrial impacts and an opportunity to explore their influence on early life, crust, ocean, and atmosphere. The apparent presence of impact clusters at 3.26-3.24 Ga and approx. 2.65-2.5 Ga suggests either spikes in impact rates during the Archean or that the entire Archean was characterized by terrestrial impact rates above those currently estimated from the lunar cratering record.

  18. Reworking of atmospheric sulfur in a Paleoarchean hydrothermal system at Londozi, Barberton Greenstone Belt, Swaziland

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    Roerdink, Desiree L.; Mason, Paul R.D.; Whitehouse, Martin J.; Brouwer, Fraukje M.


    Anomalous fractionation of the minor isotopes of sulfur (δ33S, δ36S) in Archean pyrite is thought to reflect photochemical reactions in an anoxic atmosphere, with most samples falling along a reference array with δ36S/δ33S ≈ -1. Small deviations from this array record microbial sulfate reduction or

  19. The rheological behavior of fracture-filling cherts: example of Barite Valley dikes, Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa

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    M. Ledevin


    Full Text Available A 100 m-thick complex of near-vertical carbonaceous chert dikes marks the transition from the Mendon to Mapepe Formations (3260 Ma in the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa. Fracturing was intense in this area, as shown by the profusion and width of the dikes (ca. 1 m on average and by the abundance of completely shattered rocks. The dike-and-sill organization of the fracture network and the upward narrowing of some of the large veins indicate that at least part of the fluid originated at depth and migrated upward in this hydrothermal plumbing system. Abundant angular fragments of silicified country rock are suspended and uniformly distributed within the larger dikes. Jigsaw-fit structures and confined bursting textures indicate that hydraulic fracturing was at the origin of the veins. The confinement of the dike system beneath an impact spherule bed suggests that the hydrothermal circulations were triggered by the impact and located at the external margin of a large crater. From the geometry of the dikes and the petrography of the cherts, we infer that the fluid that invaded the fractures was thixotropic. On one hand, the injection of black chert into extremely fine fractures is evidence for low viscosity at the time of injection; on the other hand, the lack of closure of larger veins and the suspension of large fragments in a chert matrix provide evidence of high viscosity soon thereafter. The inference is that the viscosity of the injected fluid increased from low to high as the fluid velocity decreased. Such rheological behavior is characteristic of media composed of solid and colloidal particles suspended in a liquid. The presence of abundant clay-sized, rounded particles of silica, carbonaceous matter and clay minerals, the high proportion of siliceous matrix and the capacity of colloidal silica to form cohesive 3-D networks through gelation, account for the viscosity increase and thixotropic behavior of the fluid that filled the

  20. REE geochemistry of 3.2 Ga BIF from the Mapepe Formation, Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa (United States)

    Yahagi, T. R.; Yamaguchi, K. E.; Haraguchi, S.; Sano, R.; Teraji, S.; Kiyokawa, S.; Ikehara, M.; Ito, T.


    Banded iron formations (BIFs) are chemical sediments interbedded with Fe- and Si-rich layers, characteristically present in the early history of the Earth. A popular hypothesis for the formation of BIFs postulates that dissolved oxygen produced by photosynthesizers such as cyanobacteria oxidized dissolved ferrous Fe supplied by submarine hydrothermal activities. During precipitation of Fe-oxide minerals, phosphorus and rare earth elements (REEs) were most likely adsorbed on their surface. Therefore, chemical compositions of REEs that adsorbed onto Fe-oxide have useful information on the seawater chemistry at the time of deposition. Especially, information on the redox state of seawater and the extent of the contribution of hydrothermal activity during BIF deposition are expected to have been recorded. Occurrence of BIF has been traditionally tied to the chemical evolution of the atmosphere. Rise of atmospheric oxygen, or as known as GOE (Great Oxidation Event: e.g., Holland, 1994), has been widely believed to have occurred at around 2.4 Ga ago. Contrary, however, some studies have suggested that such oxygenation could have occurred much earlier (e.g., Hoashi et al., 2009). In this study, we used 3.2 Ga old BIF from the Mapepe Formation at the bottom of the Fig Tree Group of the Swaziland Supergroup in the northeastern part of the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa. We aimed to constrain the marine environment, and by inference atmospheric environment, at the time of BIF deposition from REE geochemistry. Major elements and REE compositions of 37 samples were measured using XRF and ICP-MS, respectively. Samples with less than 1.0 wt% Al2O3 are considered to be "pure" BIFs with minimal amount of continental contamination, and are expected to have inherited marine REE signatures. Abundance of REE normalized by C1 chondrite for the analyzed samples commonly exhibits positive Eu anomaly and LREE

  1. Microfossils and possible microfossils from the Early Archean Onverwacht Group, Barberton Mountain Land, South Africa. (United States)

    Walsh, M M


    There is widespread textural evidence for microbial activity in the cherts of the Early Archean Onverwacht Group. Layers with fine carbonaceous laminations resembling fossil microbial mats are abundant in the cherty metasediments of the predominantly basaltic Hooggenoeg and Kromberg Formations. In rare cases, filamentous microfossils are associated with the laminae. The morphologies of the fossils, as well as the texture of the encompassing laminae suggest an affinity to modern mat-dwelling cyanobacteria or bacteria. A variety of spheroidal and ellipsoidal structures present in cherts of the Hooggenoeg and Kromberg Formations resemble modern coccoidal bacteria and bacterial structures, including spores. The development of spores may have enabled early microorganisms to survive the relatively harsh surficial conditions, including the effects of very large meteorite impacts on the young Earth.

  2. A Detailed Record of Archean Biogochemical Cycles and Seawater Chemistry Preserved in Black Shales of the Abitibi Greenstone Belt (United States)

    Scott, C.; Planavsky, N. J.; Bates, S. M.; Wing, B. A.; Lyons, T. W.


    Geological and biological evolution are intimately linked within the Earth System through the medium of seawater. Thus, in order to track the co-evolution of Life and Earth during the Archean Eon we must determine how biogeochemical cycles responded to and initiated changes in the composition of Archean seawater. Among our best records of biogeochemical cycles and seawater chemistry are organic carbon-rich black shales. Here we present a detailed multi-proxy study of 2.7 Ga black shales from the Abitibi Greenstone Belt, Canada. Abitibi shales demonstrate extreme enrichments in total organic carbon (up to 15 wt. %) and total sulfur (up to 6 wt. %) reflecting vigorous biogeochemical cycling in the basin, likely driven by cyanobacteria. The speciation of reactive Fe minerals indicates that pyrite formed in a sulfidic water column (euxinia) and that dissolved Fe was the limiting reactant. The deposition of more than 50 m of euxinic black shales suggests that the Fe-rich conditions reflected by Archean BIF deposition were not necessarily ubiquitous. Biologically significant trace metals fall into two categories. Metals that can be delivered to seawater in large quantities from hydrothermal sources (e.g., Cu and Zn) are enriched in the shales, reflecting their relative abundance in seawater. Conversely, metals that are primarily delivered to the ocean during oxidative weathering of the continents (e. g., Mo and V) are largely absent from the shales, reflecting depleted seawater inventories. Thus, trace metal supply at 2.7 Ga was still dominated by geological processes. Biological forcing of trace metal inventories, through oxidative weathering of the continents, was not initiated until 2.5 Ga, when Mo enrichments are first observed in the Mt. McRae Shale, Hamersley Basin. Multiple sulfur isotope analysis (32S, 33S, 34S) of disseminated pyrite displays large mass independent fractionations (Δ33S up to 6 %) reflecting a sulfur cycle dominated by atmospheric processes

  3. Tourmaline from the Archean G.R.Halli gold deposit, Chitradurga greenstone belt, Dharwar craton (India): Implications for the gold metallogeny


    Susmita Gupta; Jayananda, M.; Fareeduddin


    Tourmaline occurs as a minor but important mineral in the alteration zone of the Archean orogenic gold deposit of Guddadarangavanahalli (G.R.Halli) in the Chitradurga greenstone belt of the western Dharwar craton, southern India. It occurs in the distal alteration halo of the G.R.Halli gold deposit as (a) clusters of very fine grained aggregates which form a minor constituent in the matrix of the altered metabasalt (AMB tourmaline) and (b) in quartz-carbonate veins (vein tourmaline). The vein...

  4. Brazil's premier gold province. Part I: The tectonic, magmatic, and structural setting of the Archean Rio das Velhas greenstone belt, Quadrilátero Ferrífero (United States)

    Lobato, Lydia; Ribeiro-Rodrigues, Luiz; Zucchetti, Márcia; Noce, Carlos; Baltazar, Orivaldo; da Silva, Luiz; Pinto, Claiton


    Rocks of the Rio das Velhas Supergroup comprise one of the most significant Archean greenstone-belt successions in Brazil, in both their appreciable mineral productivity and extensive mineral potential. A large part of this greenstone belt is contained within the Quadrilátero Ferrífero (Iron Quadrangle) region, Minas Gerais state, southeastern Brazil, which occupies the southernmost portion of the São Francisco craton. The Nova Lima Group rocks, at the base of the Rio das Velhas greenstone belt, host important orogenic gold deposits. The group contains lithological associations from bottom to top as follows: (1) mafic-ultramafic volcanic, (2) volcanic-chemical, (3) clastic-chemical, (4) volcaniclastic, and (5) resedimented rocks. Rocks of the resedimented, volcanic-chemical, and mafic-ultramafic volcanic associations mainly host the most important gold deposits. An early compressional deformation occurs in the rocks of the Rio das Velhas greenstone belt and basement gneisses, with tangential thrusting from the north to the south or southwest. Structures generated during a second, compressional deformation, encompass NW-striking thrust faults and SW-vergent, tight to isoclinal folds, inferring a general southwest transport direction. In the central portion of the Quadrilátero Ferrífero, the Paciência lineament, which strikes northwest and dips to the northeast in the south, or strikes northeast and dips to the southeast in the north, is a thrust-related, oblique ramp fault that hosts important gold deposits. The convergence of these two trends in the Nova Lima region is accommodated by roughly E-W-striking transcurrent faults, which are the most favored sites for large gold concentrations. Intracratonic extension in Late Archean to early Paleoproterozoic times and NW-vergent, Trans-Amazonian compressional deformation post-date gold deposition. Late extension during the Paleoproterozoic led to basin formation and the prominent dome-and-keel architecture of the

  5. Iron and sulfur isotope constraints on redox conditions associated with the 3.2 Ga barite deposits of the Mapepe Formation (Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa) (United States)

    Busigny, Vincent; Marin-Carbonne, Johanna; Muller, Elodie; Cartigny, Pierre; Rollion-Bard, Claire; Assayag, Nelly; Philippot, Pascal


    The occurrence of Early Archean barite deposits is intriguing since this type of sediment requires high availability of dissolved sulfate (SO42-), the oxidized form of sulfur, although most authors argued that the Archean eon was dominated by reducing conditions, with low oceanic sulfate concentration (gases produced by large subaerial volcanic events, and possibly SO42- produced by magmatic SO2 disproportionation in hydrothermal systems.

  6. An Archean Geomagnetic Reversal in the Kaap Valley Pluton, South Africa (United States)

    Layer; Kroner; McWilliams


    The Kaap Valley pluton in South Africa is a tonalite intrusion associated with the Archean Barberton Greenstone Belt. Antipodal paleomagnetic directions determined from the central and marginal parts of the pluton record a geomagnetic reversal that occurred as the pluton cooled. The age of the reversal is constrained by an 40Ar/39Ar plateau age from hornblende at 3214 +/- 4 million years, making it the oldest known reversal. The data presented here suggest that Earth has had a reversing, perhaps dipolar, magnetic field since at least 3.2 billion years ago.

  7. Implications of a 3.472-3.333 Gyr-old subaerial microbial mat from the Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa for the UV environmental conditions on the early Earth. (United States)

    Westall, Frances; de Ronde, Cornel E J; Southam, Gordon; Grassineau, Nathalie; Colas, Maggy; Cockell, Charles; Lammer, Helmut


    Modelling suggests that the UV radiation environment of the early Earth, with DNA weighted irradiances of about three orders of magnitude greater than those at present, was hostile to life forms at the surface, unless they lived in specific protected habitats. However, we present empirical evidence that challenges this commonly held view. We describe a well-developed microbial mat that formed on the surface of volcanic littoral sediments in an evaporitic environment in a 3.5-3.3Ga-old formation from the Barberton greenstone belt. Using a multiscale, multidisciplinary approach designed to strongly test the biogenicity of potential microbial structures, we show that the mat was constructed under flowing water by 0.25 microm filaments that produced copious quantities of extracellular polymeric substances, representing probably anoxygenic photosynthesizers. Associated with the mat is a small colony of rods-vibroids that probably represent sulphur-reducing bacteria. An embedded suite of evaporite minerals and desiccation cracks in the surface of the mat demonstrates that it was periodically exposed to the air in an evaporitic environment. We conclude that DNA-damaging UV radiation fluxes at the surface of the Earth at this period must either have been low (absorbed by CO2, H2O, a thin organic haze from photo-dissociated CH4, or SO2 from volcanic outgassing; scattered by volcanic, and periodically, meteorite dust, as well as by the upper layers of the microbial mat) and/or that the micro-organisms exhibited efficient gene repair/survival strategies.

  8. High-resolution quadruple sulfur isotope analyses of 3.2 Ga pyrite from the Barberton Greenstone Belt in South Africa reveal distinct environmental controls on sulfide isotopic arrays (United States)

    Roerdink, Desiree L.; Mason, Paul R. D.; Whitehouse, Martin J.; Reimer, Thomas


    Multiple sulfur isotopes in Paleoarchean pyrite record valuable information on atmospheric processes and emerging microbial activity in the early sulfur cycle. Here, we report quadruple sulfur isotope data (32S, 33S, 34S, 36S) analyzed by secondary ion mass spectrometry from pyrite in a 3.26-3.23 Ga sedimentary barite deposit in the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa. Our results demonstrate the presence of distinct pyrite populations and reproducible isotopic arrays in barite-free and barite-rich samples. The most 34S-depleted signatures with weakly positive Δ33S/δ34S were found in disseminated pyrite in barite, whereas positive Δ33S-values with negative Δ33S/δ34S and Δ36S/Δ33S = -0.9 ± 0.2 were exclusively observed in pyrite hosted by chert, dolomite, conglomerate and breccia. We interpret these variations to be related to local redox reactions and mixing in the sulfide phase, rather than representing primary atmospheric variability alone. The strong correlation between lithology and isotopic composition indicates distinct environments of sulfide formation linked to local sulfate concentrations and fluctuating inputs from different sulfur metabolisms. Strongly 34S-depleted sulfide was formed by microbial sulfate reduction at [SO42-] > 200 μM during deposition of barite-rich sediments, whereas isotope effects were suppressed when sulfate levels decreased during deposition of terrigeneous clastic rocks. Positive Δ33S-values indicate an increased input of sulfide derived from elemental sulfur metabolisms when sulfate concentrations fell below 200 μM. Our results support an important role for local sulfate concentrations on the expression of biogenic sulfur isotope signatures in some of the oldest rocks on Earth.

  9. Brazil's premier gold province. Part II: geology and genesis of gold deposits in the Archean Rio das Velhas greenstone belt, Quadrilátero Ferrífero (United States)

    Lobato, Lydia; Ribeiro-Rodrigues, Luiz; Vieira, Frederico


    Orogenic, gold deposits are hosted by rocks of the Archean Rio das Velhas greenstone belt in the Quadrilátero Ferrífero region, Minas Gerais state, Brazil, one of the major gold provinces in the world. The gold deposits occur at the base of the mafic-ultramafic succession, with the most important orebodies controlled by E-W-striking, strike-slip faults. The main mineralization styles are (1) structurally controlled, sulfide replacement zones in banded iron formation (BIF); (2) disseminated sulfide minerals and gold in hydrothermally altered rocks along shear zones; and (3) auriferous quartz-carbonate-sulfide veins and veinlets in mafic, ultramafic, and felsic volcanic rocks, and also in clastic sedimentary rocks. The most common host rocks for ore are metamorphosed oxide- and carbonate-facies banded iron (± iron-rich metachert) formations (e.g., the Cuiabá, São Bento and Raposos deposits) and the lapa seca unit, which is a local term for intensely carbonatized rock (e.g., the giant Morro Velho mine with >450 t of contained gold). Metabasalts host most of the remaining gold deposits. Mineralogical characteristics and fluid inclusion studies suggest variations in the H2O/CO2 ratio of a low-salinity, near-neutral, reducing, sulfur-bearing, ore fluid. The presence of abundant CH4-rich inclusions is related to reduction of the original H2O-CO2 fluid via interaction with carbonaceous matter in the wallrocks. Oxygen fugacity was close to that of graphite saturation, with variations likely to have been influenced by reaction with the carbonaceous matter. Carbon-rich phyllites and schists, which commonly bound ore-bearing horizons, seem to have played both a physical and chemical role in localizing hydrothermal mineral deposition. Microtextural studies indicate that gold deposition was mainly related to desulfidation reactions, and was paragenetically coeval with precipitation of arsenic-rich iron sulfide minerals. Carbon isotope data are compatible with dissolution of

  10. PGE, Re-Os, and Mo isotope systematics in Archean and early Proterozoic sedimentary systems as proxies for redox conditions of the early Earth (United States)

    Siebert, C.; Kramers, J. D.; Meisel, Th.; Morel, Ph.; Nägler, Th. F.


    Re-Os data and PGE concentrations as well as Mo concentrations and isotope data are reported for suites of fine clastic sediments and black shales from the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa (Fig Tree and Moodies Groups, 3.25-3.15 Ga), the Belingwe Greenstone Belt, Zimbabwe (Manjeri Formation, ca. 2.7 Ga) and shales from the Witwatersrand, Ventersdorp and Transvaal Supergroups, South Africa ranging from 2.95 to 2.2 Ga. Moderately oxidizing conditions are required to mobilize Re and Mo in the environment, Mo fractionation only occurs in solution, and these parameters thus have potential use as paleoredox proxies for the early Earth. PGE + Re abundance patterns of Barberton Greenstone Belt sediments are uniform and very similar in shape to those of komatiites. This indicates (1) that the PGE came from a source of predominantly ultramafic composition and, (2) that PGE were transported and deposited essentially in particulate form. Sediments from the younger Belingwe Greenstone Belt show more fractionated PGE + Re patterns and have Re/Os ratios 10 to 100× higher than those of Barberton sediments. Their PGE abundance patterns and Re/Os ratios are intermediate between those of the mid-Archean shales and Neoproterozoic to Recent black shales. They reflect scavenging of Re from solution in the sedimentary environment. δ 98/95Mo values of black shales of all ages correlate with their concentrations. The Barberton Greenstone Belt samples have ˜1-3 ppm Mo, similar to a granitoid-basaltic source. This Mo has δ 98/95Mo between -1.9 and -2.4‰ relative to present day mean ocean water molybdenum, MOMO and is thus not isotopically fractionated relative to such a source. Similar to the PGE this indicates transport in solid form. Sediments from the Belingwe Greenstone Belt show in part enhanced Mo concentrations (up to 6 ppm) and Mo isotope fractionation (δ 98/95Mo up to -1.4‰ relative to MOMO). The combined PGE + Re and Mo data show mainly reducing conditions in the

  11. Tourmaline from the Archean G.R.Halli gold deposit, Chitradurga greenstone belt, Dharwar craton (India):Implications for the gold metallogeny

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Susmita Gupta; M. Jayananda; Fareeduddin


    Tourmaline occurs as a minor but important mineral in the alteration zone of the Archean orogenic gold deposit of Guddadarangavanahalli (G.R.Halli) in the Chitradurga greenstone belt of the western Dharwar craton, southern India. It occurs in the distal alteration halo of the G.R.Halli gold deposit as (a) clusters of very fine grained aggregates which form a minor constituent in the matrix of the altered metabasalt (AMB tourmaline) and (b) in quartz-carbonate veins (vein tourmaline). The vein tourmaline, based upon the association of specific carbonate minerals, is further grouped as (i) albite-tourmaline-ankerite-quartz veins (vein-1 tourmaline) and (ii) albite-tourmaline-calcite-quartz veins (vein-2 tourmaline). Both the AMB tourmaline and the vein tourmalines (vein-1 and vein-2) belong to the alkali group and are clas-sified under schorl-dravite series. Tourmalines occurring in the veins are zoned while the AMB tour-malines are unzoned. Mineral chemistry and discrimination diagrams reveal that cores and rims of the vein tourmalines are distinctly different. Core composition of the vein tourmalines is similar to the composition of the AMB tourmaline. The formation of the AMB tourmaline and cores of the vein tour-malines are proposed to be related to the regional D1 deformational event associated with the emplacement of the adjoining ca. 2.61 Ga Chitradurga granite whilst rims of the vein tourmalines vis-à-vis gold mineralization is spatially linked to the juvenile magmatic accretion (2.56e2.50 Ga) east of the studied area in the western part of the eastern Dharwar craton.

  12. The geology of the Morro Velho gold deposit in the Archean Rio das Velhas greenstone belt, Quadrilátero Ferrífero, Brazil (United States)

    Vial, Diogenes Scipioni; DeWitt, Ed; Lobato, Lydia Maria; Thorman, Charles H.


    The Morro Velho gold deposit, Quadrilátero Ferrífero region, Minas Gerais, Brazil, is hosted by rocks at the base of the Archean Rio das Velhas greenstone belt. The deposit occurs within a thick carbonaceous phyllite package, containing intercalations of felsic and intermediate volcaniclastic rocks and dolomites. Considering the temporal and spatial association of the deposit with the Rio das Velhas orogeny, and location in close proximity to a major NNW-trending fault zone, it can be classified as an orogenic gold deposit. Hydrothermal activity was characterized by intense enrichment in alteration zones of carbonates, sulfides, chlorite, white mica±biotite, albite and quartz, as described in other Archean lode-type gold ores. Two types of ore occur in the deposit: dark gray quartz veins and sulfide-rich gold orebodies. The sulfide-rich orebodies range from disseminated concentrations of sulfide minerals to massive sulfide bodies. The sulfide assemblage comprises (by volume), on average, 74% pyrrhotite, 17% arsenopyrite, 8% pyrite and 1% chalcopyrite. The orebodies have a long axis parallel to the local stretching lineation, with continuity down the plunge of fold axis for at least 4.8 km. The group of rocks hosting the Morro Velho gold mineralization is locally referred to as lapa seca. These were isoclinally folded and metamorphosed prior to gold mineralization. The lapa seca and the orebodies it hosts are distributed in five main tight folds related to F1 (the best examples are the X, Main and South orebodies, in level 25), which are disrupted by NE- to E-striking shear zones. Textural features indicate that the sulfide mineralization postdated regional peak metamorphism, and that the massive sulfide ore has subsequently been neither metamorphosed nor deformed. Lead isotope ratios indicate a model age of 2.82 ± 0.05 Ga for both sulfide and gold mineralization. The lapa seca are interpreted as the results of a pre-gold alteration process and may be

  13. Trace element geochemistry and petrogenesis of the granitoids and high-K andesite hosting gold mineralisation in the Archean Musoma-Mara Greenstone Belt, Tanzania (United States)

    Kazimoto, Emmanuel Owden; Ikingura, Justinian R.


    Modern and ancient active continental margins are well known for their potential for hosting important gold deposits. The Neoarchean Musoma-Mara Greenstone Belt of the Tanzania Craton is also known for hosting several important gold deposits. Previous geochemical studies of the belt demonstrated that the rocks formed along Neoarchean convergent margins. The host rocks of the three important deposits in this belt had not yet been geochemically investigated. Therefore, we studied the host rocks of the Gokona, Nyabigena and Nyabirama gold deposits in the Neoarchean Musoma-Mara Greenstone Belt of the Tanzania Craton to determine the tectonic setting of their formation and constrain their petrogenesis. The host rocks of the Gokona and Nyabigena deposits are classified as high-K andesite, whereas the host rocks of the Nyabirama deposit are classified primarily as trondhjemite and granite and minor granodiorite (TGG). The high-K andesite and TGG were formed in an active continental margin similar to that of other Neoarchean volcanic rocks found in the Musoma-Mara Greenstone Belt. The host rocks contain low Ni and Cr concentrations and are characterised by negative Eu anomalies (Eu/Eu* = 0.67-0.72 and 0.17-0.6). The chondrite-normalised rare earth element (REE) patterns of the rocks display strong enrichment in light REEs over heavy REEs (high-K andesite (La/Yb)N = 21.7-35.6, and TGG (La/Yb)N = 2.4-94.4). Moreover, the primitive normalised diagrams show enrichment in large-ion lithophile elements (Ba, Rb, Th and K), negative Nb and Ta anomalies and depletion in heavy rare earth elements and high field-strength elements (Y and Ti). The high-K andesite has a Nb/Ta value close to that of depleted mantle (mean = 15.0), lower Zr/Sm values (19.4-30.6) and higher concentrations of REEs, large ion lithophile elements, Sr (607 ppm) and Y than in the TGG. The TGG has a low mean Nb/Ta value (13.2) and Sr concentration (283 ppm) and a lower amount of HREEs and higher values of Zr

  14. Evaluating the earliest traces of Archean sub-seafloor life by NanoSIMS (United States)

    Mcloughlin, N.; Grosch, E. G.; Kilburn, M.; Wacey, D.


    The Paleoarchean sub-seafloor has been proposed as an environment for the emergence of life with titanite microtextures in pillow lavas argued to be the earliest traces of microbial micro-tunneling (Furnes et al. 2004). Here we use a nano-scale ion microprobe (NanoSIMS) to evaluate possible geochemical traces of life in 3.45 Ga pillow lavas of the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa. We investigated both surface and drill core samples from the original "Biomarker" outcrop in the Hooggenoeg Fm. Pillow lava metavolcanic glass contain clusters of segmented microcrystalline titanite filaments, ~4μm across and inclusions in the microtextures have strongly depleted δ34SVCDT values of -39.8 to +3.2‰ (n= 32). The magnitude, range and spatial heterogeneity of these δ34S values are consistent with an early microbial origin (McLoughlin et al. 2012). In contrast, sulfides cross-cutting the microtextures related to later veining have positive δ34S of +6.7 to +18.0‰ (n=20). These data can be compared to magmatic sulfides (δ34S = +3±3‰), Archean seawater (δ34S ca. +5‰) and Archean sedimentary sulfides (δ34S = +8 to -23‰). We propose that the Hooggenoeg sulfides probably formed during early fluid-rock-microbe interaction involving sulfate-reducing microbes (c.f. Rouxel et al. 2008). The pillow lavas were then metamorphosed, the glass transformed to a greenschist facies assemblage and titanite growth encapsulated the microbial sulfides. In summary, the extreme sulfur isotope fractionations reported here independently point towards the potential involvement of microbes in the alteration of Archean volcanic glass. In situ sulfur isotope analysis of basalt-hosted sulfides may provide an alternative approach to investigating the existence of an Archean sub-seafloor biosphere that does not require the mineralization of early microbial microborings with organic linings.

  15. Is the Cameron River greenstone belt allochthonous? (United States)

    Kusky, T. M.


    Many tectonic models for the Slave Province, N.W.T., Canada, and for Archean granite - greenstone terranes in general, are implicitly dependent on the assumption that greenstone belt lithologies rest unconformably upon older gneissic basement. Other models require originally large separations between gneissic terranes and greenstone belts. A key question relating to the tectonics of greenstone belts is therefore the original spatial relationship between the volcanic assemblages and presumed-basement gneisses, and how this relationship has been modified by subsequent deformation. What remains unclear in these examples is the significance of the so-called later faulting of the greenstone - gneiss contacts. Where unconformities between gneisses and overlying sediments are indisputable, such as at Point Lake, the significance of faults which occur below the base of the volcanic succession also needs to be evaluated. As part of an on-going investigation aimed at answering these and other questions, the extremely well-exposed Cameron River Greenstone Belt and the Sleepy Dragon Metamorphic Complex in the vicinity of Webb Lake and Sleepy Dragon Lake was mapped.

  16. The Ivisartoq Greenstone Belt, Southwest Greenland: New Investigations (United States)

    Mader, M. M.; Myers, J. S.; Sylvester, P. J.


    The Ivisartoq greenstone belt is situated 40 km south of the Isua greenstone belt, within the Archean gneiss complex of southwest Greenland. The Isua region has been the focus of intense study because it contains some of the oldest known (~ 3.8-3.7 Ga) rocks on Earth. However, relatively little research has been conducted within the Ivisartoq belt. The Ivisartoq greenstone belt is exceptionally well-exposed in three dimensions, and primary features are better preserved here than in any other Archean greenstone belt in Greenland. The Ivisartoq greenstone belt provides a unique opportunity to characterise early-middle Archean mafic-ultramafic magmatism. The Ivisartoq greenstone belt forms a southwest-closing, V-shaped synform and was subjected to amphibolite facies metamorphic conditions. New field mapping has concentrated on the 3 km thick southern limb of the synform, where the most complete section of the tectonostratigraphy is preserved, and where pillow structures with unambiguous way-up indicators are observed. The southern limb has been divided into two units of amphibolites: a lower unit and an upper unit. The upper amphibolite unit is characterized by heterogeneously deformed pillow structures interlayered with ultramafic amphibole schists, meta-gabbro, and with boudins of olivine-bearing ultrabasic rocks. The lower amphibolite unit is more heterogenous and intensely deformed than the upper unit. Layers of quartz-feldspathic rocks with sulfides are abundant in both the upper and lower unit and are highly sheared. A thick (~ 500m) section of quartzo-feldspathic gneisses and schists in the lower unit has been the focus of preliminary geochronological work. Previously, only one U/Pb zircon age (~ 2580 Ma from a "paraschist") has been obtained from the Ivisartoq belt and was reported by Baadsgaard in 1976. Currently, laser ablation microprobe inductively coupled plasma - mass spectrometry (LAM ICP-MS) and isotope dilution thermal ionization mass spectrometry

  17. Metamorphic fluid flow in the northeastern part of the 3.8-3.7 Ga Isua Greenstone Belt (SW Greenland): A re-evalution of fluid inclusion evidence for early Archean seafloor-hydrothermal systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heijlen, Wouter; Appel, P. W. U.; Frezzotti, M. L.;


    segregations showed that they were affected by variable recrystallization which controlled their fluid inclusion content. The oldest unaltered fluid inclusions found are present in vein crystals that survived dynamic and static recrystallization. These crystals contain a cogenetic, immiscible assemblage of CO2......-NaCl (0.2-3.7 eq. wt% NaCl.) These successive fluid inclusion assemblages record a retrograde P-T evolution close to a geothermal gradient of similar to 30 degrees C/km, but also indicate fluid pressure variations and the introduction of highly reducing fluids at similar to 200-300 degrees C and 0......Fluid inclusions in quartz globules and quartz veins of a 3.8-3.7 Ga old, well-preserved pillow lava breccia in the northeastern Isua Greenstone Belt (IGB) were studied using microthermometry, Raman spectrometry and SEM Cathodoluminescence Imaging. Petrographic study of the different quartz...

  18. Hydrothermal Processes in the Archean - New Insights from Imaging Spectroscopy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruitenbeek, F.J.A. van


    The aim of this research was to gain new insights in fossil hydrothermal systems using airborne imaging spectroscopy. Fossil submarine hydrothermal systems in Archean greenstone belts and other geologic terranes are important because of their relationship with volcanic massive sulfide (VMS) mineral

  19. Hydrothermal Processes in the Archean - New Insights from Imaging Spectroscopy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruitenbeek, F.J.A. van


    The aim of this research was to gain new insights in fossil hydrothermal systems using airborne imaging spectroscopy. Fossil submarine hydrothermal systems in Archean greenstone belts and other geologic terranes are important because of their relationship with volcanic massive sulfide (VMS) mineral

  20. Some examples of deep structure of the Archean from geophysics (United States)

    Smithson, S. B.; Johnson, R. A.; Pierson, W. R.


    The development of Archean crust remains as one of the significant problems in earth science, and a major unknown concerning Archean terrains is the nature of the deep crust. The character of crust beneath granulite terrains is especially fascinating because granulites are generally interpreted to represent a deep crustal section. Magnetic data from this area can be best modeled with a magnetized wedge of older Archean rocks (granulitic gneisses) underlying the younger Archean greenstone terrain. The dip of the boundary based on magnetic modeling is the same as the dip of the postulated thrust-fault reflection. Thus several lines of evidence indicate that the younger Archean greenstone belt terrain is thrust above the ancient Minnesota Valley gneiss terrain, presumably as the greenstone belt was accreted to the gneiss terrain, so that the dipping reflection represents a suture zone. Seismic data from underneath the granulite-facies Minnesota gneiss terrain shows abundant reflections between 3 and 6 s, or about 9 to 20 km. These are arcuate or dipping multicyclic events indicative of layering.

  1. Thermal implications of metamorphism in greenstone belts and the hot asthenosphere-thick continental lithoshere paradox (United States)

    Morgan, P.


    From considerations of secular cooling of the Earth and the slow decay of radiogenic heat sources in the Earth with time, the conclusion that global heat loss must have been higher in the Archean than at present seems inescapable. The mechanism by which this additional heat was lost and the implications of higher heat low for crustal temperatures are fundamental unknowns in our current understanding of Archean tectonics and geological processes. Higher heat loss implies that the average global geothermal gradient was higher in the Archean than at present, and the restriction of ultramafic komatiites to the Archean and other considerations suggests that the average temperature of the mantle was several hundred degrees hotter during the Archean than today. In contrast, there is little petrologic evidence that the conditions of metamorphism or crustal thickness (including maximum crustal thickness under mountains) were different in archean continental crust from the Phanerozoic record. Additionally, Archean ages have recently been determined for inclusions in diamonds from Cretaceous kimeberlites in South Africa, indicating temperatures of 900 to 1300 at depths of 150 to 215 km (45 to 65 kbar) in the Archean mantle, again implying relatively low geothermal gradients at least locally in the Archean. The thermal implications of metamorphism are examined, with special reference to greenstone belts, and a new thermal model of the continental lithosphere is suggested which is consistent with thick continental lithosphere and high asthenosphere temperatures in the Archean.

  2. Record of mid-Archaean subduction from metamorphism in the Barberton terrain, South Africa. (United States)

    Moyen, Jean-François; Stevens, Gary; Kisters, Alexander


    Although plate tectonics is the central geological process of the modern Earth, its form and existence during the Archaean era (4.0-2.5 Gyr ago) are disputed. The existence of subduction during this time is particularly controversial because characteristic subduction-related mineral assemblages, typically documenting apparent geothermal gradients of 15 degrees C km(-1) or less, have not yet been recorded from in situ Archaean rocks (the lowest recorded apparent geothermal gradients are greater than 25 degrees C km(-1)). Despite this absence from the rock record, low Archaean geothermal gradients are suggested by eclogitic nodules in kimberlites and circumstantial evidence for subduction processes, including possible accretion-related structures, has been reported in Archaean terrains. The lack of spatially and temporally well-constrained high-pressure, low-temperature metamorphism continues, however, to cast doubt on the relevance of subduction-driven tectonics during the first 1.5 Gyr of the Earth's history. Here we report garnet-albite-bearing mineral assemblages that record pressures of 1.2-1.5 GPa at temperatures of 600-650 degrees C from supracrustal amphibolites from the mid-Archaean Barberton granitoid-greenstone terrain. These conditions point to apparent geothermal gradients of 12-15 degrees C-similar to those found in recent subduction zones-that coincided with the main phase of terrane accretion in the structurally overlying Barberton greenstone belt. These high-pressure, low-temperature conditions represent metamorphic evidence for cold and strong lithosphere, as well as subduction-driven tectonic processes, during the evolution of the early Earth.

  3. Partition coefficients for calcic plagioclase - Implications for Archean anorthosites (United States)

    Phinney, W. C.; Morrison, D. A.


    In most Archean cratons, cumulates of equant plagioclase megacrysts form anorthositic complexes, including those at Bad Vermilion Lake (Ontario). In this paper, partition coefficients (Ds) of REEs between natural high-Ca plagioclase megacrysts and their basaltic matrices were determined, using a multiple aliquot techique, and megacrystic plagioclases occurring in anorthosites were analyzed for the same components which, in conjunction with their Ds, were applied to calculations of melts in equilibrium with anorthosites. The REE's Ds were found to agree well with experimentally determined values and to predict equilibrium melts for Archean anorthosites that agree well with coeval basaltic flows and dikes. The Ds also appear to be valid for both the tholeiitic and alkali basalts over a wide range of mg numbers and REE concentrations. It is suggested that the moderately Fe-rich tholeiites that are hosts to plagioclase megacrysts in greenstone belts form the parental melts for megacrysts which make up the Bad Vermilion Lake Archean anorthositic complex.

  4. Geochemistry and chronology of Se' ertengshan greenstone, Inner Mongolia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Jianzhong; WANG Lili; ZHANG Fuqin; LI Chunlai; ZOU Yongliao; OUYANG Ziyuan; XU Lin


    This paper deals with the meta-mafic volcanic rocks of the Gongyiming iron deposit at Baotou, Inner Mongolia. The major and trace elements and REE data indicate that the meta-mafic volcanic rocks occurred in the environment similar to a modern continental rift. Sm-Nd and Rb-Sr isotopic studies indicated that the meta-basic rocks were formed during the Early Neoarchean from 2800 Ma to 2900 Ma and reworked during the Late Neoarchean (2500 Ma) by metamorphism. Because of the separation of the North China Craton from the Siberia Craton during the Middle Proterozoic ( 1600 Ma), the Rb-Sr systematics of the rocks has been changed. The Se' ertengshan greenstone seems to occur during the Middle Archean. A stable continental crust may have existed during the Paleoarchean.

  5. Physical volcanology of the mafic segment of the subaqueous New Senator caldera, Abitibi greenstone belt, Quebec, Canada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moore, Lyndsay N; Mueller, Wulf U [Universite du Quebec a Chicoutimi, 555 boul. du l' Universite, Chicoutimi, Quebec, G7H2B1 (Canada)], E-mail:


    Archean calderas provide valuable insight into internal geometries of subaqueous calderas. The New Senator caldera, Abitibi greenstone belt, Canada, is an Archean example of a subaqueous nested caldera with a basal stratigraphy dominated by gabbro-diorite dykes and sills, ponded magmas and basalt and andesite lava flows. The aim of our study is to focus on the use of physical volcanology to differentiate between the various mafic units found at the base of the New Senator caldera. Differentiation between these various mafic units is important from an exploration point of view because in modern subaqueous summit calders (e.g. Axial Seamount) margins of ponded magmas are often sites of VMS formation.

  6. Dome and Keel dynamics in the hot Archean lithosphere: a numerical approach (United States)

    Duclaux, G.; Thebaud, N.; Gessner, K.; Doublier, M.


    The long-term interactions between greenstone belts and adjacent granitoids domes is key for understanding hot lithosphere rheology, crustal evolution and major ore deposits formation in Archean terrains. Some few tectonic processes have been proposed to explain both local and regional granite/greenstone finite deformation patterns observed in Archean terrains such as the West Australian Pilbara or Yilgarn cratons, including crustal extension following gravitational collapse, metamorphic core complex formation, folding interferences, and gravity driven deformation associated with exhumation of granitoids relative to a supracrustal cover. We propose to assess gravity driven deformation processes from simplified 2-D and 3-D thermo-mechanical numerical experiments using Underworld. A series of visco-plastic experiments under controlled boundary conditions have allowed us to identify three distinct stages in the hot lithosphere tectonic evolution: (1) an internal heating phase, (2) an inversion phase where dense mafic materials fall toward the lower crust while mid-crustal granitoids raise toward the surface, and (3) a freezing phase where the system stops. The relative duration of these phases is dependent on models initial geometries and inherited structures, materials thermal properties and rheologies, and the rheological contrast between granitoids and greenstones. We compare our experimental results with field observations and geophysical data from the Yilgarn craton in order to validate the gravity driven tectonic model, and eventually constrain the range of thermal and mechanical parameters that best capture Archean crustal dynamics.

  7. Sulfide Mineralization In The Marble Bar Greenstone Belt Around Mount Edger Batholith, Pilbara Craton, Western Australia (United States)

    Kitazono, S.; Nedachi, M.; Taguchi, S.


    Pilbara Craton is one of the most important regions in the world to understand the evolution of early Earth, because the geological history is well preserved through the metamorphism of low grade. Pilbara Craton, Western Australia, consists of two different tectonic components formed 3.6 and 2.8 Ga; an older Archean granite occupying the east Pilbara and greenstone belt. In the east Pilbara, the most conspicuous structures are broad domal granitoid complex separated by narrow synformal greenstone belts, and a model of continuous lithostratigraphy in the greenstones in which the dominant structures were produced by multi-stage granitoid diapirism. The Marble Bar greenstone belt is distributed around the Mount Edgar of granitoid pluton, and numerous hydrothermal gold veins are distributed in the greenstone near the boundary of pluton. Also base-metal veins and volcanogenic sedimentary type deposits are located in the same area. In this study, we examined the hydrothermal mineralization observed in the core samples of the Marble Bar greenstone belt, drilled at the Salgash area by the Archean Biosphere Drilling Project (ABDP). The Salgash drill hole is composed of tuff breccias with numerous fragments of black shale of 100 m in thickness, alternation of sandstone and shale of 40 m in thickness, basaltic lava and tuff of 30 m in thickness, and shale and sandstone of 110m in thickness with some sills of basalt and ultramafic rock. The rocks had been metamorphosed, and the grade is near the boundary between green schist and amphibolite facies. Low REE content (43 to 88 ppm), low La/Yb ratio (6.3 to 14.3), and high Eu/Eu* ratio (0.9 to 1.3) of the volcanic rocks are ordinal as the basaltic rock in Archean greenstone belts. On the other hand, these rocks show extremely high values of Cr (1500ppm), Ni (700ppm), Co (70 ppm), and Zn (600 ppm). The C isotopic ratios of carbonate in the volcanic rocks are around -3.8 permil. The clastic sediment sandstone and black shale show

  8. Evidence for spreading in the lower Kam Group of the Yellowknife greenstone belt: Implications for Archaean basin evolution in the Slave Province (United States)

    Helmstaedt, H.; Padgham, W. A.

    The Yellowknife greenstone belt is the western margin of an Archean turbidite-filled basin bordered on the east by the Cameron River and Beaulieu River volcanic belts (Henderson, 1981; Lambert, 1982). This model implies that rifting was entirely ensialic and did not proceed beyond the graben stage. Volcanism is assumed to have been restricted to the boundary faults, and the basin was floored by a downfaulted granitic basement. On the other hand, the enormous thickness of submarine volcanic rocks and the presence of a spreading complex at the base of the Kam Group suggest that volcanic rocks were much more widespread than indicated by their present distribution. Rather than resembling volcanic sequences in intracratonic graben structures, the Kam Group and its tectonic setting within the Yellowknife greenstone belt have greater affinities to the Rocas Verdes of southern Chile, Mesozoic ophiolites, that were formed in an arc-related marginal basin setting. The similarities of these ophiolites with some Archean volcanic sequences was previously recognized, and served as basis for their marginal-basin model of greenstone belts. The discovery of a multiple and sheeted dike complex in the Kam Group confirms that features typical of Phanerozoic ophiolites are indeed preserved in some greenstone belts and provides further field evidence in support of such a model.

  9. Geochronology of the Palaeoproterozoic Kautokeino Greenstone Belt, Finnmark, Norway, in its Fennoscandian context (United States)

    Bingen, Bernard; Solli, Arne; Viola, Giulio; Sverre Sandstad, Jan; Torgersen, Espen; Whitehouse, Martin J.; Skår, Øyvind; Nasuti, Aziz


    The northeastern part of the Fennoscandian Shield consists of Archaean cratonic blocks alternating with Palaeoproterozoic greenstone belts ranging in age from c. 2500 to 1950 Ma. Traditionally, the greenstones are interpeted as evidence for rifting of the Archaean continent(s) although it remains unclear whether modern-style oceanic lithosphere developed, followed by a Wilson-cycle-type closure during the Svecokarelian orogeny. Existing geological, isotopic and geochronological data show that the exposed basins hosting the greenstones have distinct lithostratigraphies and geological evolutions and are pericontinental rather than oceanic. A diversity of Palaeoproterozoic mafic mantle derived magmatic rocks show a secular increase of Nd value with time, from EpsilonNd =-2 at 2500 Ma (Shalskiy dikes, Onega, Russia) to EpsilonNd =+4.4 at 2090 Ma (Jouttiaapa basalts, Peräpohja, Finland), suggesting that the regional asthenospheric mantle was less depleted than the model MORB-producing depleted mantle before 2090 Ma. In this work, we report new zircon U-Pb geochronological data in 19 samples from Finnmarkvidda, Norway, to constrain the evolution of the Palaeoproterozoic high-strain Kautokeino Greenstone Belt and its relations with the neighbouring felsic Jergul and Ráiseatnu gneiss complexes. The Jergul complex is an Archaean, low heat flow, TTG cratonic bloc of Karelian affinity formed between 2975 ±10 and 2776 ±6 Ma. The Masi formation, at the base of the Kautokeino Greenstone Belt, is a typical Jatulian quartzite unconformably overlying the Archean basement. An albite-magnetite-rich mafic sill, similar to the Haaskalehto intrusion in Finland, provides a minimum age of 2220 ±7 Ma for the deposition of the quartzite. The Likčá and Čáskejas formations represent the main basaltic volcanism. Direct evidence of an oceanic setting or oceanic suture is lacking. A probably synvolcanic gabbro sill gives an age of 2137 ±5 Ma. Published Sm-Nd whole-rock data on

  10. U/Pb (SHRIMP), {sup 207}Pb/{sup 206}Pb, Rb/Sr, Sm/Nd e K/Ar geochronology of granite-greenstone terrains of Gaviao Block: implications for the Proterozoic and Archean evolution of Sao Francisco Craton, Brazil; Geocronologia U/Pb (SHRIMP), {sup 207}Pb/{sup 206}Pb, Rb/Sr, Sm/Nd e K/Ar dos terrenos granito-greenstone do Bloco do Gaviao: implicacoes para a evolucao arqueana e proterozoica do craton do Sao Francisco, Brasil

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    Leal, Luiz Rogerio Bastos


    The Gaviao Block (GB) in the northern portion of the Sao Francisco Craton-Northeast of Brazil, constitutes one of the oldest Archean fragments of the South American Platform Archean crust. GB underwent several events of juvenile accretion and reworking of continental crust along its evolutionary history, notably between the Archean and the Paleoproterozoic. {sup 207}Pb/{sup 206}Pb isotopic analyses were carried out in two zircons populations from strongly migmatized TTG terranes found in the proximity of Brumado: the first population (7 crystals) is taken as representative of the crystallization period of the TTG terranes at 3300 {+-} 45 Ma; the second (2 crystals) represents the age of the first even of metamorphism/migmatization at 2910 {+-} 10 Ma. {sup 207} Pb/{sup 206} Pb analyses in zircons from an outcrop of non-migmatized TTG in the area yielded a 3202 {+-} 15 Ma age (4 crystals), interpreted to be the crystallization period of the gneiss protolith. Sm/Nd analyses on the TTG rocks of the Brumado region yielded T{sub DM} model ages varying between 3.26 and 3.36 Ga and {epsilon}{sub Nd}{sup (t)} between -3.5 and +0.7. These data suggest the occurrence of juvenile accretions to the continental crust during the Archean, with differential involvement of crustal materials. The geochemical data of rare earth elements corresponding to the TTG terranes revealed moderate LRRE contents (La{sub N}=83,5), low HREE contents (La{sub N}=2,5) and a fairly fractionated pattern (La/Yb){sub N}=34, besides lack of negative Eu anomaly, showing that these rocks have similar compositions to those TTG terranes of cratonic continents, as well as some Archean rocks from CSF (e.g. Sete Voltas, Boa Vista). Finally, the youngest ages present in GB rocks (ca. 1.2-0.45 Ga) represent the role played by tectono thermal events, which produced partial or total rejuvenation of the Rb/Sr and K/Ar isotopic systems during the Espinhaco and Brasiliano cycles. In particular, K/Ar ages illustrate the

  11. The origin of carbonaceous matter in pre-3.0 Ga greenstone terrains: A review and new evidence from the 3.42 Ga Buck Reef Chert (United States)

    Tice, Michael M.; Lowe, Donald R.


    The geological record of carbonaceous matter from at least 3.5 Ga to the end of the Precambrian is fundamentally continuous in terms of carbonaceous matter structure, composition, environments of deposition/preservation, and abundance in host rocks. No abiotic processes are currently known to be capable of producing continuity in all four of these properties. Although this broad view of the geological record does not prove that life had arisen by 3.5 Ga, the end of the early Archean, it suggests a working hypothesis: most if not all carbonaceous matter present in rocks older than 3.0 Ga was produced by living organisms. This hypothesis must be tested by studies of specific early geological units designed to explore the form, distribution, and origin of enclosed carbonaceous matter. The carbonaceous, environmentally diverse 3416 Ma Buck Reef Chert (BRC) of the Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa, provides an opportunity for such a study. Upward facies progressions in the BRC reflect deposition in environments ranging from shallow marine evaporitic brine ponds to a storm- and wave-active shelf to a deep, low-energy basinal setting below storm wave base. Abundances and ratios of Al 2O 3, Zr, TiO 2, and Cr track inputs of various types of volcaniclastic and terrigenous clastic materials. In particular, Zr/Al 2O 3 and Zr serve as proxies for concentration of windblown dust and, indirectly, as proxies for sedimentation rate. Cu, Zn, Ni, and FeO were concentrated in the most slowly deposited transitional and basinal sediments, inconsistent with a hydrothermal setting but consistent with a normal marine setting. The distribution of microfacies defined by associations and layering of clastic, ferruginous, and carbonaceous grains correlates with facies transitions. Fine carbonaceous laminations, which occur only in shallow platform settings, represent photosynthetic microbial mats. These were ripped up and the debris widely redistributed in shallow and deep water by

  12. Examining Archean methanotrophy (United States)

    Slotznick, Sarah P.; Fischer, Woodward W.


    The carbon isotope ratios preserved in sedimentary rocks can be used to fingerprint ancient metabolisms. Organic carbon in Late Archean samples stands out from that of other intervals with unusually low δ13C values (∼-45 to -60‰). It was hypothesized that these light compositions record ecosystem-wide methane cycling and methanotrophy, either of the aerobic or anaerobic variety. To test this idea, we studied the petrography and carbon and oxygen isotope systematics of well-known and spectacular occurrences of shallow water stromatolites from the 2.72 Ga Tumbiana Formation of Western Australia. We examined the carbonate cements and kerogen produced within the stromatolites, because methanotrophy is expected to leave an isotopic fingerprint in these carbon reservoirs. Mathematical modeling of Archean carbonate chemistry further reveals that methanotrophy should still have a discernible signature preserved in the isotopic record, somewhat diminished from those observed in Phanerozoic sedimentary basins due to higher dissolved inorganic carbon concentrations. These stromatolites contain kerogen with δ13Corg values of ∼ - 50 ‰. By microsampling different regions and textures within the stromatolites, we determined that the isotopic compositions of the authigenic calcite cements show a low degree of variation and are nearly identical to values estimated for seawater at this time; the lack of low and variable δ13Ccarb values implies that methanotrophy does not explain the low δ13Corg seen in the coeval kerogen. These observations do not support a methanotrophy hypothesis, but instead hint that the Late Archean may constitute an interval wherein autotrophs employed markedly different biochemical processes of energy conservation and carbon fixation.

  13. PGE-Re concentrations in carbonaceous siltstones from the Barberton Drilling Project: Sources and processes (United States)

    Rammensee, Philipp; Aulbach, Sonja


    The emergence, diversification and disappearance of Earth's life forms are closely tied to the redox state of the oceans, and the sources and sinks of metabolically cycled metals. It is generally accepted that the early terrestrial atmosphere contained extremely low levels of free oxygen [1]. While a significant change to atmospheric oxygen levels has been constrained to ca. 2.45 Ga ago, the details of the complex prior redox evolution of the oceans and atmosphere, and their influence on continental weathering, are still blurry [1]. Among the trace metals that have been applied to this problem, Re and the platinum-group elements (PGE) have variable redox chemistry that has been successfully exploited to identify detrital vs. hydrogenous sources and the presence of oxic vs. suboxic or euxinic conditions both in young and ancient sediments, including predominantly outcrop samples from the Barberton Greenstone Belt (BGB) [2,3]. As 187Re decays to 187Os, the Re-Os isotope system can additionally be used to date the deposition of carbonaceous shales through construction of isochrons and obtain the initial Os isotope composition, which is a tracer for continental input of radiogenic Os [4]. The sampling approach here was to choose 8+ samples from narrow intervals (≤1 m, to avoid initial Os isotope heterogeneity) from the Barberton Drilling Project (two depths in core BARB5/Fig Tree Group and one interval in core BARB3/Buck Reef Chert. We are currently finalising institution of the sample preparation and analytical techniques, involving (1) high-pressure asher digestion and (2) low-temperature leaching of presumably hydrogenous, acid-soluble components of spiked samples, followed by solvent extraction of Os and cation exchange column chromatography to isolate PGE-Re from the residue, further purification with BPHA and measurement of Ru-Pd-Ir-Pt by ICPMS and of Re-Os by MC-ICPMS. Preliminary tests with the SDO-1 standard have revealed that concentrations of Ir and Pt in

  14. Geology of the Early Archean Mid-Ocean Ridge Hydrothermal System in the North Pole Dome, Pilbara Craton, Western Australia (United States)

    Kitajima, K.; Maruyama, S.


    An Archean hydrothermal system in the North Pole Dome, Pilbara Craton is associated with extensive fluid circulation driven by numerous extensional fracture systems and the underlying heat source. The fracture system is now occupied by abundant fine-grained quartz aggregate, hence we call this as silica dikes. Some of the fracture system extends deeper structural levels as listric normal faults down to 1000 m depth in the MORB crust. Barite-bearing fine-grained quartz predominant mineralogy indicates the extensive development of fracturing and quenching in a short time. Accompanying the fluid circulation, the extensive metasomatism proceeded to form the four different chemical courses, (1) silicification, (2) carbonation, (3) potassium-enrichment, and (4) Fe- enrichment. Silicification occurs along the silica dikes, carbonated greenstones are distributed relatively shallower level. Potassium-enriched (mica-rich) greenstones occur at the top of the greenstone sequence, and Fe-enriched (chlorite-rich) greenstones are distributed at lower part of the basaltic greenstones. The down going fluid precipitated carbonate-rich layer at shallow levels, whereas depleted in SiO2. Then, the fluid went down to more deeper level, and was dissolved SiO2 at high temperature (~350°C) and chlorite-rich greenstone was formed by water-rock interaction. The upwelling fluid precipitated dominantly SiO2 and formed silica dikes. Silica dikes cement the fractures formed by extensional faulting at earliest stage of development of oceanic crust. Therefore, the hydrothermal system must have related to normal fault system simultaneously with MORB volcanism. Particularly the greenish breccia with cherty matrix (oregano chert) was formed at positions by upwelling near ridge axis. After the horizontal removal of MORB crust from the ridge-axis with time, the propagating fracture into deeper levels, transports hydrothermal fluids into 500-1000 m depth range where metasomatic element exchange between

  15. Stratigraphy and geochronlogy of the Guarinos greenstone belt, Goiás, Brazil

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    Hardy Jost


    Full Text Available The Guarinos greenstone belt is one of the three low metamorphic grade supracrustal rocks assemblage rimmed by orthogneissesof Central Brazil’s Archean Block northern limits. The investigation of the stratigraphy of those greenstone beltsstarted by the end of 1970’s and underwent improvements during the years as a result of detailed geological mapping. Thelatest and accepted stratigraphic model for the Guarinos greenstone belt refers its supracrustal rocks under the GuarinosGroup, which is subdivided into the Serra do Cotovelo (metakomatiites, Serra Azul (metabasalts, São Patricinho (maficmetaturbidites, Aimbé (BIF and Cabaçal (carbonaceous phyllites and impure metarenites formations. Detailed geologicmapping (1:10,000 and drill-cores during an exploration program by Yamana Desenvolvimento Mineral S.A. in the areaallowed a better definition of the metasedimentary package of the Cabaçal Formation, which is here formally proposed tobe subdivided into a Lower Member of carbonaceous phyllites with basalt lava flows and gondite lenses interlayers, anIntermediate Member of gondite, iron formation, metachert and massive barite lenses, and an Upper Member of carbonaceous phyllites with minor metachert lenses. The impure metarenites, formerly considered as part of the Cabaçal Formation, are proposedunder the Mata Preta Formation, which is laterally interfingered with the Cabaçal Formation. U-Pb LA-ICP-MS geochronologicaldata of detrital zircon grains from the São Patricinho mafic metaturbidites and the impure metarenites of the Mata Preta formationsindicate that the major source-area of the clastic load had a Siderian to Rhyacian age, with minor contribution from Archean rocks.From the rock assemblage of both units and their contact relationships it is concluded that the basin stage they represent evolved duringthe world-wide Anoxic Oceanic Event (AOE that took place during the 2.2 to 2.06 Ga, represented by the carbonaceous phyllites ofthe

  16. Geology of East Egypt greenstone field in Neoproterozoic isoand arc: Reconstruction of Iron formation sedimentary environment. (United States)

    Kiyokawa, S.; Suzuki, T.


    Geology of East Egypt greenstone-granit belt which is northern part of Nubia shield was identified neoproterozoic island arc amalgamated sections. There are several iron formation within these greenstone belt. Age data shows this iron formation may be overlaped during 700 Ma Snowball period, how ever, there is no detail report of well preserved ice related evidences. We now started detail field work for identified tectonic reconstruction, original stratigraphy around Iron formation and sedimentary environment during the iron formation sedimentation area. East Egyptian shield was divided three geology, Proterozoic greenstone complex, 700-600 Granitic domes and cover sequence (Hammamet Group). We focus three area to identified sedimentary environment of iron sedimentation. Along the north-south trend of Wadi EL Dabban area are, we named Wadi branch as West site is RW-0 ~ 12, East site is RE-0 ~ 12 from north to south. Northern area is structurally moderate, southern portion is north dipping. Southern portion was intruded by granite and several place contain granitic dikes. Northeast to eastern area are identified younger sedimentary sequence (Hammamat Group) which is unconformablly overlay on the other iron formation bearing greenstone belt. Structurally these area is divided four units. Wadi was divided by right-lateral strike-ship fault. The displacement are more than 3 km. Also north dipping faults are identified.East-West trend fault are divided two units. It is divided NE, SE, NW and NS units.SW unit is most well preserved thick sequence of the Iron formation. SW unit is well preserved iron formation sequence within thick volcaniclastics. This unit mostly north dipping around 40-60 degree. Structural repetition in not well understand. Reconstract stratigraphy in this unit is at least 4000m in thickness. 5 member is identified in this sequence. Several thin iron formations are observed with in pillow lava and volcaniclastic sequence. These very thick

  17. An Archean Biosphere Initiative (United States)

    Anbar, A. D.; Boyd, E. S.; Buick, R.; Claire, M.; DesMarais, D.; Domagal-Goldman, D.; Eigenbrode, J.; Erwin, D.; Freeman, K.; Hazen, R.; hide


    The search for life on extrasolar planets will necessarily focus on the imprints of biolgy on the composition of planetary atmospheres. The most notable biological imprint on the modern terrestrial atmosphere is the presence of 21 % O2, However, during most of the past 4 billion years, life and the surface environments on Earth were profoundly different than they are today. It is therefore a major goal of the astrobiology community to ascertain how the O2 content of the atmosphere has varied with time. and to understand the causes of these variations. The NAI and NASA Exobiology program have played critical roles in developing our current understanding of the ancient Earth's atmosphere, supporting diverse observational, analytical, and computational research in geoscience, life science, and related fields. In the present incarnation of the NAI, ongoing work is investigating (i) variations in atmospheric O2 in the Archean to the Cambrian, (ii) characterization of the redox state of the oceans shortly before, during and after the Great Oxidation Event (GOE), and (iii) unraveling the complex connections between environmental oxygenation, global climate, and the evolution of life.

  18. Apartheid's Alcatraz: The Barberton Prison Complex During the Early 1980s - Part Two

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    Stephen Allister Peté.


    Full Text Available The purpose of this two-part article is to examine in detail the public discourse surrounding the Barberton Prison Complex during the early 1980s, at the height of the apartheid era. The prisons within the Barberton Prison Complex were notorious as being among the most punitive of the many prisons within apartheid South Africa. Barberton was the place to which the most dangerous and intractable prisoners were sent to serve their sentences, making it apartheid's "Alcatraz". The focus of this article is on the treatment of "normal" as opposed to "political" prisoners during the period in question, allowing the "voices" of ordinary prisoners – often sidelined and silenced – to be brought to the fore. The Barberton Prison Complex is examined through the lens of public discourse, as reflected in a wide range of South African newspapers published at the time. By analysing a large number of reports dealing with events at Barberton during the period in question, in both English and Afrikaans language newspapers, as well as in both politically conservative and politically liberal newspapers, this article attempts to capture both the "smell" and the "feel" of what it was like to be imprisoned in one of apartheid's toughest prison complexes. Furthermore, this article seeks to show that – despite legislative measures restricting the publication of information on conditions inside apartheid prisons – the press was able to provide a steady stream of information to the South African public on the shocking events which occurred at Barberton during the period in question. Part Two of the article examines a string of violent incidents which occurred within the Barberton Prison Complex during the course of 1983, leading to nine inmate deaths. The response of the authorities to this orgy of violence at Barberton is discussed, including the findings of a committee of enquiry. It is concluded that the events at Barberton during the early 1980s were

  19. Triple sulfur isotope composition of Late Archean seawater sulfate (United States)

    Paris, G.; Fischer, W. W.; Sessions, A. L.; Adkins, J. F.


    Multiple sulfur isotope ratios in Archean sedimentary rocks have provided powerful insights into the behavior of the ancient sulfur cycle, the redox state of fluid Earth, and the timing of the rise of atmospheric oxygen [1]. Most processes fractionate sulfur isotopes in proportion to their mass differences, but the Archean sulfur isotope record is marked by pronounced mass-independent fractionation (MIF, Δ33S≠0). The origin of these signatures has been traditionally interpreted as the result of photolysis of SO2 from short wavelength UV light, with positive Δ33S values recorded in pyrite and negative Δ33S values in sulfate-bearing phases [2]. This long-held hypothesis rests on observations of negative Δ33S from enigmatic barite occurrences from mixed volcanic sedimentary strata in Mesoarchean greenstone terrains. Despite forming the framework for understanding Archean sulfur cycle processes [3], it is largely untested [3]. It is largely untested. Consequently, the biggest challenge to our current understanding of the early sulfur cycle is a poor understanding of the isotopic composition of seawater sulfate. Sulfate evaporite minerals are absent from Archean strata and the sulfur isotope record is written entirely by measurements of pyrite. Carbonate associated sulfate (CAS) provides an important archive for assaying the isotopic composition of ancient seawater sulfate It has been exploited in many studies of Phanerozoic and Proterozoic sulfate but have been only marginally used thus far for Archean samples because of the extremely low concentration of CAS in limestones and dolomites from this era. We have developed a novel MC-ICP-MS approach to solve this problem [4]. This new method lowers the detection limit by up to three orders of magnitude for δ34S and Δ33S measurements, enabling to work on a few nmols of sulfate which represent only tens of mg of sample powders micromilled from specific carbonate textures. Two stratigraphic sections from the 2

  20. Sulfate-rich Archean Oceans (United States)

    Brainard, J. L.; Choney, A. P.; Ohmoto, H.


    There is a widely held belief that prior to 2.4 Ga, the Archean oceans and atmosphere were reducing, and therefore sulfate poor (concentrations 100 m), widely distributed (> km2), and contain only minor amounts of sulfides. These barite beds may have developed from reactions between Ba-rich hydrothermal fluids and evaporate bodies. Simple mass balance calculations suggest that the sulfate contents of the pre-evaporitic seawater must have been greater than ~1 mM. Some researchers have suggested that the SO4 for these beds was derived from the hydrolysis of SO2-rich magmatic fluids. However, this was unlikely as the reaction, 4SO2 + 4H2O → 3H2SO4 + H2S would have produced large amounts of sulfide, as well as sulfate minerals. Many Archean-aged volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) deposits, much like those of the younger ages, record evidence for abundant seawater sulfate. As VMS deposits are most likely formed by submarine hydrothermal fluids that developed from seawater circulating through the seafloor rock, much of the seawater sulfate is reduced to from sulfides at depths. However, some residual sulfate in the hydrothermal fluids, with or without the addition of sulfate from the local seawater, can form sulfate minerals such as barite at near the seafloor. The d34S relationships between barites and pyrites in the Archean VMS deposits are similar to those of the younger VMS deposits, except for the lower d34S values for the seawater SO4. The abundance of pyrite in Archean black shales is also evidence of sulfate rich seawater. Pyrites in Archean-aged black shales were most likely the products of either bacterial or thermochemical sulfate reduction during diagenesis of the sediments. Their abundance in sedimentary rocks is determined by: (a) the availability of reactive carbon; (b) the availability of reactive Fe (Fe3+ hydroxides and Fe2+-rich pore fluid); (c) the sedimentation rate; and (d) the flux of SO42- in the sediments, which depends on the seawater SO42

  1. Trace element mapping of pyrite from Archean gold deposits – A comparison between PIXE and EPMA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Agangi, A., E-mail: [University of Johannesburg, Department of Geology, Auckland Park 2006 (South Africa); Przybyłowicz, W., E-mail: [Materials Research Department, iThemba LABS, National Research Foundation, Somerset West 7129 (South Africa); AGH University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Physics & Applied Computer Science, Al. A. Mickiewicza 30, 30-059 Krakow (Poland); Hofmann, A., E-mail: [University of Johannesburg, Department of Geology, Auckland Park 2006 (South Africa)


    Chemical zoning of pyrites can record the evolution of mineralising fluids at widely varying P–T conditions ranging from diagenesis to medium-grade metamorphism. If preserved, zoning can reveal growth textures, brecciation and veining, resorption and recrystallisation events, thus shedding light on the processes that contributed to ore formation. Chemical zoning of sulfides is invisible in optical microscopy, but can be studied by chemical etching, high-contrast back-scattering electron images, and elemental imaging. In this study we compared micro-PIXE and WDS-EPMA elemental maps on the chemically zoned pyrites in mineralised vein-bearing samples from the Sheba and Fairview gold mines in the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa. Elemental images show complex distribution of trace elements, suggesting multiple events of pyrite crystallisation and gold deposition. EPMA maps show fine-scale variations reflecting growth and recrystallisation textures marked, in particular, by variations of As, Ni, and Co. In PIXE maps, gold occurs both as finely-distributed and discrete inclusions, suggesting incorporation in the pyrite structure as solid solution, and deposition as electrum inclusions, respectively. Micro-PIXE and EPMA provide complementary information, forming together a powerful tool to obtain information on chemical zoning of pyrites in ore deposits.

  2. Geological features and the Paleoproterozoic collision of four Archean crustal segments of the São Francisco Craton, Bahia, Brazil: a synthesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available Recent geological, geochronological and isotopic research has identified four important Archean crustal segments in the basement of the São Francisco Craton in the State of Bahia. The oldest Gavião Block occurs in the WSW part, composed essentially of granitic, granodioritic and migmatitic rocks. It includes remnants of TTG suites, considered to represent the oldest rocks in the South American continent (~ 3,4Ga and associated Archean greenstone belt sequences. The youngest segment, termed the Itabuna-Salvador-Curaçá Belt is exposed along the Atlantic Coast, from the SE part of Bahia up to Salvador and then along a NE trend. It is mainly composed of tonalite/trondhjemites, but also includes stripes of intercalated metasediments and ocean-floor/back-arc gabbros and basalts. The Jequié Block, the third segment, is exposed in the SE-SSW area, being characterized by Archean granulitic migmatites with supracrustal inclusions and several charnockitic intrusions. The Serrinha Block (fourth segment occurs to the NE, composed of orthogneisses and migmatites, which represent the basement of Paleoproterozoic greenstone belts sequences. During the Paleoproterozoic Transamazonian Orogeny, these four crustal segments collided, resulting in the formation of an important mountain belt. Geochronological constrains indicate that the regional metamorphism resulting from crustal thickening associated with the collision process took place around 2.0 Ga.

  3. A great thermal divergence in the mantle beginning 2.5 Ga: Geochemical constraints from greenstone basalts and komatiites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kent C. Condie


    Full Text Available Greenstone basalts and komatiites provide a means to track both mantle composition and magma generation temperature with time. Four types of mantle are characterized from incompatible element distributions in basalts and komatiites: depleted, hydrated, enriched and mantle from which komatiites are derived. Our most important observation is the recognition for the first time of what we refer to as a Great Thermal Divergence within the mantle beginning near the end of the Archean, which we ascribe to thermal and convective evolution. Prior to 2.5 Ga, depleted and enriched mantle have indistinguishable thermal histories, whereas at 2.5–2.0 Ga a divergence in mantle magma generation temperature begins between these two types of mantle. Major and incompatible element distributions and calculated magma generation temperatures suggest that Archean enriched mantle did not come from mantle plumes, but was part of an undifferentiated or well-mixed mantle similar in composition to calculated primitive mantle. During this time, however, high-temperature mantle plumes from dominantly depleted sources gave rise to komatiites and associated basalts. Recycling of oceanic crust into the deep mantle after the Archean may have contributed to enrichment of Ti, Al, Ca and Na in basalts derived from enriched mantle sources. After 2.5 Ga, increases in Mg# in basalts from depleted mantle and decreases in Fe and Mn reflect some combination of growing depletion and cooling of depleted mantle with time. A delay in cooling of depleted mantle until after the Archean probably reflects a combination of greater radiogenic heat sources in the Archean mantle and the propagation of plate tectonics after 3 Ga.

  4. Deep Metamorphic Rock Series of Bayan Wula-mountain Granite-greenstone Belt and Gold MineralizationMA Runze%巴彦乌拉山深变质岩系的花岗-绿岩带与金成矿

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    胡晰; 马润则; 陈志耕; 张腊梅; 陈娟; 刘颖倩


    A large area of Archean granite - greenstone belt exposed in Bayan wula-mountain, which bedrock outcrops good. Survey area′greenstone belt is existing as the green schist facies of tectonic schist. At present, domestic and foreign atta-ches great importance to the study of granite greenstone belt, The major reason is that research on it has mineral and geological sig-nificance. However, Gold directly affecting the financial securi-ty of the country as a precious metal, which is very important for the national economy stability. Granite - greenstone belt has a close relation with gold deposit. At present, China 's most im-portant gold producing type is greenstone type gold deposit.%巴彦乌拉山出露大面积的太古代花岗-绿岩带,基岩出露良好。本区的绿岩带是以变质程度为绿片相的构造片岩形式出现的。国内外对花岗绿岩带的研究非常重视,主要是因为其研究对矿产和地质都具有重大意义。然而金为直接影响国家金融安全的贵重金属,对于国家的经济稳定有极其重要的作用。其中花岗-绿岩带与金成矿有着密切关系。目前我国主要的产金类型为绿岩型金矿。

  5. An Archean Terrestrial Fractionation Line for Oxygen Isotopes (United States)

    Rumble, D.; Blake, R. E.; Bao, H.; Bowring, S.; Komiya, T.; Rosing, M.; Ueno, Y.


    The Terrestrial Fractionation Line (TFL) for oxygen isotopes is defined by 17O/16O and 18O/16O analyses of meteoric waters, seawater, sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks and constituent minerals. Interlaboratory measurements of the slope of the TFL on a plot of d18O vs. d17O revealed eclogitic garnets with a slope of 0.526 and hydrothermal quartz of 0.524 from rocks younger than 0.8 Ga (Giga years before present). New measurements show Archean metamorphic rocks and minerals from Barberton, (3.2 Ga, S. Africa), Isua (3.8 Ga, Greenland), and Acasta (4.0 Ga, Canada) have a slope of 0.524 +/- 0.002 (95% confidence, MSWD = 0.66). Analysis of Ag3PO4 prepared from apatite mineral separates from Isua meta-sediments gives a slope of 0.509 +/- 0.022 (95% confidence, MSWD = 0.59). Taken at face value, steeper slopes on a d17O vs. d18O diagram indicate an approach towards isotope exchange equilibrium. Lower slopes are expected when isotope fractionation is kinetically controlled. The lower slope of 0.509 for Isua apatite suggests that the formation of orthophosphate was kinetically controlled. Kinetic fractionations are known to occur during catalysis of reactions by enzymes secreted by microbes. Enzymatic catalysis confers an advantage on organisms because energy-producing reactions may be induced to occur at lower temperature conditions more accessible to the organism. May it be definitively concluded that enzymatic catalysis was responsible for the measured 0.509 slope? No, abiotic kinetic fractionation cannot be disproven with existing data. The preparation of Ag3PO4 from apatite may have introduced kinetic fractionation as an analytical artifact. Conclusions fully supported by the data suggest: (1) Mixing accompanying the violent birth of the Earth- Moon system had already succeeded in establishing Earth's current oxygen isotope composition by 4.0 Ga; and (2) No trace of an episode of late heavy meteorite bombardment remains in the oxygen isotope compositions of

  6. Synchrotron Radiation X-Ray Fluorescence nanoanalyses of the metallome of a ~3.3 Ga-old microbial biofilm from the Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa. (United States)

    Hubert, A.; Lemelle, L.; Salome, M.; Cloetens, P.; Westall, F.; Simionovici, A.


    Combining in situ nanometer-scale techniques on the fossilized Josefsdal Chert Microbial Biofilm (JCMB) reveals a distinct vertical structural and compositional organisation: the lower part is calcified as aragonite, while the upper non-calcified kerogenous layer is characterised by up to 1% sulphur [1]. The in situ analysis of all the metals as a group represents a useful microbial fingerprint [2] and we will continue to explore it. Synchrotron Radiation X-Ray Fluorescence maps of high spatial resolution (AIP Conference Proceedings, 1221, 131-138. 4. Bleuet P., et al., 2008. App. Phys. Lett., 92, 213111-1-3. 5. Golosio B., et al., 2003. Appl. Phys., 94, 145-157. 6. M. Haschke, 2003. PhD dissertation, T.U. Berlin. 7. Simionovici A. S., et al., 2010. Proceedings of the Meteoritical Society Conference, N.Y., USA. 8. Solé V.A., et al., 2006, Elsevier, 62, 63-68.

  7. Volcanic-hosted massive sulfide deposits in the Murchison greenstone belt, South Africa (United States)

    Schwarz-Schampera, Ulrich; Terblanche, Hennie; Oberthür, Thomas


    The Archean Murchison greenstone belt, Limpopo Province, South Africa, represents a rifted epicontinental arc sequence containing the largest volcanic-hosted massive sulfide (VMS) district in Southern Africa. The so-called Cu-Zn line is host to 12 deposits of massive sulfide mineralization including: Maranda J, LCZ, Romotshidi, Mon Desir, Solomons, and Mashawa with a total tonnage of three million metric tons of very high grade Zn, subordinate Cu, and variable Pb and Au ore. The deposits developed during initial phases of highly evolved felsic volcanism between 2,974.8 ± 3.6 and 2,963.2 ± 6.4 Ma and are closely associated with quartz porphyritic rhyolite domes. Elevated heat supply ensured regional hydrothermal convection along the entire rift. Recurrent volcanism resulted in frequent disruption of hydrothermal discharge and relative short-lived episodes of hydrothermal activity, probably responsible for the small size of the deposits. Stable thermal conditions led to the development of mature hydrothermal vent fields from focused fluid discharge and sulfide precipitation within thin layers of felsic volcaniclastic rocks. Two main ore suites occur in the massive sulfide deposits of the “Cu-Zn line”: (1) a low-temperature venting, polymetallic assemblage of Zn, Pb, Sb, As, Cd, Te, Bi, Sn, ±In, ±Au, ±Mo occurring in the pyrite- and sphalerite-dominated ore types and (2) a higher temperature suite of Cu, Ag, Au, Se, In, Co, Ni is associated with chalcopyrite-bearing ores. Sphalerite ore, mineralogy, and geochemical composition attest to hydrothermal activity at relatively low temperatures of ≤250 °C for the entire rift, with short-lived pulses of higher temperature upflow, reflected by proportions of Zn-rich versus Cu-rich deposits. Major- and trace-metal composition of the deposits and Pb isotope signatures reflect the highly evolved felsic source rock composition. Geological setting, host rock composition, and metallogenesis share many similarities not

  8. Structural, Petrographic and Geochemical Characteristics of Mafic Dikes Intrusive in Metasedimentary Rocks of the Crixás Greenstone Belt, Goiás

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hardy Jost


    Full Text Available Mafic dikes and stocks are a common feature in the Archean terrain of Goiás, Central Brazil, where they occur asswarms of 2.3 - 2.5 Ga within the granite-gneiss complexes (2.8 e 2.7 Ga, as well as intrusions related to the komatiite andbasalt flows of the greenstone belts lower stratigraphic units, but were unknown within the upper metasedimentary units.Detailed study of core sections from several drill-sites in the area of the Crixás greenstone belt gold deposits showed thatdike intrusion occurred after the main Paleoproterozoic deformation and metamorphism of the metasedimentary units,and literature data indicate that the magmatic zircons from the dikes yielded an age of 2,170 ± 17 Ma. Petrographic andgeochemical data show that they have the composition of epicratonic high-Ti diabases, which are similar to the largecontinental flood basalts of the Paraná Basin. The age of the intrusions may be correlated with the short time-interval of theRhyacian (2.20 to 2.17 Ga, during which successive localized episodes of mantle plume volcanism occurred on the Earth.

  9. Reassessing the biogenicity of Earth’s oldest trace fossil with implications for biosignatures in the search for early life


    Eugene G. Grosch; McLoughlin, Nicola


    It has been argued that Archean subseafloor pillow lava sequences provide an environment in which to seek evidence for the earliest traces of life. Candidate titanite biosignatures of microbial activity have been reported in ∼3.45-Ga metavolcanic glass from the Barberton greenstone belt of South Africa. In this paper we present new in situ U–Pb age data, metamorphic constraints, and morphological observations on these titanite microtextures. Our data challenges a biological origin for these o...

  10. Archean photoautotrophy: some alternatives and limits. (United States)

    Knoll, A H


    From the Archean geological record, one can infer that photoautotrophy evolved early in earth history; however the nature of this photosynthesis -- whether it was predominately or cyanobacterial -- is less clearly understood. General agreement tht the earth's atmosphere did not become oxygen rich before the Early Proterozoic era places constraints on theories concerning more ancient biotas. Accommodating this limitation in various ways, different workers have hypothesized (1) that blue-green algae frist evolved in the Early Proterozoic; (2) that oxygen producing proto-cyanobacteria existed in the Archean, but had no biochemical mechanism for coping with ambient O2; and (3) that true cyanobacteria flourished in the Archean, but did not oxygenate the atmosphere because of high rates of oxygen consumption caused, in part, by the emanation of reduced gases from widespread Archean volcanoes. Inversion of hypothesis three leads to another, as yet unexplored, alternative. It is possible that physiologically modern blue-green algae existed in Archean times, but had low productivity. Increased rates of primary production in the Early Proterozoic era resulted in the atmospheric transition documented in strata of this age. An answer to the question of why productivity should have changed from the Archean to the Proterozoic may lie in the differing tectonic frameworks of the two areas. The earliest evidence of widespread, stable, shallow marine platforms is found in Lower Proterozoic sedimentary sequnces. In such environments, productivity was, and is high. In contrast, Archean shallow water environments are often characterized by rapid rates of clastic and pyroclastic influx -- conditions that reduce rates of benthonic primary production. This hypothesis suggests that the temporal correlation of major shifts in tectonic mode and atmospheric composition may not be fortuitous. It also suggests that sedimentary environments may have constituted a significant limit to the

  11. The discovery of the Neoarchean mafic dyke swarm in Hengshan and reinterpretation of the previous "Wutai greenstone belt"

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    The structural mapping and section study indicate that the "greenstone belts" in the southern to central parts of Hengshan were intensively sheared and transposed mafic dyke swarm,which originally intruded into the Neoarchean grey gneiss and high-pressure granulite terrain(HPGT).The HPGT is characterized by flat-dipping structures,to the south it became steep and was cut by the Dianmen mafic dyke swarm.After high-pressure granulite-facies metamorphic event,the mafic dyke swarm occurred,and was associated with the extensional setting and reworked by the late strike-slip shearing.The zircon age dating proves that the Dianmen mafic dyke swarm was emplaced during the period between 2499±4 Ma and 2512±3 Ma,followed by late tectonothermal reworking.The Dianmen mafic dyke swarm further documents the extensional episode in the central to northern parts of North China Craton(NCC),providing the important constraint for the limit between Archean and Proterozoic and correlation between NCC and other cratonic blocks of the world.

  12. The discovery of the Neoarchean mafic dyke swarm in Hengshan and reinterpretation of the previous “Wutai greenstone belt”

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李江海; 张志强; 黄雄南


    The structural mapping and section study indicate thai the "greenstone belts" in the southern to central parts of Hengshan were intensively sheared and transposed mafic dyke swarm, which originally intruded into the Neoarchean grey gneiss and nigh-pressure granulite terrain (HPGT). The HPGT is characterized by flat-dipping structures, to the south it became steep and was cut by the Dianmen mafic dyke swarm. After high-pressure; granulite-facies metamorphic event, the mafic dyke swarm occurred, and was associated with the extensional setting and reworked by the late strike-slip shearing. The zircon age dating proves that the Dianmen mafic dyke swarm was emplaced during the period between 2499±4 Ma and 2512±3 Ma, followed by late tectonothermal reworking. The Dianmen mafic dyke swarm further documents the extensional episode in the central to northern parts of North China Craton (NCC), providing the important constraint for the limit between Archean and Proterozoic and correlation between NCC and other e

  13. Reappraisal of hydrocarbon biomarkers in Archean rocks (United States)

    French, Katherine L.; Hallmann, Christian; Hope, Janet M.; Schoon, Petra L.; Zumberge, J. Alex; Hoshino, Yosuke; Peters, Carl A.; George, Simon C.; Love, Gordon D.; Brocks, Jochen J.; Buick, Roger; Summons, Roger E.


    Hopanes and steranes found in Archean rocks have been presented as key evidence supporting the early rise of oxygenic photosynthesis and eukaryotes, but the syngeneity of these hydrocarbon biomarkers is controversial. To resolve this debate, we performed a multilaboratory study of new cores from the Pilbara Craton, Australia, that were drilled and sampled using unprecedented hydrocarbon-clean protocols. Hopanes and steranes in rock extracts and hydropyrolysates from these new cores were typically at or below our femtogram detection limit, but when they were detectable, they had total hopane (oxygenic photosynthesis and eukaryotes by ∼2.7 billion years ago. Although suitable Proterozoic rocks exist, no currently known Archean strata lie within the appropriate thermal maturity window for syngenetic hydrocarbon biomarker preservation, so future exploration for Archean biomarkers should screen for rocks with milder thermal histories.

  14. Carbonyl sulfide (OCS) in the Archean atmosphere

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ueno, Yuichiro; Danielache, Sebastian Oscar; Johnson, Matthew Stanley


    to have existed in the reducing Archean atmosphere. Such a high level of OCS also absorbs infrared light from 8 to 13 µm, which is not absorbed by water vapor. Hence, OCS could be an alternative or even more efficient greenhouse gas than CO2 to resolve the faint young Sun paradox [4]. Furthermore, OCS...... also has absorption band in lethal UVC region like ozone, thus could be an alternative UV-shielding molecule in an ozonefree reducing atmosphere. The decline of OCS might have coursed the late Archean Pongola glaciation (2.9 Ga) and possibly resulted in UV crisis of terrestrial and shallow water...

  15. The Rise of Continents and the Transition Archean to Proterozoic (United States)

    Rey, P. F.; Flament, N.; Coltice, N.


    to erosion of large areas of felsic crust hitherto hidden under greenstone covers and/or under sea level. Silicate weathering and erosion is a very efficient sink for atmospheric CO2. It is therefore also very likely that the strengthening and emergence of the continental lithosphere was a very important factor contributing to both the cooling of the Earth's surface and oxygenation of the Earth's atmosphere. The transition from primitive to modern Earth has often been presented in the context of a major pulse of crustal growth and differentiation (Taylor and McLennan, Rev. of Geophys., 1995), superplume activity (Condie, PEPI, 2004), and/or mantle overturn and orogenic crisis (Stein and Hofman, Nature, 1994; Breuer and Spohn, Nature, 1995). However, in the context of continental emergence and strengthening, the shift to the aerobic world, at the Archean to Proterozic transition, may be linked to the time period when the Earth evolved its modern hypsometry, and when the Earth's exogenic and endogenic geochemical reservoirs became strongly coupled via higher erosion rates and fluxes toward the oceans.

  16. Spatial greenstone-gneiss relationships: Evidence from mafic-ultramafic xenolith distribution patterns (United States)

    Glikson, A. Y.


    The distribution patterns of mafic-ultramafic xenoliths within Archaean orthogneiss terrain furnish an essential key for the elucidation of granite-greenstone relations. Most greenstone belts constitute mega-xenoliths rather than primary basin structures. Transition along strike and across strike between stratigraphically low greenstone sequences and xenolith chains demonstrate their contemporaneity. These terrains represent least deformed cratonic islands within an otherwise penetratively foliated deformed gneiss-greenstone crust. Whereas early greenstone sequences are invariably intruded by tonalitic/trondhjemitic/granodioritic gneisses, stratigraphically higher successions may locally overlap older gneiss terrains and their entrained xenoliths unconformably. The contiguity of xenolith patterns suggests their derivation as relics of regional mafic-ultramafic volcanic crustal units and places limits on horizontal movements between individual crustal blocks.

  17. Trace-element fingerprints of chromite, magnetite and sulfides from the 3.1 Ga ultramafic-mafic rocks of the Nuggihalli greenstone belt, Western Dharwar craton (India) (United States)

    Mukherjee, Ria; Mondal, Sisir K.; González-Jiménez, José M.; Griffin, William L.; Pearson, Norman J.; O'Reilly, Suzanne Y.


    The 3.1 Ga Nuggihalli greenstone belt in the Western Dharwar craton is comprised of chromitite-bearing sill-like ultramafic-mafic rocks that are surrounded by metavolcanic schists (compositionally komatiitic to komatiitic basalts) and a suite of tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite gneissic rocks. The sill-like plutonic unit consists of a succession of serpentinite (after dunite)-peridotite-pyroxenite and gabbro with bands of titaniferous magnetite ore. The chromitite ore-bodies (length ≈30-500 m; width ≈2-15 m) are hosted by the serpentinite-peridotite unit. Unaltered chromites from massive chromitites (>80 % modal chromite) of the Byrapur and Bhaktarhalli chromite mines in the greenstone belt are characterized by high Cr# (100Cr/(Cr + Al)) of 78-86 and moderate Mg# (100 Mg/(Mg + Fe2+)) of 45-55. In situ trace-element analysis (LA-ICPMS) of unaltered chromites indicates that the parental magma of the chromitite ore-bodies was a komatiite lacking nickel-sulfide mineralization. In the Ga/Fe3+# versus Ti/Fe3+# diagram, the Byrapur chromites plot in the field of suprasubduction zone (SSZ) chromites while those from Bhaktarhalli lie in the MOR field. The above results corroborate our previous results based on major-element characteristics of the chromites, where the calculated parental melt of the Byrapur chromites was komatiitic to komatiitic basalt, and the Bhaktarhalli chromite was derived from Archean high-Mg basalt. The major-element chromite data hinted at the possibility of a SSZ environment existing in the Archean. Altered and compositionally zoned chromite grains in our study show a decrease in Ga, V, Co, Zn, Mn and enrichments of Ni and Ti in the ferritchromit rims. Trace-element heterogeneity in the altered chromites is attributed to serpentinization. The trace-element patterns of magnetite from the massive magnetite bands in the greenstone belt are similar to those from magmatic Fe-Ti-V-rich magnetite bands in layered intrusions, and magnetites from

  18. Archean Paleo-climate: The first snowball?

    CERN Document Server

    Durand-Manterola, Hector Javier


    The model accepted is one where during the Archean Eon the Earths climate was clement despite the weaker Sun. The observational evidence that supports this concept is: the emergence of life, the existence of evaporitic sediments and the presence of terrigenous sediments, all of which require liquid water and clement conditions. A theoretical argument used to support this idea is the so called ice-albedo feedback, which states that if the Earth was frozen, it would still be frozen.The aim of this document is to present an alternative scenario in which a frozen world, "snowball" style, with liquid water at the bottom of the sea, also allows for the emergence of life and evaporitic and terrigenous sedimentation. Archean climatic evidence, available at present, is discussed and can be reinterpreted to support the idea that, in Archean times, the surface of the Earth was frozen. Also, a mathematical model is being developed to demonstrate that the ice-albedo feedback is not an inevitable consequence of a frozen Ar...

  19. Was there a late Archean biospheric explosion? (United States)

    Lindsay, John F


    There is a growing body of evidence which suggests that the evolution of the planet drives the evolution of the biosphere. There have been 2 significant stages in Earth history when atmospheric oxygen levels rose rapidly, and both appear to be associated with supercontinent cycles. The earlier biospheric event, which extends across the Archean-Proterozoic boundary (ca. 3.0-2.2 Ga), has received little attention and is the focus of this study. Recent work on the Pilbara Craton of Western Australia has shown that concretion formed by microbial activity during the diagenesis of these sediments are absent from early Archean sediments but abundant in late Archean and early Paleoproterozoic successions of the Hamersley Basin, appearing abruptly in sedimentary rocks younger than 2.7 Ga. This study suggests that their internal architecture may have been defined by the diffusion of humic acids and the formation of polymer gels during diagenesis. The data imply that the biosphere expanded suddenly shortly after 3.0 Ga and may have begun to raise the oxygen levels of the oceanic water column earlier than thought-possibly as much as 300 my earlier.

  20. Identification of an Archean marine oxygen oasis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Riding, Dr Robert E [University of Tennessee (UT); Fralick, Dr Philip [Lakehead University, Canada; Liang, Liyuan [ORNL


    The early Earth was essentially anoxic. A number of indicators suggest the presence of oxygenic photosynthesis 2700 3000 million years (Ma) ago, but direct evidence for molecular oxygen (O2) in seawater has remained elusive. Here we report rare earth element (REE) analyses of 2800 million year old shallowmarine limestones and deep-water iron-rich sediments at Steep Rock Lake, Canada. These show that the seawater from which extensive shallow-water limestones precipitated was oxygenated, whereas the adjacent deeper waters where iron-rich sediments formed were not. We propose that oxygen promoted limestone precipitation by oxidative removal of dissolved ferrous iron species, Fe(II), to insoluble Fe(III) oxyhydroxide, and estimate that at least 10.25 M oxygen concentration in seawater was required to accomplish this at Steep Rock. This agrees with the hypothesis that an ample supply of dissolved Fe(II) in Archean oceans would have hindered limestone formation. There is no direct evidence for the oxygen source at Steep Rock, but organic carbon isotope values and diverse stromatolites in the limestones suggest the presence of cyanobacteria. Our findings support the view that during the Archean significant oxygen levels first developed in protected nutrient-rich shallow marine habitats. They indicate that these environments were spatially restricted, transient, and promoted limestone precipitation. If Archean marine limestones in general reflect localized oxygenic removal of dissolved iron at the margins of otherwise anoxic iron-rich seas, then early oxygen oases are less elusive than has been assumed.

  1. Gold Deposit Metallogenic Condition and Type Analysis in Manica Greenstone Belt, Mozambique%莫桑比克马尼卡绿岩带金矿成矿条件和类型分析

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    邓宇涛; 李胜利; 王松


    The gold producing area in Mozambique is situated in the Manica greenstone belt. It is a part of Manica-Mutare-Odzi (MMO) greenstone belt, from Odzi in eastern Zimbabwe through Mutare extend to Manica area in western Mozambique and make the ar-ea the most important gold deposit metallogenic belt in the country. The gold deposit is mainly enriched in a shear zone, banded iron-bearing formation of Archean mafic and ultramafic volcanic rocks or in faulted contact zone between supracrustal rocks and peripheral granite.%莫桑比克黄金产区位于马尼卡绿岩带,该绿岩带是马尼卡(Manica)-穆塔雷(Mutare)-奥德兹(Odzi)绿岩带的一部分,从津巴布韦东部奥德兹经过穆塔雷一直延伸到莫桑比克西部马尼卡地区,使马尼卡地区成为莫桑比克最重要的金矿成矿带.金矿主要富集在太古代镁铁质和超镁铁质火山岩中的剪切带、条带状含铁建造或在表壳岩与周边花岗岩之间的断裂接触带中.

  2. Iron isotopes in an Archean ocean analogue (United States)

    Busigny, Vincent; Planavsky, Noah J.; Jézéquel, Didier; Crowe, Sean; Louvat, Pascale; Moureau, Julien; Viollier, Eric; Lyons, Timothy W.


    Iron isotopes have been extensively used to trace the history of microbial metabolisms and the redox evolution of the oceans. Archean sedimentary rocks display greater variability in iron isotope ratios and more markedly negative values than those deposited in the Proterozoic and Phanerozoic. This increased variability has been linked to changes in either water column iron cycling or the extent of benthic microbial iron reduction through time. We tested these contrasting scenarios through a detailed study of anoxic and ferruginous Lac Pavin (France), which can serve as a modern analogue of the Archean ocean. A depth-profile in the water column of Lac Pavin shows a remarkable increase in dissolved Fe concentration (0.1-1200 μM) and δ56Fe values (-2.14‰ to +0.31‰) across the oxic-anoxic boundary to the lake bottom. The largest Fe isotope variability is found at the redox boundary and is related to partial oxidation of dissolved ferrous iron, leaving the residual Fe enriched in light isotopes. The analysis of four sediment cores collected along a lateral profile (one in the oxic layer, one at the redox boundary, one in the anoxic zone, and one at the bottom of the lake) indicates that bulk sediments, porewaters, and reactive Fe mostly have δ56Fe values near 0.0 ± 0.2‰, similar to detrital iron. In contrast, pyrite δ56Fe values in sub-chemocline cores (60, 65, and 92 m) are highly variable and show significant deviations from the detrital iron isotope composition (δ56Fepyrite between -1.51‰ and +0.09‰; average -0.93‰). Importantly, the pyrite δ56Fe values mirror the δ56Fe of dissolved iron at the redox boundary—where near quantitative sulfate and sulfide drawdown occurs—suggesting limited iron isotope fractionation during iron sulfide formation. This finding has important implications for the Archean environment. Specifically, this work suggests that in a ferruginous system, most of the Fe isotope variability observed in sedimentary pyrites can

  3. Sulphur tales from the early Archean world (United States)

    Montinaro, A.; Strauss, H.


    Sedimentary and magmatic rocks and their distinct sulphur isotopic signatures indicate the sources and processes of sulphur cycling, in particular through the analysis of all four stable sulphur isotopes (32S, 33S, 34S and 36S). Research over the past 15 years has substantially advanced our understanding of sulphur cycling on the early Earth, most notably through the discovery of mass-independently fractionated sulphur isotopic signatures. A strong atmospheric influence on the early Archean global sulphur cycle is apparent, much in contrast to the modern world. Diverse microbially driven sulphur cycling is clearly discernible, but its importance for Earth surface environments remains to be quantified.

  4. Biomarker evidence for Archean oxygen fluxes (Invited) (United States)

    Hallmann, C.; Waldbauer, J.; Sherman, L. S.; Summons, R. E.


    Knowledge of deep-time organismic diversity may be gained from the study of preserved sedimentary lipids with taxonomic specificity, i.e. biomarker hydrocarbons (e.g. Brocks and Summons, 2003; Waldbauer et al., 2009). As a consequence of long residence times and high thermal maturities however, biomarker concentrations are extremely low in most ancient (Precambrian) sediment samples, making them exceptionally prone to contamination during drilling, sampling and laboratory workup (e.g. Brocks et al., 2008). Outcrop samples most always carry a modern overprint and deep-time biogeochemistry thus relies on drilling operations to retrieve ‘clean’ sediment cores. One such effort was initiated by NASA’s Astrobiology Institute (NAI): the Archean biosphere drilling project (ABDP). We here report on the lipids retrieved from sediment samples in drill hole ABDP-9. Strong heterogeneities of extractable organic matter - both on a spatial scale and in free- vs. mineral-occluded bitumen - provide us with an opportunity to distinguish indigenous lipids from contaminants introduced during drilling. Stratigraphic trends in biomarker data for mineral-occluded bitumens are complementary to previously reported data (e.g. S- and N-isotopes, molybdenum enrichments) from ABDP-9 sediments (Anbar et al., 2007; Kaufman et al., 2007; Garvin et al., 2009) and suggest periodic fluxes of oxygen before the great oxidation event. Anbar et al. A whiff of oxygen before the great oxidation event. Science 317 (2007), 1903-1906. Brocks & Summons. Sedimentary hydrocarbons, biomarkers for early life. In: Schlesinger (Ed.) Treatise on Geochemistry, Vol. 8 (2003), 63-115. Brocks et al. Assessing biomarker syngeneity using branched alkanes with quaternary carbon (BAQCs) and other plastic contaminants. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 72 (2008), 871-888. Garvin et al. Isotopic evidence for a aerobic nitrogen cycle in the latest Archean. Science 323 (2009), 1045-1048. Kaufman et al. Late Archean

  5. Reconciling atmospheric temperatures in the early Archean (United States)

    Pope, E. C.; Rosing, M.; Bird, D. K.; Albarede, F.


    Average surface temperatures of Earth in the Archean remain unresolved despite decades of diverse approaches to the problem. As in the present, early Earth climates were complex systems dependent on many variables. With few constraints on such variables, climate models must be relatively simplistic, and consider only one or two factors that drive Archean climate (e.g. a fainter young sun, a low albedo, the extent and effect of cloud cover, or the presence and abundance of a wide array of greenhouse and icehouse gasses). Compounded on the limitations of modeling is the sparse and often ambiguous Archean rock record. The goal of this study is to compile and reconcile Archean geologic and geochemical features that are in some way controlled by surface temperature and/or atmospheric composition, so that at the very least paleoclimate models can be checked by physical limits. Data used to this end include the oxygen isotope record of chemical sediments and ancient ocean crust, chemical equilibria amongst primary phases in banded iron formations (BIFs), sedimentary features indicative of temperate or glacial environments, and paleosol indicators of atmospheric CO2. Further, we explore the extent to which hydrogen isotopes contribute to the geologic record as a signal for glaciations, continental growth and atmospheric methane levels. Oceanic serpentinites and subduction-related volcanic and hydrothermal environments obtain their hydrogen isotope signature from seawater, and thus may be used to calculate secular variation in δDSEAWATER which may fluctuate significantly due to hydrogen escape, continental growth and large-scale glaciation events. Further, ancient records of low-δD meteoric fluids signal both cooler temperatures and the emergence of large continents (increasing the effects of continental weathering on climate). Selective alteration of δD in Isua rocks to values of -130 to -100‰ post-dates ca. 3.55Ga Ameralik dikes, but may be associated with a poorly

  6. Sulfate was a trace constituent of Archean seawater

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Crowe, Sean Andrew; Paris, Guillaume; Katsev, Sergei


    In the low-oxygen Archean world (>2400 million years ago), seawater sulfate concentrations were much lower than today, yet open questions frustrate the translation of modern measurements of sulfur isotope fractionations into estimates of Archean seawater sulfate concentrations. In the water column...... of Lake Matano, Indonesia, a low-sulfate analog for the Archean ocean, we find large (>20 per mil) sulfur isotope fractionations between sulfate and sulfide, but the underlying sediment sulfides preserve a muted range of delta S-34 values. Using models informed by sulfur cycling in Lake Matano, we infer...... Archean seawater sulfate concentrations of less than 2.5 micromolar. At these low concentrations, marine sulfate residence times were likely 10(3) to 10(4) years, and sulfate scarcity would have shaped early global biogeochemical cycles, possibly restricting biological productivity in Archean oceans....

  7. Middle Archean continent formation by crustal delamination (United States)

    Zegers, Tanja E.; van Keken, Peter E.


    The processes that created the first large cratonic areas such as the Pilbara and the Kaapvaal remain poorly understood. Models based on the uniformitarian extrapolation of present-day arc volcanic processes to a hotter early Earth have not adequately explained the observations in these terranes. Here we propose an alternative mechanism for the formation of the earliest continental crust. The formation of continental crust may be achieved by delamination of the lower eclogitic part of an oceanic plateau like protocrust. Such delamination results in uplift, extension, and the production of tonalite, trondhjemite, and granodiorite (TTG) suites as recorded in Middle Archean cratons. The available geologic and geophysical observations in combination with model calculations permit this scenario as an alternative to subduction-based hypotheses.

  8. Reconciling atmospheric temperatures in the early Archean

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pope, Emily Catherine; Bird, Dennis K.; Rosing, Minik Thorleif

    Average surface temperatures of Earth in the Archean remain unresolved despite decades of diverse approaches to the problem. As in the present, early Earth climates were complex systems dependent on many variables. With few constraints on such variables, climate models must be relatively simplistic...... the oxygen isotope record of chemical sediments and ancient ocean crust, chemical equilibria amongst primary phases in banded iron formations (BIFs), sedimentary features indicative of temperate or glacial environments, and paleosol indicators of atmospheric CO2. Further, we explore the extent to which...... hydrogen isotopes contribute to the geologic record as a signal for glaciations, continental growth and atmospheric methane levels. Oceanic serpentinites and subduction-related volcanic and hydrothermal environments obtain their hydrogen isotope signature from seawater, and thus may be used to calculate...

  9. Raman spectra of carbonaceous material in Archean chert and silica dike: a thermal structure of ancient ocean floor (United States)

    Kitajima, K.; Maruyama, S.


    Carbonaceous material (CM) is widespread in metamorphic rocks. CM is also reported from Archean rocks such as sedimentary rock and hydrothermal vein. Raman spectrum of CM changes with the degree of graphitization by metamorphism. The purpose of this study is to determine of the thermal structure of the low-grade zone in the Archean accretionary complex which was not able to determine using metamorphic petrology because of luck of index minerals, and to select of the best sample for analysis of molecular fossil. The North Pole area (3.5 Ga) is one of the best regions in the Archean greenstone belt, because this area had been subjected only to very low-grade metamorphism. A 1/5000 scale mapping was performed in the North Pole area. The mapped area is divided into seven units bounded by layer-parallel thrusts: Units-I, -II, -III, -IV, -V, -VI and -VII, in ascending order. These units are divided into MORB-type (Unit-I and -II) and OIB-type (Unit-III, -IV, -V, -VI and -VII) units by lithology and mode of occurrence. Microfossils are reported from the bedded chert and silica dike which is composed of very fine-grained silica in the Unit-I. We analyzed 20 bedded and silica dike samples collected from ancient seafloor (0 m) to 900 m depth of oceanic crust. The characterization of samples was performed by Raman microspectroscopy in situ using conventional petrologic double polished thin sections. All sample shows ordered peak (O-peak) and disordered peak (D-peak) around 1580-1610 cm-1 and ~1355 cm-1, respectively. There is no trend in D/O intensity and D/O area ratio. D/O width ratio and full width at half maximum (FWHM) of D-peak, however, indicate a clear trend, except bedded chert samples. D/O width ratio is decreasing with depth, from 2.2 to ~1, and FWHM of D-peak is also decreasing with depth from 100 cm-1 to 60 cm-1 between top of the unit and 180 m depth. It is considered that decreasing of D/O width ratio and FWHM of D-peak occurs with increasing of metamorphic

  10. The Bombardment of the Earth During the Hadean and Early Archean Eras (United States)

    Marchi, S.; Bottke, W. F.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Morbidelli, A.; Wuennemann, K.; Kring, D. A.; Bierhaus, M.


    near ~4.1 Ga caused by the so-called Late Heavy Bombardment should have delivered a new round of large impactors striking at a mean velocity ~1.5 times higher than in previous epochs. Overall, only a relatively small fraction of ancient terrain survives unscathed all the way to the early Archean. We speculate that if impacts are involved with Hadean zircon formation, a scenario we find plausible, the apparent preference for ~4.1 Ga ages among Hadean zircons may be a combination of (i) terrain (and zircon) preservation and (ii) the ability of large impactors to create zircons (i.e., ~4.1 Ga would potentially be the 'sweet spot' in this competition). The relevance of this model for other early Earth issues (e.g., accretion of volatile elements; Kring 2003) will also be discussed. Bottke W.F., et al., Nature 485, 78, 2012. Harrison T.M., Annu. Rev. Earth. Planet Sci., 37, 2009. Kring D.A., Astrobiology 3, 133, 2003. Marchi S., et al., EPSL, 325, 2012. Morbidelli A., et al., EPSL, 355, 2012. Pollack H.N. Greenstone belts, Oxford University Press, 1997. Valley J.W., et al., Geology, 30, 2002. Walker R.J., Chem. Der Erd., 69, 2009. Neumann G. et al., AGU 2012.

  11. Archean Subduction or Not? The Archean Volcanic Record Re-assessed. (United States)

    Pearce, Julian; Peate, David; Smithies, Hugh


    Methods of identification of volcanic arc lavas may utilize: (1) the selective enrichment of the mantle wedge by 'subduction-mobile' elements; (2) the distinctive preconditioning of mantle along its flow path to the arc front; (3) the distinctive combination of fluid-flux and decompression melting; and (4) the effects of fluids on crystallization of the resulting magma. It should then be a simple matter uniquely to recognise volcanic arc lavas in the Geological Record and so document past subduction zones. Essentially, this is generally true in the oceans, but generally not on the continents. Even in recent, fresh lavas and with a full battery of element and isotope tools at our disposal, there can be debate over whether an arc-like geochemical signature results from active subduction, an older, inherited subduction component in the lithosphere, or crustal contamination. In the Archean, metamorphism, deformation, a different thermal regime and potential non-uniformitarian tectonic scenarios make the fingerprinting of arc lavas particularly problematic. Not least, the complicating factor of crustal contamination is likely to be much greater given the higher magma and crustal temperatures and higher magma fluxes prevailing. Here, we apply new, high-resolution immobile element fingerprinting methods, based primarily on Th-Nb fractionation, to Archean lavas. In the Pilbara, for example, where there is a volcanic record extending for over >500 m.y., we note that lavas with high Th/Nb (negative Nb anomalies) are common throughout the lava sequence. Many older formations also follow a basalt-andesite-dacite-rhyolite (BADR) sequence resembling present-day arcs. However, back-extrapolation of their compositions to their primitive magmas demonstrates that these were almost certainly crustally-contaminated plume-derived lavas. By contrast, this is not the case in the uppermst part of the sequence where even the most primitive magmas have significant Nb anomalies. The

  12. Tracing sources of crustal contamination using multiple S and Fe isotopes in the Hart komatiite-associated Ni-Cu-PGE sulfide deposit, Abitibi greenstone belt, Ontario, Canada (United States)

    Hiebert, R. S.; Bekker, A.; Houlé, M. G.; Wing, B. A.; Rouxel, O. J.


    Assimilation by mafic to ultramafic magmas of sulfur-bearing country rocks is considered an important contributing factor to reach sulfide saturation and form magmatic Ni-Cu-platinum group element (PGE) sulfide deposits. Sulfur-bearing sedimentary rocks in the Archean are generally characterized by mass-independent fractionation of sulfur isotopes that is a result of atmospheric photochemical reactions, which produces isotopically distinct pools of sulfur. Likewise, low-temperature processing of iron, through biological and abiotic redox cycling, produces a range of Fe isotope values in Archean sedimentary rocks that is distinct from the range of the mantle and magmatic Fe isotope values. Both of these signals can be used to identify potential country rock assimilants and their contribution to magmatic sulfide deposits. We use multiple S and Fe isotopes to characterize the composition of the potential iron and sulfur sources for the sulfide liquids that formed the Hart deposit in the Shaw Dome area within the Abitibi greenstone belt in Ontario (Canada). The Hart deposit is composed of two zones with komatiite-associated Ni-Cu-PGE mineralization; the main zone consists of a massive sulfide deposit at the base of the basal flow in the komatiite sequence, whereas the eastern extension consists of a semi-massive sulfide zone located 12 to 25 m above the base of the second flow in the komatiite sequence. Low δ56Fe values and non-zero δ34S and Δ33S values of the komatiitic rocks and associated mineralization at the Hart deposit is best explained by mixing and isotope exchange with crustal materials, such as exhalite and graphitic argillite, rather than intrinsic fractionation within the komatiite. This approach allows tracing the extent of crustal contamination away from the deposit and the degree of mixing between the sulfide and komatiite melts. The exhalite and graphitic argillite were the dominant contaminants for the main zone of mineralization and the eastern

  13. Geochemistry of Archean Mafic Amphibolites from the Amsaga Area, West African Craton, Mauritania: Occurrence of Archean oceanic plateau (United States)

    El Atrassi, Fatima; Debaille, Vinciane; Mattielli, Nadine; Berger, Julien


    While Archean terrains are mainly composed of a TTG (Tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite) suite, more mafic lithologies such as amphibolites are also a typical component of those ancient terrains. Although mafic rocks represent only ~10% of the Archean cratons, they may provide key evidence of the role and nature of basaltic magmatism in the formation of the Archean crust as well as the evolution of the Archean mantle. This study focuses on the Archean crust from the West African craton in Mauritania (Amsaga area). The Amsaga Archean crust mainly consists of TTG and thrust-imbricated slices of mafic volcanic rocks, which have been affected by polymetamorphic events from the amphibolite to granulite facies. We report the results of a combined petrologic, Sm-Nd isotopic, major element and rare earth element (REE) study of the Archean amphibolites in the West African craton. This study was conducted in order to characterize these rocks, to constrain the time of their formation and to evaluate their tectonic setting and their possible mantle source. Our petrological observations show that these amphibolites have fine to medium granoblastic and nematoblastic textures. They are dominated by amphibolite-facies mineral assemblages (mainly amphibole and plagioclase), but garnet and clinopyroxene occur in a few samples. These amphibolites have tholeiitic basalt composition. On a primitive mantle-normalized diagram, they display fairly flat patterns without negative anomalies for either Eu or Nb-Ta. We have shown using Sm-Nd whole rock isotopic data that these amphibolites formed at 3.3 ±0.075 Ga. They have positive ɛNdi values (+5.2 ± 1.6). These samples show isotopically juvenile features, which rule out the possibility of significant contamination of the protolith magmas by ancient continental crust. Based on these geochemical data we propose that the tholeiitic basalts were formed in an oceanic plateau tectonic setting from a mantle plume source and that they have a

  14. Microstructural analysis of a subhorizontal gold-quartz vein deposit at Donalda, Abitibi greenstone belt, Canada: Implications for hydrodynamic regime and fluid-structural relationship

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guoxiang Chi


    Full Text Available The Donalda gold deposit in the southern part of the Archean Abitibi greenstone belt consists mainly of a subhorizontal gold-quartz vein perpendicular to subvertical shear zones. The 0.3–0.5 m thick vein is characterized by vein-parallel banding structures indicating multiple episodes of fracture opening and mineral precipitation. Measurement of the c-axis of primary growth quartz indicates that quartz preferentially grew perpendicular to the fracture, suggesting open space filling and/or extensional nature of the fracture. Measurement of the orientations of microfractures, veinlets and fluid–inclusion planes (FIPs crosscutting primary growth quartz indicates that the vein minerals were subject to a vertical maximum principal stress (σ1, which is inconsistent with the subhorizontal σ1 inferred from the regional stress field with N–S shortening. This apparent discrepancy is explained by invoking episodic fluid pressure fluctuation between supralithostatic and hydrostatic regimes accompanied by episodic opening and closing of the subhorizontal fracture. When fluid pressure was higher than the lithostatic value, the fracture was opened and primary growth minerals were precipitated, whereas when fluid pressure decreased toward the hydrostatic value, the hanging wall of the fracture collapsed, causing collision of protruding primary growth minerals from both sides of the fracture and resulting in formation of vein-parallel deformation bands. The columns where the two facing sides of the fracture collided were subject to higher-than-lithostatic stress due to the bridging effect and reduced support surface area, explaining the development of vertical σ1. This hypothesis is consistent the fault-valve model, and explains the flipping of σ1 without having to change the regional stress field.

  15. New mapping near Iron Creek, Talkeetna Mountains, indicates presence of Nikolai greenstone (United States)

    Schmidt, Jeanine M.; Werdon, Melanie B.; Wardlaw, Bruce R.


    Detailed geologic mapping in the Iron Creek area, Talkeetna Mountains B-5 Quadrangle, has documented several intrusive bodies and rock units not previously recognized and has extended the geologic history of the area through the Mesozoic and into the Tertiary era. Greenschist-facies metabasalt and metagabbro previously thought to be Paleozoic are intruded by Late Cretaceous to Paleocene dioritic to granitic plutons. The metabasalts are massive to amygdaloidal, commonly contain abundant magnetite, and large areas are patchily altered to epidote ± quartz. They host numerous copper oxide–copper sulfide–quartz–hematite veins and amygdule fillings. These lithologic features, recognized in the field, suggested a correlation of the metamafic rocks with the Late Triassic Nikolai Greenstone, which had not previously been mapped in the Iron Creek area. Thin, discontinuous metalimestones that overlie the metabasalt sequence had previously been assigned a Pennsylvanian(?) and Early Permian age on the basis of correlation with marbles to the north, which yielded Late Paleozoic or Permian macrofossils, or both. Three new samples from the metalimestones near Iron Creek yielded Late Triassic conodonts, which confirms the correlation of the underlying metamafic rocks with Nikolai Greenstone. These new data extend the occurrence of Nikolai Greenstone about 70 km southwest of its previously mapped extent.Five to 10 km north of the conodont sample localities, numerous microgabbro and diabase sills intrude siliceous and locally calcareous metasedimentary rocks of uncertain age. These sills probably represent feeder zones to the Nikolai Greenstone. In the Mt. Hayes quadrangle 150 km to the northeast, large sill-form mafic and ultramafic feeders (for example, the Fish Lake complex) to the Nikolai Greenstone in the Amphitheatre Mountains host magmatic sulfide nickel–copper–platinum-group-element (PGE) mineralization. This new recognition of Nikolai Greenstone and possible

  16. Archean hydrothermal oceanic floor sedimentary environments: DXCL drilling project of the 3.2 Ga Dixon Island Formation, Pilbara, Australia (United States)

    Kiyokawa, S.; Ito, T.; Ikehara, M.; Yamaguchi, K. E.; Naraoka, H.; Sakamoto, R.; Suganuma, Y.


    Many place in Archean greenstone belts have been reported of the black chert to Iron rich sediments above volcanic sequence. The chemical sedimentary sequence has been recognized to form by as hydrothermal siliceous sequence. These sediments contain the hint to understand the Archean ocean and earth surface environments. Here, we will focus the Dixon Island and Cleaverville formations, which are one of the best preserved Archean hydrothermal sedimentary sequence in the world, to recognized detail stratigraphy and restored deep ocean environment. We did scientific drilling, which is called ‘DXCL drilling project’, at 2007 summer. This drilling project had been selected two coastal sites; CL site at lower part of the Cleaverville Formation, and another is DX site at the upper Dixon Island Formation. A systematic combinations of geological, sedimentological, geochemical, and geobiological approaches will be applied to the fresh samples. Here we will show the recent result of this sequence, which will be key evidence to understand the nature of the middle Archean (3.2 Ga) marine environment influenced by hydrothermal activity. The 3.2 Ga Dixon Island -Cleaverville formations composed of volcanic rock units and chemical-volcanosedimentary sequence which are identified by accreted immature island arc setting. The ~350m-thick Dixon Island Formation which is overlie by pillow basalt consists mainly of highly silicified volcanic-siliceous sequences that contain apparent microbial mats and bacterial fossil-like structure within black chert and also includes a komatiite-rhyolite sequences bearing hydrothermal veins. The >300m-thick Cleaverville Formation, which conformably overlay pillow basalt, contains a thick unit of reddish shale, bedded red-white chert and banded iron formation. It partly contains chert fragments-bearing pyroclastic beds. In detail lithology from the drill cores, the CL and DX contain different type of organic rocks. The CL 1 and CL2 core samples

  17. High-resolution quadruple sulfur isotope analyses of 3.2 Ga pyrite from the Barberton Greenstone Belt in South Africa reveal distinct environmental controls on sulfide isotopic arrays

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roerdink, D.L.; Mason, P.R.D.; Whitehouse, M.J.; Reimer, T.


    Multiple sulfur isotopes in Paleoarchean pyrite record valuable information on atmospheric processes and emerging microbial activity in the early sulfur cycle. Here, we report quadruple sulfur isotope data (32S, 33S, 34S, 36S) analyzed by secondary ion mass spectrometry from pyrite in a 3.26–3.23 Ga

  18. Structural development of an Archean Orogen, Western Point Lake, Northwest Territories (United States)

    Kusky, Timothy M.


    The Point Lake orogen in the central Archean Slave Province of northwestern Canada preserves more than 10 km of structural relief through an eroded antiformal thrust stack and deeper anastomosing midcrustal mylonites. Fault restoration along a 25 km long transect requires a minimum of 69 km slip and 53 km horizontal shortening. In the western part of the orogen the basal decollement places mafic plutonic/volcanic rocks over an ancient tonalitic gneiss complex. Ten kilometers to the east in the Keskarrah Bay area, slices of gneiss unroofed on brittle thrusts shed molasse into several submerged basins. Conglomerates and associated thinly bedded sedimentary rocks are interpreted as channel, levee, and overbank facies of this thrust-related sedimentary fan system. The synorogenic erosion surface at the base of the conglomerate truncates premetamorphic or early metamorphic thrust faults formed during foreland propagation, while other thrusts related to hinterland-progressing imbrication displace this unconformity. Tightening of synorogenic depositional troughs resulted in the conglomerates' present localization in synclines to the west of associated thrust faults and steepening of structural dips. Eastern parts of the orogen consist of isoclinally folded graywackes composed largely of Mutti and Ricci-Lucchi turbidite facies B, C, and D, interpreted as submarine fan deposits eroded from a distant volcanic arc. Thrust faults in the metasedimentary terrane include highly disrupted slate horizons with meter-scale duplex structures, and recrystallized calcmylonites exhibiting sheath folds and boudin trains with very large interboudin distances. The sequence of fabric development and the overall geometry of this metasedimentary terrane strongly resembles younger forearc accretionary prisms. Conditions of deformation along the thrusts parallel the regional metamorphic zonation: amphibolite facies in the basal decollement through greenschist facies shear zones to cataclastic

  19. Aerial geophysics contribution to geology of Crixas Greenstone Belt , Brazil; Contribuicao aerogeofisica a geologia do 'greenstone belt' da Faixa Crixas, Goias, Brasil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blum, Marcelo de Lawrence Bassay; Rosa, Cassio Thyone A. de; Carmelo, Adriana C.; Souza, Julio Coelho Ferreira de; Pires, Augusto C.B. [Brasilia Univ., DF (Brazil); Araujo, Albano A. de; Carvalho Junior, Osmar A. de [Infosat, XX, World Energy Council (WEC) (Austria)


    In this study we present the results obtained by interpreting geophysical data from the Crixas Greenstone Belt area. Magnetic and gamma-ray spectrometric profiles and maps were produced by reprocessing digital data belonging to the Brazil-Canada Geophysical project. Using the very detailed information revealed by the profiles processed in more adequate scale and the lateral continuity supplied by the maps, we obtained a more clear picture of the region. Despite of the strong correlation between profiles and maps with the presently known geology, observed discrepancies indicate targets for geological mapping and mineral exploration. (author)

  20. High-grade iron ore at Windarling, Yilgarn Craton: a product of syn-orogenic deformation, hypogene hydrothermal alteration and supergene modification in an Archean BIF-basalt lithostratigraphy (United States)

    Angerer, Thomas; Hagemann, Steffen G.; Danyushevsky, Leonid


    Banded iron formation (BIF)-hosted iron ore deposits in the Windarling Range are located in the lower greenstone succession of the Marda-Diemals greenstone belt, Southern Cross domain, Yilgarn Craton and constitute a total hematite-martite-goethite ore resource of minimum 52 Mt at 60 wt.% Fe (0.07 P). Banded iron formation is interlayered with high-Mg basalts at Windarling and precipitated during episodes of volcanic quiescence. Trace element content and the rare earth element (REE) ratios Y/Ho (42 to 45), Sm/Yb (1.5), together with positive La and Gd anomalies in `least-altered' hematite-magnetite-metachert-BIF indicate the precipitation from Archean seawater that was fertilised by hydrothermal vent fluids with a basaltic HREE-Y signature. Hypogene iron ore in sub-greenschist facies metamorphosed BIF formed during three distinct stages: ore stage 1 was a syn- to post-metamorphic, syn-D1, Fe-Ca-Mg-Ni-Co-P-REE metasomatism that produced local Ni-REE-rich Fe-dolomite-magnetite alteration in BIF. Hydrothermal alteration was induced by hot fluid flow controlled by brittle-ductile reactivation of BIF-basalt margins and crosscutting D1 faults. The Ni-Co-rich content of dolomite and a shift in REE ratios in carbonate-altered BIF towards Archean mafic rock signature (Y/Ho to 31 to 40, Sm/Yb to 1 to 2 and Gd/Gd* to 1.2 to 1.4) suggest that high-Mg basalts in the Windarling Range were the primary source of introduced metals. During ore stage 2, a syn-deformational and likely acidic and oxidised fluid flow along BIF-basalt margins and within D1 faults leached carbonate and precipitated lepidoblastic and anhedral/granoblastic hematite. High-grade magnetite-hematite ore is formed during this stage. Ore stage 3 hydrothermal specular hematite (spcH)-Fe-dolomite-quartz alteration was controlled by a late-orogenic, brittle, compressional/transpressional stage (D4; the regional-scale shear-zone-related D3 is not preserved in Windarling). This minor event remobilised iron oxides

  1. Digital Archiving of Audio Content using WINISIS and Greenstone Software: A Manual for Community Radio Managers


    Rajasekharan , K.; Nafala, KM.


    This self-instructional handbook is aimed at helping managers of community radio stations, FM radio stations, public service broadcasting agencies and any other organisations that deal with audio files in creating prototype archives of digital audio documents. In line with the needs of the community, the manual guides users in creating their proper archives with stable, free software like WINISIS, GenISIS and Greenstone. The book also mentions the URLs from where these software can be downloa...

  2. Archean komatiite volcanism controlled by the evolution of early continents. (United States)

    Mole, David R; Fiorentini, Marco L; Thebaud, Nicolas; Cassidy, Kevin F; McCuaig, T Campbell; Kirkland, Christopher L; Romano, Sandra S; Doublier, Michael P; Belousova, Elena A; Barnes, Stephen J; Miller, John


    The generation and evolution of Earth's continental crust has played a fundamental role in the development of the planet. Its formation modified the composition of the mantle, contributed to the establishment of the atmosphere, and led to the creation of ecological niches important for early life. Here we show that in the Archean, the formation and stabilization of continents also controlled the location, geochemistry, and volcanology of the hottest preserved lavas on Earth: komatiites. These magmas typically represent 50-30% partial melting of the mantle and subsequently record important information on the thermal and chemical evolution of the Archean-Proterozoic Earth. As a result, it is vital to constrain and understand the processes that govern their localization and emplacement. Here, we combined Lu-Hf isotopes and U-Pb geochronology to map the four-dimensional evolution of the Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia, and reveal the progressive development of an Archean microcontinent. Our results show that in the early Earth, relatively small crustal blocks, analogous to modern microplates, progressively amalgamated to form larger continental masses, and eventually the first cratons. This cratonization process drove the hottest and most voluminous komatiite eruptions to the edge of established continental blocks. The dynamic evolution of the early continents thus directly influenced the addition of deep mantle material to the Archean crust, oceans, and atmosphere, while also providing a fundamental control on the distribution of major magmatic ore deposits.

  3. Late Archean Surface Ocean Oxygenation (Invited) (United States)

    Kendall, B.; Reinhard, C.; Lyons, T. W.; Kaufman, A. J.; Anbar, A. D.


    Oxygenic photosynthesis must have evolved by 2.45-2.32 Ga, when atmospheric oxygen abundances first rose above 0.001% present atmospheric level (Great Oxidation Event; GOE). Biomarker evidence for a time lag between the evolution of cyanobacterial oxygenic photosynthesis and the GOE continues to be debated. Geochemical signatures from sedimentary rocks (redox-sensitive trace metal abundances, sedimentary Fe geochemistry, and S isotopes) represent an alternative tool for tracing the history of Earth surface oxygenation. Integrated high-resolution chemostratigraphic profiles through the 2.5 Ga Mt. McRae Shale (Pilbara Craton, Western Australia) suggest a ‘whiff’ of oxygen in the surface environment at least 50 M.y. prior to the GOE. However, the geochemical data from the Mt. McRae Shale does not uniquely constrain the presence or extent of Late Archean ocean oxygenation. Here, we present high-resolution chemostratigraphic profiles from 2.6-2.5 Ga black shales (upper Campbellrand Subgroup, Kaapvaal Craton, South Africa) that provide the earliest direct evidence for an oxygenated ocean water column. On the slope beneath the Campbellrand - Malmani carbonate platform (Nauga Formation), a mildly oxygenated water column (highly reactive iron to total iron ratios [FeHR/FeT] ≤ 0.4) was underlain by oxidizing sediments (low Re and Mo abundances) or mildly reducing sediments (high Re but low Mo abundances). After drowning of the carbonate platform (Klein Naute Formation), the local bottom waters became anoxic (FeHR/FeT > 0.4) and intermittently sulphidic (pyrite iron to highly reactive iron ratios [FePY/FeHR] > 0.8), conducive to enrichment of both Re and Mo in sediments, followed by anoxic and Fe2+-rich (ferruginous) conditions (high FeT, FePY/FeHR near 0). Widespread surface ocean oxygenation is suggested by Re enrichment in the broadly correlative Klein Naute Formation and Mt. McRae Shale, deposited ~1000 km apart in the Griqualand West and Hamersley basins

  4. Some petrologic and oxygen isotopic relationships in the amulet mine, noranda, quebec, and their bearing on the origin of archean massive sulfide deposits

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beaty, D.W.; Taylor, H.P. Jr.

    A concentrically zoned alteration pipe is present at the Amulet ''A'' Cu-Zn mine in the Archean Abitibi greenstone belt. The pipe consists of a central core zone of so-called ''dalmatianite'' surrounded by a zone of biotite-bearing grid-fracture alteration. Study of the dalmatianite indicates that these rocks experienced two episodes of recrystallization. Whole-rock /delta//sup 18/O values decrease from about 6 to 10 in most of the Abitibi belt to 5 to 7 in the country rocks surrounding the ore deposit, to values as low as 3.6 in the core of the dalmatianite zone. This oxygen isotopic zoning must have been produced by the hydrothermal activity, because the dehydration reactions associated with contact metamorphism cannot have affected /delta//sup 18/O by more than 0.5 per mil. Assuming an alteration temperature of 300/degree/sub p/lus or minus/50/degree/C and a water/rock ratio greater than two, the hydrothermal fluid must have had /delta//sup 18/O .0.5/plus or minus/1.0. This indicates that the Amulet ore deposit formed from a hydrothermal fluid that had a /delta//sup 18/O value similar both to modern seawater and to the fluids which formed the Phanerozoic massive sulfide deposits of the Kuroko and Cyprus types. 51 refs.

  5. Origin of microbial biomineralization and magnetotaxis during the Archean. (United States)

    Lin, Wei; Paterson, Greig A; Zhu, Qiyun; Wang, Yinzhao; Kopylova, Evguenia; Li, Ying; Knight, Rob; Bazylinski, Dennis A; Zhu, Rixiang; Kirschvink, Joseph L; Pan, Yongxin


    Microbes that synthesize minerals, a process known as microbial biomineralization, contributed substantially to the evolution of current planetary environments through numerous important geochemical processes. Despite its geological significance, the origin and evolution of microbial biomineralization remain poorly understood. Through combined metagenomic and phylogenetic analyses of deep-branching magnetotactic bacteria from the Nitrospirae phylum, and using a Bayesian molecular clock-dating method, we show here that the gene cluster responsible for biomineralization of magnetosomes, and the arrangement of magnetosome chain(s) within cells, both originated before or near the Archean divergence between the Nitrospirae and Proteobacteria This phylogenetic divergence occurred well before the Great Oxygenation Event. Magnetotaxis likely evolved due to environmental pressures conferring an evolutionary advantage to navigation via the geomagnetic field. Earth's dynamo must therefore have been sufficiently strong to sustain microbial magnetotaxis in the Archean, suggesting that magnetotaxis coevolved with the geodynamo over geological time.

  6. Origin of microbial biomineralization and magnetotaxis during the Archean (United States)

    Paterson, Greig A.; Wang, Yinzhao; Kopylova, Evguenia; Li, Ying; Knight, Rob; Bazylinski, Dennis A.; Zhu, Rixiang; Kirschvink, Joseph L.; Pan, Yongxin


    Microbes that synthesize minerals, a process known as microbial biomineralization, contributed substantially to the evolution of current planetary environments through numerous important geochemical processes. Despite its geological significance, the origin and evolution of microbial biomineralization remain poorly understood. Through combined metagenomic and phylogenetic analyses of deep-branching magnetotactic bacteria from the Nitrospirae phylum, and using a Bayesian molecular clock-dating method, we show here that the gene cluster responsible for biomineralization of magnetosomes, and the arrangement of magnetosome chain(s) within cells, both originated before or near the Archean divergence between the Nitrospirae and Proteobacteria. This phylogenetic divergence occurred well before the Great Oxygenation Event. Magnetotaxis likely evolved due to environmental pressures conferring an evolutionary advantage to navigation via the geomagnetic field. Earth’s dynamo must therefore have been sufficiently strong to sustain microbial magnetotaxis in the Archean, suggesting that magnetotaxis coevolved with the geodynamo over geological time. PMID:28193877

  7. Origin of microbial biomineralization and magnetotaxis during the Archean (United States)

    Lin, Wei; Paterson, Greig A.; Zhu, Qiyun; Wang, Yinzhao; Kopylova, Evguenia; Li, Ying; Knight, Rob; Bazylinski, Dennis A.; Zhu, Rixiang; Kirschvink, Joseph L.; Pan, Yongxin


    Microbes that synthesize minerals, a process known as microbial biomineralization, contributed substantially to the evolution of current planetary environments through numerous important geochemical processes. Despite its geological significance, the origin and evolution of microbial biomineralization remain poorly understood. Through combined metagenomic and phylogenetic analyses of deep-branching magnetotactic bacteria from the Nitrospirae phylum, and using a Bayesian molecular clock-dating method, we show here that the gene cluster responsible for biomineralization of magnetosomes, and the arrangement of magnetosome chain(s) within cells, both originated before or near the Archean divergence between the Nitrospirae and Proteobacteria. This phylogenetic divergence occurred well before the Great Oxygenation Event. Magnetotaxis likely evolved due to environmental pressures conferring an evolutionary advantage to navigation via the geomagnetic field. Earth’s dynamo must therefore have been sufficiently strong to sustain microbial magnetotaxis in the Archean, suggesting that magnetotaxis coevolved with the geodynamo over geological time.

  8. Hospitable archean climates simulated by a general circulation model. (United States)

    Wolf, E T; Toon, O B


    Evidence from ancient sediments indicates that liquid water and primitive life were present during the Archean despite the faint young Sun. To date, studies of Archean climate typically utilize simplified one-dimensional models that ignore clouds and ice. Here, we use an atmospheric general circulation model coupled to a mixed-layer ocean model to simulate the climate circa 2.8 billion years ago when the Sun was 20% dimmer than it is today. Surface properties are assumed to be equal to those of the present day, while ocean heat transport varies as a function of sea ice extent. Present climate is duplicated with 0.06 bar of CO2 or alternatively with 0.02 bar of CO2 and 0.001 bar of CH4. Hot Archean climates, as implied by some isotopic reconstructions of ancient marine cherts, are unattainable even in our warmest simulation having 0.2 bar of CO2 and 0.001 bar of CH4. However, cooler climates with significant polar ice, but still dominated by open ocean, can be maintained with modest greenhouse gas amounts, posing no contradiction with CO2 constraints deduced from paleosols or with practical limitations on CH4 due to the formation of optically thick organic hazes. Our results indicate that a weak version of the faint young Sun paradox, requiring only that some portion of the planet's surface maintain liquid water, may be resolved with moderate greenhouse gas inventories. Thus, hospitable late Archean climates are easily obtained in our climate model.

  9. Iron isotope composition of some Archean and Proterozoic iron formations (United States)

    Planavsky, Noah; Rouxel, Olivier J.; Bekker, Andrey; Hofmann, Axel; Little, Crispin T. S.; Lyons, Timothy W.


    Fe isotopes can provide new insight into redox-dependent biogeochemical processes. Precambrian iron formations (IF) are deserving targets for Fe isotope studies because they are composed predominantly of authigenic Fe phases and record a period of unprecedented iron deposition in Earth's history. We present Fe isotope data for bulk samples from 24 Archean and Proterozoic IF and eight Phanerozoic Fe oxide-rich deposits. These data reveal that many Archean and early Paleoproterozoic iron formations were a sink for isotopically heavy Fe, in contrast to later Proterozoic and Phanerozoic Fe oxide-rich rocks. The positive δ56Fe values in IF are best explained by delivery of particulate ferric oxides formed in the water column to the sediment-water interface. Because IF are a net sink for isotopically heavy Fe, there must be a corresponding pool of isotopically light Fe in the sedimentary record. Earlier work suggested that Archean pyritic black shales were an important part of this light sink before 2.35 billion years ago (Ga). It is therefore likely that the persistently and anomalously low δ56Fe values in shales are linked with the deposition of isotopically heavy Fe in IF in the deeper parts of basins. IF deposition produced a residual isotopically light dissolved Fe pool that was captured by pyritic Fe in shales. Local dissimilatory Fe reduction in porewater and associated diagenetic reactions resulting in pyrite and carbonate precipitation may have further enhanced Fe isotope heterogeneity in marine sediments, and an 'iron shuttle' may have transported isotopically light Fe from shelf sediments to the basin. Nevertheless, water-column processing of hydrothermally delivered Fe likely had the strongest influence on the bulk iron isotope composition of Archean and Paleoproterozoic iron formations and other marine sediments.

  10. Mantle decarbonation and Archean high-Mg magmas (United States)

    Edwards, Garth R.


    Magnesium-rich mane to ultramafic extrusions were most common in the Archean and pose interesting petrological problems. The high Mg content of komatiites (>18 wt%, for example, is usually interpreted as indicating an origin at higher temperatures than exist in mantle melting zones in the modern Earth. Current contrasting models for the origin of komatiites in the mantle require either high degrees of melting or lower degrees of melting at great depth. A potential complementary mechanism for Mg enrichment in magmas involves the melting of magnesite-bearing garnet Iherxolite. In this model, the ascending primary mafic or ultramafic magma is enriched in MgO by the loss of some off the CO2 to the adjacent mantle at pressures of ˜2.2 GPa, where the magma becomes saturated with CO2. To generate komatiite in this way from a picritelike parent, for example, requires that the primary magma lose some of its major and trace element components to the adjacent mantle concurrently with the CO2. Production of magnesian magmas by magnesite breakdown may not have required the heat or depth of those produced by other means; this mechanism may help to explain some apparently low Archean geothermal gradients, as well as the contemporaneity of Archean diamonds and komatites. The mantle magnesite could have formed by direct reaction of primordial CO2 or CO with hot, protomantle material during Earth's accretionary period.

  11. Gold deposits in the late Archaean Nzega-Igunga greenstone belt, central plateau of tanzania

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Feiss, P.G.; Siyomana, S.


    2.2 m oz of gold have been produced, since 1935, from late Archaean (2480-2740 Ma) greenstone belts of the Central Plateau, Tanzania. North and east of Nzega (4/sup 0/12'S, 3/sup 0/11'E), 18% of the exposed basement, mainly Dodoman schists and granites, consists of metavolcanics and metasediments of the Nyanzian and Kavirondian Series. Four styles of mineralization are observed. 1. Stratabound quartz-gold veins with minor sulfides. Host rocks are quartz porphyry, banded iron formation (BIF), magnetite quartzite, and dense, cherty jasperite at the Sekenke and Canuck mines. The Canuck veins are on strike from BIF's in quartz-eye porphyry of the Igusule Hills. 2. Stratabound, disseminated gold in coarse-grained, crowded feldspar porphyry with lithic fragments and minor pyrite. At Bulangamilwa, the porphyry is conformable with Nyanzian-aged submarine (.) greenstone, volcanic sediment, felsic volcanics, and sericite phyllite. The deposits are on strike with BIF of the Wella Hills, which contains massive sulfide with up to 15% Pb+Zn. 3. Disseminated gold in quartz-albite metasomes in Nyanzian greenstones. At Kirondatal, alteration is associated with alaskites and feldspar porphyry dikes traceable several hundred meters into post-Dodoman diorite porphyry. Gold is with pyrite, arsenopyrite, pyrrhotite, minor chalcopyrite, and sphalerite as well as tourmalinite and silica-cemented breccias. 4. Basal Kavirondian placers in metaconglomerates containing cobbles and boulders of Dodoman and Nyanzian rocks several hundred meters up-section from the stratabound, disseminated mineralization at Bulangamilwa.

  12. How widely is the Andean type of continental margin represented in the Archean (United States)

    Burke, Kevin


    Application of the principle of uniformitarianism to the Archean was discussed in a search for evidence of Archean-type continental margins in Archean rocks. The author cautioned that Archean rocks represent only 2 percent of the current exposure of the continents, half of which is in the North American Superior Province. Care must be taken in interpreting the global tectonic significance of relatively small exposures of Archean rocks, such as South India. Andean margins were characterized by their elongate shape, magmatic associations, and isotopic signatures. Although the compositional evidence alone will always be ambiguous, it was suggested that supporting structural evidence may aid in the identification of Archean Andean margins. Andean margin remains have been recognized in the Superior Province of Canada by these criteria, and the author suggested that the Closepet granite of South India may represent another example.

  13. Composition and origin of Archean lower crust, Northern Tanzania (United States)

    Mansur, A. T.; Manya, S.; Rudnick, R.


    Granulite-facies xenoliths from tuff cones erupted on the margin of the Tanzanian craton and within the adjacent Mozambique belt in northern Tanzania offer an opportunity to assess the role of lower crustal processes in the tectonic evolution of these two terranes. Both terranes are Archean, but record very different histories, starting in the Proterozoic and continuing today. Whereas the craton experienced little metamorphism or igneous activity following its stabilization around 2.8 Ga, Archean rocks of the Mozambique belt in the study area experienced at least one episode of high-grade metamorphism during the East African orogeny (ca. 640 Ma). Today, the East African rift exists at the contact between the Mozambique belt and the craton, implying a fundamental lithospheric weakness at this boundary. Granulite xenoliths come from Labait, on the craton margin, and Lashaine and Naibor Soito in the metamorphic belt. Most xenoliths are mafic and all are igneous in origin. Cratonic xenoliths (pl- opx±cpx±gt±hbl) are primarily anhydrous two-pyroxene granulites that likely originated as crystallized high-Ni, Archean basaltic melts. Xenoliths from the Mozambique belt are dominated by mafic granulites (pl-cpx-gt±opx) at Lashaine and banded, mafic to intermediate granulites at Naibor Soito. Positive Sr and Eu anomalies imply that the Lashaine granulites originated as plagioclase cumulates. The wide range in SiO2 (47-65 wt%) and correlation of Ni-MgO in the Naibor Soito xenoliths suggests they may have originated as igneous rocks that subsequently underwent partial melting to form the mafic (pl- opx±cpx±gt±hbl±bt) and felsic bands (pl-qtz-opx±kfs). U-Pb zircon ages for xenoliths from both terranes are Archean, as are most TDM ages, though younger TDM ages are seen in some Lashaine samples that were contaminated by rift magma. High pressures (up to 2.7GPa) are recorded by the Mozambique belt xenoliths, suggesting equilibration in thickened crust during the East

  14. An overview of the lithological and geochemical characteristics of the Mesoarchean (ca. 3075) Ivisaartoq greenstone belt, southern West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Polat, A.; Frei, Robert; Appel, P.W.U.


    -silicate metasomatism, between 3075 and 2961 Ma. The trace element systematics of the least altered rocks are consistent with a subduction zone geodynamic setting. On the basis of lithological similarities between the Ivisaartoq greenstone belt and Phanerozoic forearc/backarc ophiolites, and intra-oceanic island arcs...

  15. Extension of the Archaean Madibe-Kraaipan granite-greenstone terrane in southeast Botswana: Constraints from gravity and magnetic data (United States)

    Ramotoroko, Calistus D.; Ranganai, Rubeni T.; Nyabeze, Peter


    The main goal of this study is to use suitably processed potential field data between longitude 24°E to 26°E and latitude 25°S to 26.5°S to gain a better geological and structural understanding of the extension of the Madibe-Kraaipan granite-greenstone terrane in southeast Botswana. Specifically, 150 new gravity measurements at 2-4 km intervals are reduced and later merged with existing gravity data in Botswana and South Africa for an integrated crustal interpretation with regional aeromagnetic data. Gravity and aeromagnetic anomalies of the region present partly coincident medium to high amplitude regions alternating with low zones. Analysis of the data revealed the existence of relatively narrow Nsbnd S trending rocks of dense and high magnetic intensity extending to the village of Mmathethe, corresponding to the northern extent of the Kraaipan greenstone belt. Much of the north-central area forms a broad magnetic low and gravity high implying Kraaipan metavolcanic rocks are more extensively developed in this area than previously recognized, under a blanket of Kalahari sediments that are ∼55 m thick as indicated by borehole data. The whole area lies within an ENE-trending Pre-Transvaal dyke swarm visible on the regional aeromagnetic data and much clearer on (proprietary) high resolution aeromagnetic data. The derivative and analytic signal techniques applied for both gravity and magnetic data spatially map the greenstone belt and multiple granite plutons very well. Depth estimates obtained by the 3D Euler method in combination with two-dimensional power spectrum technique locate the high magnetic intensity horizon at around 4.0 km. The depths were further confirmed by gravity model results along two profiles across the granite-greenstone terrane in Botswana and South Africa in a W-E direction. The models show generally steep-sided bodies of comparable width with a maximum depth extent of 4.7 km for the greenstones and 4.4 km for the younger plutons. The

  16. Radiative forcings for 28 potential Archean greenhouse gases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Byrne


    Full Text Available Despite reduced insolation in the late Archean, evidence suggests a warm climate which was likely sustained by a stronger greenhouse effect, the so-called Faint Young Sun Problem (FYSP. CO2 and CH4 are generally thought to be the mainstays of this enhanced greenhouse, though many other gases have been proposed. We present high accuracy radiative forcings for CO2, CH4 and 26 other gases, performing the radiative transfer calculations at line-by-line resolution and using HITRAN 2012 line data for background pressures of 0.5, 1, and 2 bar. For CO2 to resolve the FYSP alone, 0.21 bar is needed with 0.5 bar of atmospheric pressure, 0.13 bar with 1 bar of atmospheric pressures, or 0.07 bar with 2 bar of atmospheric pressure. For CH4, we find that near-infrared absorption is much stronger than previously thought, arising from updates to the HITRAN database. CH4 radiative forcing peaks at 10.3, 9, or 8.3 W m−2 for background pressures of 0.5, 1 or 2 bar, likely limiting the utility of CH4 for warming the Archean. For the other 26 HITRAN gases, radiative forcings of up to a few to 10 W m−2 are obtained from concentrations of 0.1–1 ppmv for many gases. We further calculate the reduction of radiative forcing due to gas overlap for the 20 strongest gases. We recommend the forcings provided here be used both as a first reference for which gases are likely good greenhouse gases, and as a standard set of calculations for validation of radiative forcing calculations for the Archean.

  17. Accretionary origin for the late Archean Ashuanipi Complex of Canada (United States)

    Percival, J. A.


    The Ashuanipi complex is one of the largest massif granulite terrains of the Canadian Shield. It makes up the eastern end of the 2000 km long, lower-grade, east-west belts of the Archean Superior Province, permitting lithological, age and tectonic correlation. Numerous lithological, geochemical and metamorphic similarities to south Indian granulites suggest common processes and invite comparison of tectonic evolution. The Ashuanipi granulite terrain of the Cannadian Superior Province was studied in detail, and an origin through self-melting of a 55 km thick accretionary wedge seems possible.

  18. The Wisconsin magmatic terrane: An Early Proterozoic greenstone-granite terrane formed by plate tectonic processes (United States)

    Schulz, K. J.; Laberge, G. L.


    The Wisconsin magmatic terrane (WMT) is an east trending belt of dominantly volcanic-plutonic complexes of Early Proterozoic age (approx. 1850 m.y.) that lies to the south of the Archean rocks and Early Proterozoic epicratonic sequence (Marquette Range Supergroup) in Michigan. It is separated from the epicratonic Marquette Range Supergroup by the high-angle Niagara fault, is bounded on the south, in central Wisconsin, by Archean gneisses, is truncated on the west by rocks of the Midcontinent rift system, and is intruded on the east by the post-orogenic Wolf river batholith. The overall lithologic, geochemical, metallogenic, metamorphic, and deformational characteristics of the WMT are similar to those observed in recent volcanic arc terranes formed at sites of plate convergence. It is concluded that the WMT represents an evolved oceanic island-arc terrane accreated to the Superior craton in the Early Proterozoic. This conclusion is strengthened by the apparent absence of Archean basement from most of the WMT, and the recent recognition of the passive margin character of the epicratonic Marquette Range Supergroup.

  19. The Cosmic Ray Intensity Near the Archean Earth

    CERN Document Server

    Cohen, O; Kota, J


    We employ three-dimensional state of the art magnetohydrodynamic models of the early solar wind and heliosphere and a two-dimensional model for cosmic ray transport to investigate the cosmic ray spectrum and flux near the Archean Earth. We assess how sensitive the cosmic ray spectrum is to changes in the sunspot placement and magnetic field strength, the large scale dipole magnetic field strength, the wind ram pressure, and the Sun's rotation period. Overall, our results confirm earlier work that suggested the Archean Earth would have experienced a greatly reduced cosmic ray flux than is the case today. The cosmic ray reduction for the early Sun is mainly due to the shorter solar rotation period and tighter winding of the Parker spiral, and to the different surface distribution of the more active solar magnetic field. These effects lead to a global reduction of the cosmic ray flux at 1AU by up to two orders of magnitude or more. Variations in the sunspot magnetic field have more effect on the flux than variat...

  20. Manganese carbonates as possible biogenic relics in Archean settings (United States)

    Rincón-Tomás, Blanca; Khonsari, Bahar; Mühlen, Dominik; Wickbold, Christian; Schäfer, Nadine; Hause-Reitner, Dorothea; Hoppert, Michael; Reitner, Joachim


    Carbonate minerals such as dolomite, kutnahorite or rhodochrosite are frequently, but not exclusively generated by microbial processes. In recent anoxic sediments, Mn(II)carbonate minerals (e.g. rhodochrosite, kutnahorite) derive mainly from the reduction of Mn(IV) compounds by anaerobic respiration. The formation of huge manganese-rich (carbonate) deposits requires effective manganese redox cycling in an oxygenated atmosphere. However, putative anaerobic pathways such as microbial nitrate-dependent manganese oxidation, anoxygenic photosynthesis and oxidation in ultraviolet light may facilitate manganese cycling even in an early Archean environment, without the availability of oxygen. In addition, manganese carbonates precipitate by microbially induced processes without change of the oxidation state, e.g. by pH shift. Hence, there are several ways how these minerals could have been formed biogenically and deposited in Precambrian sediments. We will summarize microbially induced manganese carbonate deposition in the presence and absence of atmospheric oxygen and we will make some considerations about the biogenic deposition of manganese carbonates in early Archean settings.

  1. The Archean-Paleoproterozoic evolution of the Quadrilátero Ferrífero (Brasil): Current models and open questions (United States)

    Farina, F.; Albert, C.; Martínez Dopico, C.; Aguilar Gil, C.; Moreira, H.; Hippertt, J. P.; Cutts, K.; Alkmim, F. F.; Lana, C.


    The Quadrilátero Ferrífero is a metallogenic district (Au, Fe, Mn) located at the southernmost end of the São Francisco craton in eastern Brazil. In this region, a supracrustal assemblage composed of Archean greenstone and overlying Neoarchean-Paleoproterozoic sedimentary rocks occur in elongated keels bordering domal bodies of Archean gneisses and granites. The tectonomagmatic evolution of the Quadrilàtero Ferrífero began in the Paleoarchean with the formation of continental crust between 3500 and 3200 Ma. Although this crust is today poorly preserved, its existence is attested to by the occurrence of detrital zircon crystals with Paleoarchean age in the supracrustal rocks. Most of the crystalline basement, which is composed of banded gneisses intruded by leucogranitic dikes and weakly foliated granites, formed during three major magmatic events: Rio das Velhas I (2920-2850 Ma), Rio das Velhas II (2800-2760 Ma) and Mamona (2760-2680 Ma). The Rio das Velhas II and Mamona events represent a subduction-collision cycle, probably marking the appearance of a modern-style plate tectonic regime in the Quadrilátero Ferrífero. Granitic rocks emplaced during the Rio das Velhas I and II events formed by mixing between a magma generated by partial melting of metamafic rocks with an end member derived by recycling gneissic rocks of older continental crust. After deformation and regional metamorphism at ca. 2770 Ma, a change in the composition of the granitic magmas occurred and large volumes of high-K granitoids were generated. The ca. 6000 m-thick Minas Supergroup tracks the opening and closure of a basin during the Neoarchean-Paleoproterozoic, between 2600 and 2000 Ma. The basal sequence involves continental to marine sediments deposited in a passive margin basin and contain as a marker bed the Lake Superior-type Cauê Banded Iron Formation. The overlying sediments of the Sabará Group mark the inversion of the basin during the Rhyacian Minas accretionary orogeny. This

  2. Technical Assessment of Greenstone toward Development of Digital Libraries in Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Hassanzadeh


    Full Text Available Lack of integrated software is serious obstacle toward the development of digital libraries in Iran. Considering the problem, this research focused on Greenstone digital library software (GDLS to investigate its technical capabilities toward creating and managing digital collections in Iranian libraries. The study was conducted through evaluation research using a 9-spectrums checklist in two phases. In the first stage, experts from library and information science and computer science and in second stage, three user groups (with PhD, MA and BA degrees completed the checklist against capabilities of GDLS. Findings indicated that, there was no significant difference between two groups of specialist about capabilities of GDLS. Analyzing three user groups also approved GDLS competencies at this respect. There were some technical errors and bugs that experts proposed to be corrected toward best fitness of GDLS to Iranian collections.

  3. Geochemistry of the Neoarchaean Volcanic Rocks of the Kilimafedha Greenstone Belt, Northeastern Tanzania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles W. Messo


    Full Text Available The Neoarchaean volcanic rocks of the Kilimafedha greenstone belt consist of three petrological types that are closely associated in space and time: the predominant intermediate volcanic rocks with intermediate calc-alkaline to tholeiitic affinities, the volumetrically minor tholeiitic basalts, and rhyolites. The tholeiitic basalts are characterized by slightly depleted LREE to nearly flat REE patterns with no Eu anomalies but have negative anomalies of Nb. The intermediate volcanic rocks exhibit very coherent, fractionated REE patterns, slightly negative to absent Eu anomalies, depletion in Nb, Ta, and Ti in multielement spidergrams, and enrichment of HFSE relative to MORB. Compared to the other two suites, the rhyolites are characterized by low concentrations of TiO2 and overall low abundances of total REE, as well as large negative Ti, Sr, and Eu anomalies. The three suites have a εNd (2.7 Ga values in the range of −0.51 to +5.17. The geochemical features of the tholeiitic basalts are interpreted in terms of derivation from higher degrees of partial melting of a peridotite mantle wedge that has been variably metasomatized by aqueous fluids derived from dehydration of the subducting slab. The rocks showing intermediate affinities are interpreted to have been formed as differentiates of a primary magma formed later by lower degrees of partial melting of a garnet free mantle wedge that was strongly metasomatized by both fluid and melt derived from the subducting oceanic slab. The rhyolites are best interpreted as having been formed by shallow level fractional crystallization of the intermediate volcanic rocks involving plagioclase and Ti-rich phases like ilmenite and magnetite as well as REE-rich phases like apatite, zircon, monazite, and allanite. The close spatial association of the three petrological types in the Kilimafedha greenstone belt is interpreted as reflecting their formation in an evolving late Archaean island arc.

  4. Formation of Archean batholith-hosted gold veins at the Lac Herbin deposit, Val-d'Or district, Canada: Mineralogical and fluid inclusion constraints (United States)

    Rezeau, Hervé; Moritz, Robert; Beaudoin, Georges


    The Lac Herbin deposit consists of a network of mineralized, parallel steep-reverse faults within the synvolcanic Bourlamaque granodiorite batholith at Val-d'Or in the Archean Abitibi greenstone belt. There are two related quartz-tourmaline-carbonate fault-fill vein sets in the faults, which consist of subvertical fault-fill veins associated with subhorizontal veins. The paragenetic sequence is characterized by a main vein filling ore stage including quartz, tourmaline, carbonate, and pyrite-hosted gold, chalcopyrite, tellurides, pyrrhotite, and cubanite inclusions. Most of the gold is located in fractures in deformed pyrite and quartz in equilibrium with chalcopyrite and carbonates, with local pyrrhotite, sphalerite, galena, cobaltite, pyrite, or tellurides. Petrography and microthermometry on quartz from the main vein filling ore stage reveal the presence of three unrelated fluid inclusion types: (1) gold-bearing aqueous-carbonic inclusions arranged in three-dimensional intragranular clusters in quartz crystals responsible for the main vein filling stage, (2) barren high-temperature, aqueous, moderately saline inclusions observed in healed fractures, postdating the aqueous-carbonic inclusions, and considered as a remobilizing agent of earlier precipitated gold in late fractures, and (3) barren low-temperature, aqueous, high saline inclusions in healed fractures, similar to the crustal brines reported throughout the Canadian Shield and considered to be unrelated to the gold mineralization. At the Lac Herbin deposit, the aqueous-carbonic inclusions are interpreted to have formed first and to represent the gold-bearing fluid, which were generated contemporaneous with regional greenschist facies metamorphism. In contrast, the high-temperature aqueous fluid dissolved gold from the main vein filling ore stage transported and reprecipitated it in late fractures during a subsequent local thermal event.

  5. Late Archean Euxinia as a Window into Early Biogeochemical Cycles (United States)

    Scott, C.; Bekker, A.; Reinhard, C.; Lyons, T. W.


    A number of transition metals present in seawater in trace amounts (10-10 to 10-7 moles/L) are nevertheless bioessential micronutrients, utilized in a wide range of cellular activities. Because their abundances in seawater are largely a reflection of redox-controlled sources and sinks, Precambrian biogeochemists increasingly focus on the interrelated nature of major redox transitions, the chemical composition of the oceans, and the evolution of life on Earth. Of particular interest are temporal trends in seawater inventories of elements utilized in the nitrogen cycle, both nitrogen fixation (Fe, V, Mo) and denitrification (Cu). Recent work on the link between trace metal abundance and the biologically mediated nitrogen cycle has focused on the Proterozoic Eon, when oxidative weathering was well established and sulfidic conditions were common in the deep ocean. However, we know little about trace metal availability during the Archean Eon, when oxygenic photosynthesis first appeared on Earth and began to alter the chemical composition of the oceans and atmosphere. The development of euxinic conditions, or anoxic and sulfidic bottom waters, provides important information regarding the cycling of major elements such as C, S and Fe. However, euxinic black shales can also provide a record of trace metal abundance. Mo is highly enriched in these shales and displays a conspicuous covariation with the concentration of total organic carbon (TOC). Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that the ratio Mo/TOC is proportional to the concentration of Mo in seawater. Cu and V are also enriched in euxinic black shales, and both correlate with TOC. By analogy with Mo, it is likely that the ratios Cu/TOC and V/TOC also contain information on the concentration of these transition metals in seawater. Here we present C-S-Fe systematics as well as trace metal concentrations from black shales of the Roy Hill Member of the late Archean Jeerinah Formation. Fe speciation indicates that the


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cohen, O.; Drake, J. J. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Kota, J. [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0092 (United States)


    We employ three-dimensional state-of-the-art magnetohydrodynamic models of the early solar wind and heliosphere and a two-dimensional model for cosmic-ray transport to investigate the cosmic-ray spectrum and flux near the Archean Earth. We assess how sensitive the cosmic-ray spectrum is to changes in the sunspot placement and magnetic field strength, the large-scale dipole magnetic field strength, the wind ram pressure, and the Sun's rotation period. Overall, our results confirm earlier work that suggested the Archean Earth would have experienced a greatly reduced cosmic-ray flux than is the case today. The cosmic-ray reduction for the early Sun is mainly due to the shorter solar rotation period and tighter winding of the Parker spiral, and to the different surface distribution of the more active solar magnetic field. These effects lead to a global reduction of the cosmic-ray flux at 1 AU by up to two orders of magnitude or more. Variations in the sunspot magnetic field have more effect on the flux than variations in the dipole field component. The wind ram pressure affects the cosmic-ray flux through its influence on the size of the heliosphere via the pressure balance with the ambient interstellar medium. Variations in the interstellar medium pressure experienced by the solar system in orbit through the Galaxy could lead to order of magnitude changes in the cosmic-ray flux at Earth on timescales of a few million years.

  7. Archean evolution of the Leo Rise and its Eburnean reworking (United States)

    Thiéblemont, Denis; Goujou, Jean Christian; Egal, Emmanuel; Cocherie, Alain; Delor, Claude; Lafon, Jean Michel; Fanning, C. Mark


    Recent geological mapping in southeastern Guinea, supported by zircon dating, has called into question traditional understanding concerning the evolution of the Leo Rise. Gneiss dated at about 3540 Ma appears to constitute the earliest evidence for continental accretion within the Leo Rise. The existence of a Leonian depositional cycle at about 3000 Ma is confirmed, marked by volcanic and sedimentary rocks that can be correlated with the Loko Group in Sierra Leone. The span of ages (3244-3050 Ma) suggests that the Leonian cycle comprises different episodes whose respective chronology is as yet uncertain. Clearly distinct from the Leonian cycle, the Liberian cycle (˜2900-2800 Ma) is represented in Guinea by granite and migmatite (˜2910-2800 Ma), reflecting remobilization of the ancient Archean basement and deformation of the Leonian rocks; no deposition is associated with this cycle. After the Liberian, the Nimba and Simandou successions, containing Liberian detrital zircons, are assigned to the Birimian (˜2200-2000 Ma). Finally, Eburnean tectonism caused intense deformation of the Archean craton, accompanied by high-grade metamorphism and the intrusion of granite and syenite with ages between 2080 and 2020 Ma. The evolution of the Kénéma-Man domain, attributed to the cumulated effect of the Leonian and Liberian cycles, is thus in part Eburnean. We can suppose, therefore, that the NNE-SSW-trending structures attributed to the Liberian in Sierra Leone are, in fact, Eburnean. The Kambui Supergroup, also affected by this tectonism, should thus be assigned to the Birimian rather than the Liberian, which would explain its similarities with the Nimba and Simandou successions.

  8. Early Archaean sedimentary basins: depositional environment and hydrothermal systems. Geologica Ultraiectina (244)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Vries, S.T.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/33656791X


    The topic of this thesis is the Early Archaean environment and hydrothermal systems in the Barberton Greenstone Belt (BGB) in South Africa, and the Coppin Gap Greenstone Belt (CGGB) in the Pilbara, Australia. Focus within these greenstone belts is on the ~3.45-3.42 Ga Buck Ridge volcano-sedimentary

  9. Early Archaean sedimentary basins: depositional environment and hydrothermal systems :

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vries, Sjoukje Tsjitske de


    The topic of this thesis is the Early Archaean environment and hydrothermal systems in the Barberton Greenstone Belt (BGB) in South Africa, and the Coppin Gap Greenstone Belt (CGGB) in the Pilbara, Australia. Focus within these greenstone belts is on the ~3.45-3.42 Ga Buck Ridge volcano-sedimentary

  10. Archean upper crust transition from mafic to felsic marks the onset of plate tectonics. (United States)

    Tang, Ming; Chen, Kang; Rudnick, Roberta L


    The Archean Eon witnessed the production of early continental crust, the emergence of life, and fundamental changes to the atmosphere. The nature of the first continental crust, which was the interface between the surface and deep Earth, has been obscured by the weathering, erosion, and tectonism that followed its formation. We used Ni/Co and Cr/Zn ratios in Archean terrigenous sedimentary rocks and Archean igneous/metaigneous rocks to track the bulk MgO composition of the Archean upper continental crust. This crust evolved from a highly mafic bulk composition before 3.0 billion years ago to a felsic bulk composition by 2.5 billion years ago. This compositional change was attended by a fivefold increase in the mass of the upper continental crust due to addition of granitic rocks, suggesting the onset of global plate tectonics at ~3.0 billion years ago. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  11. GEOLOGICAL AND GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCHES AND PERSPECTIVES OF NORHTEN BORDER LOCALITY IN YALONVARA-HATTU-TULOSS ARCHEAN GREENSTONE BELT (WESTERN KARELIA Геолого-геофизические исследования и перспективы рудоносности северной приграничной площади зеленокаменного пояса Ялонваара–Хатту–Тулос (Западная Карелия

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nilov M. Y.


    Full Text Available In West Karelia (Severny Prigranichny locality, an extension of the Hattu greenstone belt (Finland was traced and diorite-tonalite and granodiorite complexes, similar in petrochemical characteristics to the Kuittila and Viluvaara complexes, and near-N-S-trending shear-zones, favourable for gold concentration, were revealed. Gold is most likely to occur in Kadilampi-type massives, in schistosity and silicification zones in them and in their haloes. Gold ore occurrences and mineralization points, such as Kadilampi, Kuslokki, Gornoye, Soluha, Kappala and some others, were located

  12. Archaean Greenstone Belt Architecture and Stratigraphy: are Comparisons With Ophiolites and Oceanic Plateaux Valid? (United States)

    Bedard, J. H.; Bleeker, W.; Leclerc, F.


    Archaean greenstone belts and coeval plutonic belts (dominated by TTGs, tonalite-tronhjemite-granodiorite), are commonly interpreted to represent assembled fragments of oceanic crust, oceanic plateaux or juvenile arc terranes, variably reworked by Archaean orogenic processes related to the operation of plate tectonics. However, many of the lava successions that have been interpreted to represent accreted oceanic plateaux are demonstrably ensialic, can be correlated over long distances along-strike, have depositional contacts onto older continental crustal rocks, show tholeiitic to calc-alkaline cyclicity, and have isotopic signatures indicating assimilation of older felsic crust. Inferred Archaean ophiolites do not have sheeted dyke complexes or associated mantle rocks, and cannot be proven to be oceanic terranes formed by seafloor-spreading. Archaean supracrustal sequences are typically dominated by tholeiitic to komatiitic lavas, typically interpreted to represent the products of decompression melting of mantle plumes. Subordinate proportions of andesites, dacites and rhyolites also occur, and these, together with the coeval TTGs, are generally interpreted to represent arc magmas. In the context of uniformitarian interpretations, the coeval emplacement of putative arc- and plume-related magmas requires extremely complex geodynamic scenarios. However, the relative rarity of the archetypal convergent margin magma type (andesite) in Archaean sequences, and the absence of Archaean blueschists, ultra-high-pressure terranes, thrust and fold belts, core complexes and ophiolites, along with theoretical arguments against Archaean subduction, together imply that Archaean cratonic crust was not formed through uniformitarian plate-tectonic processes. A simpler interpretation involves soft intraoceanic collisions of thick (30-50km), plume-related, basaltic-komatiitic oceanic plateaux, with ongoing mafic magmatism leading to anatexis of the hydrated plateau base to generate

  13. Petrology of the Rainy Lake area, Minnesota, USA-implications for petrotectonic setting of the archean southern Wabigoon subprovince of the Canadian Shield (United States)

    Day, W.C.


    The Rainy Lake area in northern Minnesota and southwestern, Ontario is a Late Archean (2.7 Ga) granite-greenstone belt within the Wabigoon subprovince of the Canadian Shield. In Minnesota the rocks include mafic and felsic volcanic rocks, volcaniclastic, chemical sedimentary rocks, and graywacke that are intrucded by coeval gabbro, tonalite, and granodiorite. New data presented here focus on the geochemistry and petrology of the Minnesota part of the Rainy Lake area. Igneous rocks in the area are bimodal. The mafic rocks are made up of three distinct suites: (1) low-TiO2 tholeiite and gabbro that have slightly evolved Mg-numbers (63-49) and relatively flat rare-earth element (REE) patterns that range from 20-8 x chondrites (Ce/YbN=0.8-1.5); (2) high-TiO2 tholeiite with evolved Mg-numbers (46-29) and high total REE abundances that range from 70-40 x chondrites (Ce/YbN=1.8-3.3), and (3) calc-alkaline basaltic andesite and geochemically similar monzodiorite and lamprophyre with primitive Mg-numbers (79-63), enriched light rare-earth elements (LREE) and depleted heavy rare-earth elements (HREE). These three suites are not related by partial melting of a similar source or by fractional crystallization of a common parental magma; they resulted from melting of heterogeneous Archean mantle. The felsic rocks are made up of two distinct suites: (1)low-Al2O3 tholeiitic rhyolite, and (2) high-Al2O3 calc-alkaline dacite and rhyolite and consanguineous tonalite. The tholeiitic felsic rocks are high in Y, Zr, Nb, and total REE that are unfractionated and have pronounced negative Eu anomalies. The calcalkaline felsic rocks are depleted in Y, Zr, and Nb, and the REE that are highly fractionated with high LREE and depleted HREE, and display moderate negative Eu anomalies. Both suites of felsic rocks were generated by partial melting of crustal material. The most reasonable modern analog for the paleotectonic setting is an immature island arc. The bimodal volcanic rocks are

  14. Geostable molecules and the Late Archean 'Whiff of Oxygen' (United States)

    Summons, R. E.; Illing, C. J.; Oduro, H. D.; French, K. L.; Ono, S.; Hallmann, C.; Strauss, H.


    exhibits a 'MIF' signal that is significantly amplified compared to co-occurring pyrite sulfur. Limited isotopic exchange between the organic and inorganic sulfur pools suggests Archean origin of these organic sulfur compounds. We also report new results from the 2012 Agouron Pilbara drilling project. Anbar A.D. et al. A whiff of oxygen before the great oxidation event. Science 317, 1903-1906. (2007). Bosak T. et al., Morphological record of oxygenic photosynthesis in conical stromatolites. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 106:10939-10943 (2009). Kopp, R.E. et al.,The Paleoproterozoic snowball Earth: A climate disaster triggered by the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 102: 11131-11136 (2005). Waldbauer J.R. et al., Late Archean molecular fossils from the Transvaal Supergroup record the antiquity of microbial diversity and aerobiosis. Precambrian Research 169, 28-47 (2008). Waldbauer J.R. et al., 2011. Microaerobic steroid biosynthesis and the molecular fossil record of Archean life. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) 108, 13409-13414

  15. Radiative forcings for 28 potential Archean greenhouse gases

    CERN Document Server

    Byrne, Brendan


    Despite reduced insolation in the late Archean, evidence suggests a warm climate which was likely sustained by a stronger greenhouse effect, the so-called Faint Young Sun Problem (FYSP). CO2 and CH4 are generally thought to be the mainstays of this enhanced greenhouse, though many other gases have been proposed. We present high accuracy radiative forcings for CO2, CH4 and 26 other gases, performing the radiative transfer calculations at line-by-line resolution and using HITRAN 2012 line data for background pressures of 0.5, 1, and 2 bar of atmospheric N2. For CO2 to resolve the FYSP alone at 2.8 Gyr BP (80% of present solar luminosity), 0.32 bar is needed with 0.5 bar of atmospheric N2, 0.20 bar with 1 bar of atmospheric N2, or 0.11 bar with 2 bar of atmospheric N2. For CH4, we find that near-infrared absorption is much stronger than previously thought, arising from updates to the HITRAN database. CH4 radiative forcing peaks at 10.3, 9, or 8.3 Wm-2 for background pressures of 0.5, 1 or 2 bar, likely limiting ...

  16. 太古宙TTG岩石是什么含义?%What is the Archean TTG?

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张旗; 翟明国


    太古宙TTG岩石的成因是一个热门话题,它与太古宙麻粒岩地体并称为太古宙两大疑案.TTG岩石关系到地球早期陆壳是如何形成、生长和演化的.现在流行的观点是,太古宙TTG要么产于板块消减带,要么来自加厚的下地壳,这两种说法孰对孰错?笔者认为二者证据都不充分.上述认识是将太古宙TTG与现代埃达克岩简单对比得出来的,而这种对比忽略了地质时代和构造背景的差异,正确的对比应当是在太古宙不同类型花岗质岩石之间进行.太古宙地壳异常的热,什么时候开始出现板块构造至今没有得到明确的结论.太古宙TTG是太古宙地壳的主要成分,太古宙TTG地体反映的是太古宙地壳的平均厚度,加厚是相对于正常地壳厚度而言的.太古宙地质研究存在一个明显的误区,即不恰当地运用“将今论古”的原则,“将今论古”只适合显生宙或中-新元古代.研究TTG岩石意义十分重大,对我们理解前板块构造以及板块构造何时开始的是很关键的.%The Archean granulite massif and Archean TTG are two big mystery in Archean. Archean TTG has long been a hot topic. It is related to how the early continental crust formed grew and evolved. It has been widely acknowledged that Archean TTG formed either in a subduction zone or a product of melting thickened lower continental crust. However, these understandings were based on a simple comparison between Archean TTG and modern adakite. Instead, the correct comparison should be made between various types of Archean granites. And the Archean crust was abnormally hot and the presence of plate tectonics in Archean is still questioned. As the major component of the Archean crust, Archean TTG reflects the average thickness of the Archean crust. But, thickened crust is a concept compared to normal crust thickness. Consequently, there is a significant misunderstanding in the studies on Archean geology and improper usage

  17. Geochemical characteristics of aluminum depleted and undepleted komatiites and HREE-enriched low-Ti tholeiites, western Abitibi greenstone belt: A heterogeneous mantle plume-convergent margin environment (United States)

    Fan, J.; Kerrich, R.


    A compositionally diverse suite of komatiites, komatiitic basalts, and basalts coexist in the Tisdale volcanic assemblage of the late-Archean (˜2.7 Ga) Abitibi greenstone belt. The komatiites are characterized by a spectrum of REE patterns, from low total REE contents (9 ppm) and pronounced convex-up patterns to greater total REE (18 ppm) and approximately flat-distributions. Thorium and niobium are codepleted with LREE. Komatiites with the most convex-up patterns have low Al 2O 3 (4.7 wt%) contents and Al 2O 3/TiO 2(12) ratios; they are interpreted to be the Al-depleted variety of komatiite derived from a depleted mantle source. Those komatiites and komatiitic basalts with flatter REE patterns are characterized by greater Al 2O 3 (7.0 wt%) and near chondritic Al 2O 3/TiO 2 (20) ratios; they are interpreted to be Al-undepleted komatiites generated from trace element undepleted mantle. For the komatiites and komatiitic basalts collectively, Gd/Ybn ratios are negatively correlated with La/Smn, but positively with MgO and Ni. The spectrum of patterns is interpreted as mixing between Al, HREE, Y-depleted, and Sc-depleted komatiites and Al-undepleted komatiites in a heterogeneous mantle plume. Auminum-depleted komatiites are characterized by negative Zr and Hf anomalies, consistent with majorite garnet-liquid D's for HFSE and REEs, signifying melt segregation at depths of >400 km. Tisdale Al-undepleted komatiites and komatiitic basalts have small negative to zero Zr(Hf)/MREE fractionation, signifying melt segregation in or above the garnet stability field. Collectively, the komatiites have correlations of Zr/Zr∗ and Hf/Hf ∗ with Gd/Ybn, and hence the Zr(Hf)/MREE fractionations are unlikely to have stemmed from alteration or crustal contamination. Two types of basalts are present. Type I basalts are Mg-tholeiites with near flat REE and primitive mantle normalized patterns, compositionally similar to abundant Mg-tholeiites associated with both Al-undepleted and Al

  18. Assessing the effects of ultraviolet radiation on the photosynthetic potential in Archean marine environments (United States)

    Avila-Alonso, Dailé; Baetens, Jan M.; Cardenas, Rolando; de Baets, Bernard


    In this work, the photosynthesis model presented by Avila et al. in 2013 is extended and more scenarios inhabited by ancient cyanobacteria are investigated to quantify the effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation on their photosynthetic potential in marine environments of the Archean eon. We consider ferrous ions as blockers of UV during the Early Archean, while the absorption spectrum of chlorophyll a is used to quantify the fraction of photosynthetically active radiation absorbed by photosynthetic organisms. UV could have induced photoinhibition at the water surface, thereby strongly affecting the species with low light use efficiency. A higher photosynthetic potential in early marine environments was shown than in the Late Archean as a consequence of the attenuation of UVC and UVB by iron ions, which probably played an important role in the protection of ancient free-floating bacteria from high-intensity UV radiation. Photosynthetic organisms in Archean coastal and ocean environments were probably abundant in the first 5 and 25 m of the water column, respectively. However, species with a relatively high efficiency in the use of light could have inhabited ocean waters up to a depth of 200 m and show a Deep Chlorophyll Maximum near 60 m depth. We show that the electromagnetic radiation from the Sun, both UV and visible light, could have determined the vertical distribution of Archean marine photosynthetic organisms.

  19. Mantle differentiation and chemical cycling in the Archean (Invited) (United States)

    Lee, C.


    Differentiation of Earth’s silicate mantle is largely controlled by solid-state convection. Today, upwelling mantle leads to decompression melting. Melts, being of low density, rise to form the continental and oceanic crusts. Because many trace elements, such as heat-producing U, Th and K, as well as the noble gases, preferentially partition into melts, melt extraction concentrates these elements into the crust or atmosphere. However, one by-product of whole-mantle convection is that melting during the Earth’s first billion years was likely deep and hot. Such high pressure melts may have been dense, allowing them to stall, crystallize and later founder back into the lower mantle. These sunken lithologies would have ‘primordial’ chemical signatures despite a non-primordial origin. As the Earth cools, the proportion of upwards melt segregation relative to downwards melt segregation increases, removing volatiles and other incompatible elements to the surface. Recycling of these elements back into the Earth’s interior occurs by subduction, but because of chemical weathering, hydrothermal alteration and photosynthetic reactions occurring in the Earth’s exosphere, these recycled materials may re-enter the mantle already chemically transformed. In particular, photosynthetic production of oxygen and, especially, the progressive oxygenation of the Earth’s atmosphere require removal of reduced carbon from the Earth’s surface. If such removal occurred by subduction, the mantle would have become progressively reduced. During the Archean and early Proterozoic, much of this material may have contributed to making cratonic mantle, and if so, cratonic mantle may have been assembled by reduced building blocks, perhaps explaining the origin of diamonds with organic carbon isotopic signatures. The origin of peridotitic diamonds in cratonic mantle could then be explained if the underlying convecting mantle was in fact more oxidizing such that carbonatitic liquids

  20. Reconstructing Earth's Surface Oxidation Across The Archean- Proterozoic Transition (United States)

    Kaufman, A. J.; Guo, Q.; Strauss, H.; Schröder, S.; Gutzmer, J.; Wing, B. A.; Baker, M.; Bekker, A.; Jin, Q.; Kim, S.; Farquhar, J.


    The Archean-Proterozoic transition is characterized by the widespread deposition of organic-rich shale, sedimentary iron formation, glacial diamictite, and marine carbonates recording profound carbon isotope anomalies, but notably lacks bedded evaporites. All deposits reflect environmental changes in oceanic and atmospheric redox states, in part associated with Earth’s earliest ice ages. Time-series data for multiple sulfur isotopes from carbonate associated sulfate as well as sulfides in the glaciogenic Duitschland Formation of the Transvaal Supergroup, South Africa, capture the concomitant buildup of sulfate in the ocean and the loss of mass independent sulfur isotope fractionation. This is arguably associated with the atmospheric rise of oxygen (as well as the protective ozone layer) coincident with profound changes in ocean chemistry and biology. The loss of the MIF signal within the Duitschland succession is in phase with the earliest recorded positive carbon isotope anomaly, convincingly linking these environmental perturbations to the Great Oxidation Event (ca. 2.3 Ga). The emergence of cyanobacteria and oxygenic photosynthesis may be associated with a geochemical “whiff of oxygen” recorded in 2.5 Ga sediments. If true, the delay in the GOE can then be understood in terms of a finite sink for molecular oxygen - ferrous iron, which was abundant in deep Neoarchean seawater and sequestered in a worldwide episode of iron formation deposition ending shortly before accumulation of the Duitschland Formation. Insofar as early Paleoproterozoic glaciation is associated with oxygenation of a methane-rich atmosphere, we conclude that Earth’s earliest ice age(s) and the onset of a modern and far more energetic carbon cycle are directly related to the global expansion of cyanobacteria that released oxygen to the environment, and of eukaryotes that respired it.

  1. Geological Sulfur Isotopes Indicate Elevated OCS in the Archean Atmosphere, Solving the Faint Young Sun Paradox

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ueno, Yuichiro; Johnson, Matthew Stanley; Danielache, Sebastian Oscar


    Distributions of sulfur isotopes in geological samples would provide a record of atmospheric composition if the mechanism producing the isotope effects could be described quantitatively. We determined the UV absorption spectra of 32SO2, 33SO2, and 34SO2 and use them to interpret the geological re......-rich, reducing Archean atmosphere. The radiative forcing, due to this level of OCS, is able to resolve the faint young sun paradox. Further, the decline of atmospheric OCS may have caused the late Archean glaciation....

  2. Variations in the magnitude of non mass dependent sulfur fractionation in the Archean atmosphere (United States)

    Claire, M.; Kasting, J. F.


    Recent experimental data have enabled quantitatively meaningful computations of the non-mass dependent fractionation of sulfur’s isotopes (Δ33S) that exemplify the Archean rock record. The Δ33S signal originates as a result of fine structure in the absorption cross-section of SO2 isotopologues [1], which only undergo significant photolysis in reducing atmospheres [2]. The Δ33S signal produced by SO2 photolysis varies significantly between 190 and 220 nm, and thus is strongly dependent on any other atmospheric gases which absorb photons in this range [3], as well as the height at which photolysis occurs. A model that is capable of resolving the altitude-dependent radiative transfer through a realistic self-consistent reducing atmosphere is therefore essential when making direct comparisons between atmospheric Δ33S production and the rock record. In this work, we investigate how the magnitude of Δ33S might vary as function of atmospheric composition, which in turn allows the rock record to constrain the Archean atmosphere. Other recent work on this topic using simplied atmospheric models has implicated large concentrations of SO2 [5], OCS [3], and CO2 [6] as being responsible for the variations in Archean Δ33S. We present results from an altitude-dependent photochemical model of Archean photochemistry [4] of necessary complexity to resolve the complicated redox structure of the Archean atmosphere. We show that while increased concentrations of these gases all affect Δ33S in an unconstrained model, the atmospheric conditions required for OCS or SO2 shielding are unlikely to occur in an Archean atmosphere constrained by reasonable expectations of volcanic and biogenic fluxes. Within the context of plausible Archean atmospheres, we investigate how shielding due to changing amounts of CO2, biogenic sulfur gases, and fractal organic haze [7] affect the magnitude of Δ33S produced by the Archean atmosphere, and show why simplified atmospheric modeling may lead to

  3. Geological and geochemical record of 3400-million-year-old terrestrial meteorite impacts (United States)

    Lowe, Donald R.; Byerly, Gary R.; Asaro, Frank; Kyte, Frank T.


    Beds of sand-sized spherules in the 3400-million-year-old Fig Tree Group, Barberton Greenstone belt, South Africa, formed by the fall of quenched liquid silicate droplets into a range of shallow- to deep-water depositional environments. The regional extent of the layers, their compositional complexity, and lack of included volcanic debris suggest that they are not products of volcanic activity. The layers are greatly enriched in iridium and other platinum group elements in roughly chondritic proportions. Geochemical modeling based on immobile element abundances suggests that the original average spherule composition can be approximated by a mixture of fractionated tholeiitic basalt, komatiite, and CI carbonaceous chondrite. The spherules are thought to be the products of large meteorite impacts on the Archean earth.

  4. Geological and geochemical record of 3400-million-year-old terrestrial meteorite impacts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lowe, D.R. (Stanford Univ., CA (USA)); Byerly, G.R. (Louisiana State Univ., Baton Rouge (USA)); Asaro, F. (Lawrence Berkeley Lab., CA (USA)); Kyte, F.T. (Univ. of California, Los Angeles (USA))


    Beds of sand-sized spherules in the 3400-million-year-old Fig Tree Group, Barberton Greenstone belt, South Africa, were formed by the fall of quenched liquid silicate droplets into a range of shallow- to deep-water depositional environments. The regional extent of the layers, their compositional complexity, and lack of included volcanic debris suggest that they are not products of volcanic activity. The layers are greatly enriched in iridium and other platinum group elements in roughly chondritic proportions. Geochemical modeling based on immobile element abundances suggests that the original average spherule composition can be approximated by a mixture of fractionated tholeiitic basalt, komatiite, and CI carbonaceous chondrite. The spherules are thought to be the products of large meteorite impacts on the Archean earth. 21 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

  5. Lead isotopic evolution of Archean continental crust, Northern Tanzania (United States)

    Bellucci, J. J.; McDonough, W. F.; Rudnick, R. L.; Walker, R. J.


    The continental crust is stratified in composition; the upper crust is generally enriched in highly incompatible trace elements relative to the lower crust [1]. The Western Granulite section of the Mozambique Belt of Northern Tanzania yields Archean Nd model ages and has zircons with U-Pb ages of ~2.6 Ga [2,3], but was strongly re-worked during the Pan-African Orogeny, ca. 560 Ma [2,3,4]. Here we use time-integrated Pb isotopic modeling for lower and middle crustal xenoliths, as well as upper crustal granulites to determine the timing of, and degree of intra-crustal differentiation. The Pb isotopic compositions of most feldspars in the lower crustal samples, measured via LA-MC-ICPMS, fall on the trend defined by the Tanzanian Craton [5] and therefore, were most likely extracted from the mantle at a similar time, ca. 2.7 Ga. However, some xenoliths fall off this trend and show enrichment in 207Pb/204Pb, which we interpret as reflecting derivation from more heterogeneous mantle than that sampled in the Tanzanian Craton. In contrast to lower crustal xenoliths from the Tanzanian Craton [5], we see no single feldspar Pb-Pb isochrons, which indicates complete re-homogenization of the Pb isotopic composition of the feldspars in the lower crust of the Mozambique Belt during the Pan-African Orogeny, and heating to > 600°C [5]. Using time integrated Pb modeling, the upper crust of the Western Granulites is enriched in U by ˜ 2.5 relative to that of the lower crust, which must have taken place around the time of mantle extraction (ca. 2.7 Ga). In addition, these calculations are consistent with a Th/U ratio of ˜ 4 for the bulk lower crust and ˜ 3 for the bulk upper crust. The common Pb isotopic composition of a single middle crustal xenolith implies a Th/U of 20, but is unlikely to be generally representative of the middle crust. [1] Rudnick, R. L. and Gao, S. (2003). In the Crust, vol. 3, Treatise on Geochemistry:1-64. [2] Mansur, A. (2008) Masters Thesis, University of

  6. Multistage gold mineralization in the Wa-Lawra greenstone belt, NW Ghana: The Bepkong deposit (United States)

    Amponsah, Prince Ofori; Salvi, Stefano; Didier, Béziat; Baratoux, Lenka; Siebenaller, Luc; Jessell, Mark; Nude, Prosper Mackenzie; Gyawu, Eugene Adubofour


    The Bepkong gold deposit is one of several gold camps in the Paleoproterozoic Wa-Lawra greenstone belt in northwest Ghana. These deposits lay along the Kunche-Atikpi shear zone, which is part of the larger transcurrent Jirapa shear zone. The formation of these shear zones can be attributed to the general ESE-WNW major shortening that took place in the Wa-Lawra belt. Gold mineralization in the Bepkong deposit mainly occurs within graphitic shales and volcaniclastic rocks. The ore consists of four N-S trending lenticular bodies, plunging steeply to the south, that are lithologically and structurally controlled. Their shape and thickness are variable, though a general strike length of 560 m and an overall thickness of 300 m can be defined. An alteration mineral assemblage characterises the ore, and consists of chlorite-calcite-sericite-quartz-arsenopyrite-pyrite. Pyrite, as distinct from arsenopyrite, is not limited to the altered rocks and occurs throughout the area. At Bepkong, gold is associated with arsenopyrite and pyrite, which occur disseminated in the mineralized wall rock, flanking Type-1 quartz veins, or within fractures crossing these veins. Textural observations indicate the early formation of abundant arsenopyrite, followed by pyrite, with chalcopyrite, galena, sphalerite and pyrrhotite occurring as inclusions within pyrite and altered arsenopyrite. Detailed petrography, coupled with SEM, LA-ICP-MS and EMP analyses, indicate that gold in the Bepkong deposit occurs in three distinct forms: (i) invisible gold, mostly in arsenopyrite (ii); visible gold as micron-size grains within fractures and altered rims of arsenopyrite, as well as at the interface of sulphide grains; (iii) free visible gold in fractures in quartz veins and their selvages. We interpret the invisible gold to have co-precipitated with the early-formed arsenopyrite. The small visible gold grains observed within the sulphide interfaces, altered arsenopyrite, fractures and grain boundaries

  7. Origin of Peculiar Horizons from the Nuvvuagittuq Greenstone Belt: Testing the Conglomerate Hypothesis (United States)

    Kitayama, C.; Thomassot, E.; Wing, B. A.


    Earth's earliest rock record is fragmentary, and often distorted by metamorphic changes suffered under great temperatures and pressures. Recent work may, however, have opened the door to more direct examination of the earliest Earth. Measurements of Nd-142 from rocks of the Nuvvuagittuq Greenstone Belt (NGB), N. Quebec yield an apparent 4.28 Ga isochron (O'Neil et al., 2008). These are potentially the oldest rocks on Earth and understanding the protoliths of the rocks of the NGB may help constrain Earth's earliest surface environment. Peculiar horizons of quartz-rich rocks within the NGB have been hypothesized to represent metamorphosed conglomerates. In order to evaluate this hypothesis, we apply a series of consistency tests aimed at observations ranging from the field to microscale. First, we made high-resolution (10m grid) maps of the purported conglomerate horizons, and interpreted the map pattern of these horizons for their conformity with sedimentary contacts. The horizons are continuous throughout the mapped area, and do not cross cut any other lithologies, which is necessary, but not sufficient, evidence for a sedimentary origin. Second, we examined the mineralogy and three-dimensional geometry of the potential clasts in large polished blocks. The potential clasts fall into just two different types: the dominant type is made up primarily of coarse grains of quartz; the second type is distinctly subordinate and is largely made up of fine-grained equigranular quartz and relict plagioclase with minor amounts of biotite. The dominant type can occur as lozenge-shaped pods up to 5 cm thick, while the subordinate type more commonly occurs as thin (<2 cm thick) undulose layers. Neither the mineralogies nor the geometries of the potential clasts offer certain indication of a sedimentary origin, though they are potentially consistent with one. Third, we are comparing the identity and chemistry of trace minerals within the potential clasts to that of the surrounding

  8. The Fazenda Gavião granodiorite and associated potassic plutons as evidence for Palaeoproterozoic arc-continent collision in the Rio Itapicuru greenstone belt, Brazil (United States)

    Costa, Felipe G.; Oliveira, Elson P.; McNaughton, Neal J.


    Several granitic plutons have intruded the Palaeoproterozoic Rio Itapicuru greenstone belt, São Francisco craton, Brazil, in the time interval 2163-2080 Ma, but their tectonic significance is poorly understood. The Fazenda Gavião granodiorite (FGG) is one of a set of plutons emplaced along the western boundary of the greenstone belt with Archaean migmatite-gneiss basement. The pluton is mostly composed of hornblende granodiorite, occasionally crosscut by syn-plutonic mafic dykes. The FGG is metaluminous, medium- to high-K calc-alkaline with relatively constant silica abundances (SiO2 ˜ 63-66 wt%), high Sr (900-800 ppm) and high Ba (1000-1500 ppm). The associated mafic dykes are ultrapotassic, with high abundances of Ba, Sr, MgO, Ni, Cr, and light rare earth elements, suggesting derivation from partial melts of an enriched mantle source. The FGG originated probably by fractional crystallization from a primitive K-rich mafic magma that interacted with crustal melts. Its zircon U-Pb SHRIMP age of 2106 ± 6 Ma indicates that the FGG is younger than the early (2163-2127 Ma) tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) and calc-alkaline arc plutons of the greenstone belt, and is closely related in time and space with potassic to ultrapotassic plutons (ca. 2110-2105 Ma). The negative ɛNd(t) of FGG and coeval K-rich plutons of the Rio Itapicuru greenstone belt contrasts markedly with the positive ɛNd(t) of the older arc plutons, indicating a major change of isotope signatures in granites of the Rio Itapicuru greenstone belt with time. This isotope shift may be related to magma contamination with older continental material and/or derivation of the parental potassic magma from enriched lithospheric mantle sources. We suggest that the K-rich plutons were emplaced during or shortly after Palaeoproterozoic arc-continent collision.

  9. Non-enzymatic glycolysis and pentose phosphate pathway-like reactions in a plausible Archean ocean. (United States)

    Keller, Markus A; Turchyn, Alexandra V; Ralser, Markus


    The reaction sequences of central metabolism, glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway provide essential precursors for nucleic acids, amino acids and lipids. However, their evolutionary origins are not yet understood. Here, we provide evidence that their structure could have been fundamentally shaped by the general chemical environments in earth's earliest oceans. We reconstructed potential scenarios for oceans of the prebiotic Archean based on the composition of early sediments. We report that the resultant reaction milieu catalyses the interconversion of metabolites that in modern organisms constitute glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway. The 29 observed reactions include the formation and/or interconversion of glucose, pyruvate, the nucleic acid precursor ribose-5-phosphate and the amino acid precursor erythrose-4-phosphate, antedating reactions sequences similar to that used by the metabolic pathways. Moreover, the Archean ocean mimetic increased the stability of the phosphorylated intermediates and accelerated the rate of intermediate reactions and pyruvate production. The catalytic capacity of the reconstructed ocean milieu was attributable to its metal content. The reactions were particularly sensitive to ferrous iron Fe(II), which is understood to have had high concentrations in the Archean oceans. These observations reveal that reaction sequences that constitute central carbon metabolism could have been constrained by the iron-rich oceanic environment of the early Archean. The origin of metabolism could thus date back to the prebiotic world.

  10. Continental emergence in the Late Archean reconciles early and late continental growth models (United States)

    Flament, Nicolas; Coltice, Nicolas; Rey, Patrice


    The analysis of ancient sediments (Rare Earth Element composition of black shales, isotopic strontium composition of marine carbonates, isotopic oxygen composition of zircons) suggests that continental growth culminated around the Archean-Proterozoic transition. In stark contrast, the geochemical analysis of ancient basalts suggests that depletion of the mantle occurred in the Hadean and Eoarchean. This paradox may be solved if continents were extracted from the mantle early in Earth's history, but remained mostly below sea level throughout the Archean. We present a model to estimate the area of emerged land and associated isotopic strontium composition of the mantle and oceans as a function of the coupled evolution of mantle temperature, continental growth and distribution of surface elevations (hypsometry). For constant continental hypsometry and four distinct continental growth models, we show that sea level was between 500 and 2000 m higher in the Archean than at present, resulting in isotopic composition of the mantle and oceans, we show that a reduced area of emerged continental crust can explain why the geochemical fingerprint of continents extracted early in Earth's history was not recorded at the surface of the Earth until the late Archean.

  11. Geological sulfur isotopes indicate elevated OCS in the Archean atmosphere, solving faint young sun paradox (United States)

    Ueno, Yuichiro; Johnson, Matthew S.; Danielache, Sebastian O.; Eskebjerg, Carsten; Pandey, Antra; Yoshida, Naohiro


    Distributions of sulfur isotopes in geological samples would provide a record of atmospheric composition if the mechanism producing the isotope effects could be described quantitatively. We determined the UV absorption spectra of 32SO2, 33SO2, and 34SO2 and use them to interpret the geological record. The calculated isotopic fractionation factors for SO2 photolysis give mass independent distributions that are highly sensitive to the atmospheric concentrations of O2, O3, CO2, H2O, CS2, NH3, N2O, H2S, OCS, and SO2 itself. Various UV-shielding scenarios are considered and we conclude that the negative Δ33S observed in the Archean sulfate deposits can only be explained by OCS shielding. Of relevant Archean gases, OCS has the unique ability to prevent SO2 photolysis by sunlight at λ >202 nm. Scenarios run using a photochemical box model show that ppm levels of OCS will accumulate in a CO-rich, reducing Archean atmosphere. The radiative forcing, due to this level of OCS, is able to resolve the faint young sun paradox. Further, the decline of atmospheric OCS may have caused the late Archean glaciation. PMID:19706450

  12. Constraining the location of the Archean--Proterozoic suture in the Great Basin based on magnetotelluric soundings (United States)

    Rodriguez, Brian D.; Sampson, Jay A.


    It is important to understand whether major mining districts in north-central Nevada are underlain by Archean crust, known to contain major orogenic gold deposits, or, alternatively, by accreted crust of the Paleoproterozoic Mojave province. Determining the location and orientation of the Archean-Proterozoic suture zone between the Archean crust and Mojave province is also critical because it may influence subsequent patterns of sedimentation, deformation, magmatism, and hydrothermal activity. In the Great Basin, the attitude of the suture zone is unknown because it is concealed below cover. A regional magnetotelluric sounding profile along the Utah-Nevada State line reveals a deeply penetrating, broad electrical conductor that may be the Archean-Proterozoic suture zone in the northwest corner of Utah. This major crustal conductor's strike direction is northwest, where it broadens to about 80 km wide below about 3-km depth. These results suggest that the southwestern limit of intact Archean crust in this part of the Great Basin is farther north than previously reported. These results also suggest that the major gold belts in north-central Nevada are located over the Paleoproterozoic Mojave province, and the Archean terrain lies northeast in the northwest corner of Utah. Rifted Archean crust segments south and west of the suture suggest that future mineral exploration northeast of current mineral trends may yield additional gold deposits.

  13. Tracking the Archean-Proterozoic suture zone in the northeastern Great Basin, Nevada and Utah (United States)

    Rodriguez, B.D.; Williams, J.M.


    It is important to know whether major mining districts in north-central Nevada are underlain by crust of the Archean Wyoming craton, known to contain major orogenic gold deposits or, alternatively, by accreted crust of the Paleoproterozoic Mojave province. Determining the location and orientation of the Archean-Proterozoic suture zone between these provinces is also important because it may influence subsequent patterns of sedimentation, deformation, magmatism, and hydrothermal activity. The suture zone is exposed in northeastern Utah and south-western Wyoming and exhibits a southwest strike. In the Great Basin, the suture zone strike is poorly constrained because it is largely concealed below a Neoproterozoic-Paleozoic miogeocline and Cenozoic basin fill. Two-dimensional resistivity modeling of three regional north-south magnetotelluric sounding profiles in western Utah, north-central Nevada, and northeastern Nevada, and one east-west profile in northeastern Nevada, reveals a deeply penetrating (>10 km depth), broad (tens of kilometers) conductor (1-20 ohm-meters) that may be the Archean-Proterozoic suture zone, which formed during Early Proterozoic rifting of the continent and subsequent Proterozoic accretion. This major crustal conductor changes strike direction from southwest in Utah to northwest in eastern Nevada, where it broadens to ???100 km width that correlates with early Paleozoic rifting of the continent. Our results suggest that the major gold belts may be over-isolated blocks of Archean crust, so Phanerozoic mineral deposits in this region may be produced, at least in part, from recycled Archean gold. Future mineral exploration to the east may yield large gold tonnages. ?? 2008 Geological Society of America.

  14. Geochemistry of Archean Mafic Amphibolites from the Amsaga Area, West African Craton, Mauritania: What Is the Message? (United States)

    El Atrassi, F.; Debaille, V.; Mattielli, N. D. C.; Berger, J.


    While Archean terrains are mainly composed of a TTG (Tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite) suite, more mafic lithologies such as amphibolites are also a typical component of those ancient terrains. Although mafic rocks represent only ~10% of the Archean cratons, they may provide key evidence of the role and nature of basaltic magmatism in the formation of the Archean crust as well as the evolution of the Archean mantle. This study focuses on the Archean crust from the West African Craton in Mauritania (Amsaga area). The Amsaga Archean Crust mainly consists of TTG and thrust-imbricated slices of mafic volcanic rocks, which have been affected by polymetamorphic events from the amphibolite to granulite facies. Our main objectives aim to the identification of the mafic lithology origin and a better understanding of their role in the continental crust emplacement. Our petrological observations show that these amphibolites have fine to medium granoblastic and nematoblastic textures. The amphibolites are dominated by amphibolite-facies mineral assemblages (mainly amphibole and plagioclase), but garnet and clinopyroxene occur in a few samples. Two groups are distinct in their geochemical characteristics (major and trace elements), although both have tholeiitic basalt composition. The first group show LREE-enriched patterns and negative Nb-Ta anomalies. The second group is characterized by near-flat LREE patterns and flat HREE patterns. This second group clearly shows no Nb-Ta anomalies. The first group could be related to arc-like basalts, as it is many similarities with some Archean amphibolites probably formed in a supra-subduction zone, for instance the volcanic rocks from the southern edge of the Isua Supracrustal Belt. On the contrary, the second group has a MORB-like signature which is more unusual during the Archean. Different scenarios will be discussed regards to the Archean geodynamics.

  15. Source heterogeneity for the major components of ~3.7 Ga banded iron formations (Isua Greenstone Belt, Western Greenland)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frei, Robert; Polat, Ali


    We report trace element, samarium (Sm)-neodymium (Nd) and lead (Pb) isotopic data for individual micro-and mesobands of the Earth's oldest Banded Iron Formation (BIF) from the  3.7-3.8 Ga Isua Greenstone Belt (IGB, West Greenland) in an attempt to contribute to the characterization...... low high field strength elements (HFSE) concentrations indicate essentially detritus-free precipitation. Uranogenic Pb isotope data define a correlation line with a slope of 3691 ± 41 Ma, indicating that the uranium (U)-lead (Pb) system remained closed after the formation of this BIF. High 207Pb/204Pb...... relative to 206Pb/204Pb ratios compared to average mantle growth evolution models are a feature shared by BIF, penecontemporaneous basalts and clastic volcanogenic metasediments and are indicative of the ultimate high-µ (238U/204Pb) character of the source region, an essentially mafic Hadean protocrust. Sm...

  16. Potential of thermal emissivity for mapping of greenstone rocks and associated granitoids of Hutti Maski Schist belt, Karnataka (United States)

    Guha, A.; Vinod Kumar, K.


    In the present study, different temperature-emissivity separation algorithms were used to derive emissivity images based on processing of ASTER( Advanced spaceborne thermal emission and reflection radiometer) thermal bands. These emissivity images have been compared with each other in terms of geological information for mapping of major rock types in Hutti Maski schist Belt and its associated granitoids. Thermal emissivity images are analyzed conjugately with thermal radiance image, radiant temperature image and albedo image of ASTER bands to understand the potential of thermal emissivity in delineating different rock types of Archaean Greenstone belt. The emissivity images derived using different emissivity extraction algorithms are characterised with poor data dimensionality and signal to noise ratio. Therefore, Inverse MNF false-colour composites(FCC) are derived using bands having better signal to noise(SNR)ratio to enhance the contrast in emissivity. It has been observed that inverse-MNF of emissivity image; which is derived using emissivity-normalisation method is suitable for delineating silica variations in granite and granodioritic gneiss in comparison to other inverse- MNF-emissivity composites derived using other emissivity extraction algorithms(reference channel and alpha residual method). Based on the analysis of ASTER derived emissivity spectra of each rocks, band ratios are derived(band 14/12,band 10/12) and these ratios are used to delineate the rock types based on index based FCC image. This FCC image can be used to delineate granitoids with different silica content. The geological information derived based on processing of ASTER thermal images are further compared with the image analysis products derived using ASTER visible-near-infrared(VNIR) and shortwave infrared(SWIR) bands. It has been observed that delineation of different mafic rocks or greenstone rocks(i.e. separation between chlorite schist and metabasalt) are better in SWIR composites

  17. Nondestructive spectroscopic and petrochemical investigations of Paleoarchean spherule layers from the ICDP drill core BARB5, Barberton Mountain Land, South Africa (United States)

    Fritz, Jörg; Tagle, Roald; Ashworth, Luisa; Schmitt, Ralf Thomas; Hofmann, Axel; Luais, Béatrice; Harris, Phillip D.; Hoehnel, Desirée; Özdemir, Seda; Mohr-Westheide, Tanja; Koeberl, Christian


    A Paleoarchean impact spherule-bearing interval of the 763 m long International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP) drill core BARB5 from the lower Mapepe Formation of the Fig Tree Group, Barberton Mountain Land (South Africa) was investigated using nondestructive analytical techniques. The results of visual observation, infrared (IR) spectroscopic imaging, and micro-X-ray fluorescence (μXRF) of drill cores are presented. Petrographic and sedimentary features, as well as major and trace element compositions of lithologies from the micrometer to kilometer-scale, assisted in the localization and characterization of eight spherule-bearing intervals between 512.6 and 510.5 m depth. The spherule layers occur in a strongly deformed section between 517 and 503 m, and the rocks in the core above and below are clearly less disturbed. The μXRF element maps show that spherule layers have similar petrographic and geochemical characteristics but differences in (1) sorting of two types of spherules and (2) occurrence of primary minerals (Ni-Cr spinel and zircon). We favor a single impact scenario followed by postimpact reworking, and subsequent alteration. The spherule layers are Al2O3-rich and can be distinguished from the Al2O3-poor marine sediments by distinct Al-OH absorption features in the short wave infrared (SWIR) region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Infrared images can cover tens to hundreds of square meters of lithologies and, thus, may be used to search for Al-OH-rich spherule layers in Al2O3-poor sediments, such as Eoarchean metasediments, where the textural characteristics of the spherule layers are obscured by metamorphism.

  18. Phase equilibria constraints on Archean crustal genesis from crystallization experiments on trondhjemite with water at 10-17 kbar


    van der Laan, Sieger R.; Johnston, A. Dana; Wyllie, Peter J.


    The formation of continental crust during the Archean and early Proterozoic occurred through a different mechanisms than the currently active processes of calc-alkaline volcanism in orogenic regions. In view that most crustal growth models imply that by the end of the Archean a continental mass equivalent to 75% or more of the current crust had evolved, it seems highly relevant to study early crustal genesis.

  19. A model for late Archean chemical weathering and world average river water (United States)

    Hao, Jihua; Sverjensky, Dimitri A.; Hazen, Robert M.


    Interpretations of the geologic record of late Archean near-surface environments depend very strongly on an understanding of weathering and resultant riverine transport to the oceans. The late Archean atmosphere is widely recognized to be anoxic (pO2,g =10-5 to 10-13 bars; pH2,g =10-3 to 10-5 bars). Detrital siderite (FeCO3), pyrite (FeS2), and uraninite (UO2) in late Archean sedimentary rocks also suggest anoxic conditions. However, whether the observed detrital minerals could have been thermodynamically stable during weathering and riverine transport under such an atmosphere remains untested. Similarly, interpretations of fluctuations recorded by trace metals and isotopes are hampered by a lack of knowledge of the chemical linkages between the atmosphere, weathering, riverine transport, and the mineralogical record. In this study, we used theoretical reaction path models to simulate the chemistry involved in rainwater and weathering processes under present-day and hypothetical Archean atmospheric boundary conditions. We included new estimates of the thermodynamic properties of Fe(II)-smectites as well as smectite and calcite solid solutions. Simulation of present-day weathering of basalt + calcite by world-average rainwater produced hematite, kaolinite, Na-Mg-saponite, and chalcedony after 10-4 moles of reactant minerals kg-1 H2O were destroyed. Combination of the resultant water chemistry with results for granitic weathering produced a water composition comparable to present-day world average river water (WARW). In contrast, under late Archean atmospheric conditions (pCO2,g =10-1.5 and pH2,g =10-5.0 bars), weathering of olivine basalt + calcite to the same degree of reaction produced kaolinite, chalcedony, and Na-Fe(II)-rich-saponite. Late Archean weathering of tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) formed Fe(II)-rich beidellite and chalcedony. Combining the waters from olivine basalt and TTG weathering resulted in a model for late Archean WARW with the

  20. Geochemistry of some banded iron-formations of the archean supracrustals, Jharkhand–Orissa region, India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    H N Bhattacharya; Indranil Chakraborty; Kaushik K Ghosh


    Banded iron-formations (BIF) form an important part of the Archean supracrustal belts of the Jharkhand–Orissa region, India. Major, trace and REE chemistry of the banded iron-formation of the Gandhamardan, Deo Nala, Gorumahisani and Noamundi sections of the Jharkhand–Orissa region are utilized to explore the source of metals and to address the thermal regime of the basin floor and the redox conditions of the archean sea. Hydrothermal fluids of variable temperatures might have contributed the major part of the Fe and other trace elements to the studied banded iron-formations. Diagenetic fluids from the sea floor sediments and river water might have played a subdued role in supplying the Fe and other elements for the banded iron-formations.

  1. Albedo and heat transport in 3-dimensional model simulations of the early Archean climate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Kienert


    Full Text Available At the beginning of the Archean eon (ca. 3.8 billion yr ago, the Earth's climate state was significantly different from today due to the lower solar luminosity, smaller continental fraction, higher rotation rate and, presumably, significantly larger greenhouse gas concentrations. All these aspects play a role in solutions to the "faint young Sun problem" which must explain why the ocean surface was not fully frozen at that time. Here, we present 3-dimensional model simulations of climate states that are consistent with early Archean boundary conditions and have different CO2 concentrations, aiming at an understanding of the fundamental characteristics of the early Archean climate system. We focus on three states: one of them is ice-free, one has the same mean surface air temperature of 288 K as today's Earth and the third one is the coldest stable state in which there is still an area with liquid surface water (i.e. the critical state at the transition to a "snowball Earth". We find a reduction in meridional heat transport compared to today which leads to a steeper latitudinal temperature profile and has atmospheric as well as oceanic contributions. Ocean surface velocities are largely zonal, and the strength of the atmospheric meridional circulation is significantly reduced in all three states. These aspects contribute to the observed relation between global mean temperature and albedo, which we suggest as a parameterisation of the ice-albedo feedback for 1-dimensional model simulations of the early Archean and thus the faint young Sun problem.

  2. Albedo and heat transport in 3-D model simulations of the early Archean climate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Kienert


    Full Text Available At the beginning of the Archean eon (ca. 3.8 billion years ago, the Earth's climate state was significantly different from today due to the lower solar luminosity, smaller continental fraction, higher rotation rate and, presumably, significantly larger greenhouse gas concentrations. All these aspects play a role in solutions to the "faint young Sun paradox" which must explain why the ocean surface was not fully frozen at that time. Here, we present 3-D model simulations of climate states that are consistent with early Archean boundary conditions and have different CO2 concentrations, aiming at an understanding of the fundamental characteristics of the early Archean climate system. In order to do so, we have appropriately modified an intermediate complexity climate model that couples a statistical-dynamical atmosphere model (involving parameterizations of the dynamics to an ocean general circulation model and a thermodynamic-dynamic sea-ice model. We focus on three states: one of them is ice-free, one has the same mean surface air temperature of 288 K as today's Earth and the third one is the coldest stable state in which there is still an area with liquid surface water (i.e. the critical state at the transition to a "snowball Earth". We find a reduction in meridional heat transport compared to today, which leads to a steeper latitudinal temperature profile and has atmospheric as well as oceanic contributions. Ocean surface velocities are largely zonal, and the strength of the atmospheric meridional circulation is significantly reduced in all three states. These aspects contribute to the observed relation between global mean temperature and albedo, which we suggest as a parameterization of the ice-albedo feedback for 1-D model simulations of the early Archean and thus the faint young Sun problem.

  3. The Pale Orange Dot: The Spectrum and Habitability of Hazy Archean Earth. (United States)

    Arney, Giada; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn D; Meadows, Victoria S; Wolf, Eric T; Schwieterman, Edward; Charnay, Benjamin; Claire, Mark; Hébrard, Eric; Trainer, Melissa G


    Recognizing whether a planet can support life is a primary goal of future exoplanet spectral characterization missions, but past research on habitability assessment has largely ignored the vastly different conditions that have existed in our planet's long habitable history. This study presents simulations of a habitable yet dramatically different phase of Earth's history, when the atmosphere contained a Titan-like, organic-rich haze. Prior work has claimed a haze-rich Archean Earth (3.8-2.5 billion years ago) would be frozen due to the haze's cooling effects. However, no previous studies have self-consistently taken into account climate, photochemistry, and fractal hazes. Here, we demonstrate using coupled climate-photochemical-microphysical simulations that hazes can cool the planet's surface by about 20 K, but habitable conditions with liquid surface water could be maintained with a relatively thick haze layer (τ ∼ 5 at 200 nm) even with the fainter young Sun. We find that optically thicker hazes are self-limiting due to their self-shielding properties, preventing catastrophic cooling of the planet. Hazes may even enhance planetary habitability through UV shielding, reducing surface UV flux by about 97% compared to a haze-free planet and potentially allowing survival of land-based organisms 2.7-2.6 billion years ago. The broad UV absorption signature produced by this haze may be visible across interstellar distances, allowing characterization of similar hazy exoplanets. The haze in Archean Earth's atmosphere was strongly dependent on biologically produced methane, and we propose that hydrocarbon haze may be a novel type of spectral biosignature on planets with substantial levels of CO2. Hazy Archean Earth is the most alien world for which we have geochemical constraints on environmental conditions, providing a useful analogue for similar habitable, anoxic exoplanets. Key Words: Haze-Archean Earth-Exoplanets-Spectra-Biosignatures-Planetary habitability

  4. Controls on the Archean climate system investigated with a global climate model. (United States)

    Wolf, E T; Toon, O B


    The most obvious means of resolving the faint young Sun paradox is to invoke large quantities of greenhouse gases, namely, CO2 and CH4. However, numerous changes to the Archean climate system have been suggested that may have yielded additional warming, thus easing the required greenhouse gas burden. Here, we use a three-dimensional climate model to examine some of the factors that controlled Archean climate. We examine changes to Earth's rotation rate, surface albedo, cloud properties, and total atmospheric pressure following proposals from the recent literature. While the effects of increased planetary rotation rate on surface temperature are insignificant, plausible changes to the surface albedo, cloud droplet number concentrations, and atmospheric nitrogen inventory may each impart global mean warming of 3-7 K. While none of these changes present a singular solution to the faint young Sun paradox, a combination can have a large impact on climate. Global mean surface temperatures at or above 288 K could easily have been maintained throughout the entirety of the Archean if plausible changes to clouds, surface albedo, and nitrogen content occurred.

  5. Comparison of Archean and Phanerozoic granulites: Southern India and North American Appalachians (United States)

    Mcsween, Harry Y., Jr.; Kittleson, Roger C.


    Archean granulites at the southern end of the Dharwar craton of India and Phanerozoic granulites in the southern Appalachians of North America share an important characteristic: both show continuous transitions from amphibolite facies rocks to higher grade. This property is highly unusual for granulite terranes, which commonly are bounded by major shears or thrusts. These two terranes thus offer an ideal opportunity to compare petrogenetic models for deep crustal rocks formed in different time periods, which conventional wisdom suggests may have had different thermal profiles. The salient features of the Archean amphibolite-to-granulite transition in southern India have been recently summarized. The observed metamorphic progression reflects increasing temperature and pressure. Conditions for the Phanerozoic amphibolite-to-granulite transition in the southern Appalachians were documented. The following sequence of prograde reactions was observed: kyanite = sillimanite, muscovite = sillimanite + K-feldspar, partial melting of pelites, and hornblende = orthopyroxene + clinopyroxene + garnet. The mineral compositions of low-variance assemblages in mafic and intermediate rocks are almost identical for the two granulite facies assemblages. In light of their different fluid regimes and possible mechanisms for heat flow augmentation, it seems surprising that these Archean and Phanerozoic granulite terranes were apparently metamorphosed under such similar conditions of pressure and temperature. Comparison with other terrains containing continuous amphibolite-to-granulite facies transitions will be necessary before this problem can be addressed.

  6. Organic compounds in fluid inclusions of Archean quartz-Analogues of prebiotic chemistry on early Earth. (United States)

    Schreiber, Ulrich; Mayer, Christian; Schmitz, Oliver J; Rosendahl, Pia; Bronja, Amela; Greule, Markus; Keppler, Frank; Mulder, Ines; Sattler, Tobias; Schöler, Heinz F


    The origin of life is still an unsolved mystery in science. Hypothetically, prebiotic chemistry and the formation of protocells may have evolved in the hydrothermal environment of tectonic fault zones in the upper continental crust, an environment where sensitive molecules are protected against degradation induced e.g. by UV radiation. The composition of fluid inclusions in minerals such as quartz crystals which have grown in this environment during the Archean period might provide important information about the first organic molecules formed by hydrothermal synthesis. Here we present evidence for organic compounds which were preserved in fluid inclusions of Archean quartz minerals from Western Australia. We found a variety of organic compounds such as alkanes, halocarbons, alcohols and aldehydes which unambiguously show that simple and even more complex prebiotic organic molecules have been formed by hydrothermal processes. Stable-isotope analysis confirms that the methane found in the inclusions has most likely been formed from abiotic sources by hydrothermal chemistry. Obviously, the liquid phase in the continental Archean crust provided an interesting choice of functional organic molecules. We conclude that organic substances such as these could have made an important contribution to prebiotic chemistry which might eventually have led to the formation of living cells.

  7. Sulfur and lead isotopic evidence of relic Archean sediments in the Pitcairn mantle plume (United States)

    Delavault, Hélène; Chauvel, Catherine; Thomassot, Emilie; Devey, Colin W.; Dazas, Baptiste


    The isotopic diversity of oceanic island basalts (OIB) is usually attributed to the influence, in their sources, of ancient material recycled into the mantle, although the nature, age, and quantities of this material remain controversial. The unradiogenic Pb isotope signature of the enriched mantle I (EM I) source of basalts from, for example, Pitcairn or Walvis Ridge has been variously attributed to recycled pelagic sediments, lower continental crust, or recycled subcontinental lithosphere. Our study helps resolve this debate by showing that Pitcairn lavas contain sulfides whose sulfur isotopic compositions are affected by mass-independent fractionation (S-MIF down to Δ33S = -0.8), something which is thought to have occurred on Earth only before 2.45 Ga, constraining the youngest possible age of the EM I source component. With this independent age constraint and a Monte Carlo refinement modeling of lead isotopes, we place the likely Pitcairn source age at 2.5 Ga to 2.6 Ga. The Pb, Sr, Nd, and Hf isotopic mixing arrays show that the Archean EM I material was poor in trace elements, resembling Archean sediment. After subduction, this Archean sediment apparently remained stored in the deep Earth for billions of years before returning to the surface as Pitcairńs characteristic EM I signature. The presence of negative S-MIF in the deep mantle may also help resolve the problem of an apparent deficit of negative Δ33S anomalies so far found in surface reservoirs.

  8. Seismic structure of a late-Archean microcontinent in the middle of the Western Australian Craton (United States)

    Yuan, Huaiyu; Johnson, Simon; Dentith, Mike; Murdie, Ruth; Gessner, Klaus; Korhonen, Fawna; Bodin, Thomas


    The Capricorn Orogen recorded the Paleoproterozoic amalgamation of the Archean Pilbara and Yilgarn cratons to form the Western Australian Craton. Regional surveys involving geological mapping, geochemistry, and geophysics reveal a prolonged tectonic history in craton assembly and subsequent intracratonic reworking, which have significantly re-shaped the orogenic crust. A high-density earthquake seismology deployment targeted the Glenburgh Terrane, an exotic late-Archean to Paleoproterozoic crustal block previously inferred from distinct structural and isotopic characters in the core region of the terrane. Prominent Moho and intracrustal discontinuities are present, replicating the overall trend and depth range found in the previous high-resolution deep crustal reflection image. Significant lateral variations in the seismic signal are found across the terrane boundary, showing a relatively thin crust (40km) crust with elevated Vp/Vs ratios (>1.76) in the margin. The small Vp/Vs ratios ( 1.70) are mapped terrane-wide, indicating a felsic bulk crustal composition. Considering the available constraints from isotopic age, magnetotelluric models and absolute shear wave velocities from ambient noise tomography, the Glenburgh Terrane is interpreted as a microcontinent made in the Archean, which however may have been altered during the WAC assembly and cratonization, as well as subsequent intracratonic reworking/magmatic differentiation processes. Our results illustrate that multi-disciplinary datasets bring complementary resolution and therefore may put tighter constraints on the tectonic processes that have affected the crust.

  9. 2.9-1.9 Ga paleoalterations of Archean granitic basement of the Franceville basin (Gabon) (United States)

    Mouélé, Idalina Moubiya; Dudoignon, Patrick; El Albani, Abderrazak; Meunier, Alain; Boulvais, Philippe; Gauthier-Lafaye, François; Paquette, Jean-Louis; Martin, Hervé; Cuney, Michel


    The Archean granitoids in the Kiéné area, Gabon, are overlained by the Paleoproterozoic sediments of the Franceville basin (2.1 Ga). The basin is known for its high-grade uranium deposits among which some have been forming natural nuclear fission reactors. Most of the studies were dedicated to the FA-FB Paleoproterozoic sediments hosting these uranium deposits. Little is known on the Archean basement itself and specifically on the hydrous alteration events it experienced before and after the sediment deposition. The present work is focused on their petrographical, mineralogical and geochemical characterization. Dating the successive alteration events has been attempted on altered monazite crystals. Rocks in different alteration states have been sampled from eight drill cores crosscutting the Archean - Paleoproterozoic unconformity. The Archean granitoids observed in the deepest levels exhibit typical petrographical features of a propylitic alteration while they are intensely illitized up to the unconformity. The propylitic alteration is mainly pervasive but the original texture of the granitoïds is conserved in spite of the formation of new minerals: Mg-chlorite, allanite and epidote forming a typical paragenesis. The illitic alteration is much more invasive near the unconformity. The illitization process leads to the replacement of feldspars and the corrosion of quartz crysals by an illitic matrix while the ferromagnesian minerals are pseudomorphosed by a Fe-chlorite + phengite + hematite assemblage. The final fluid-rock interaction step is marked by fissural deposits of calcite and anhydrite. The δ13C isotopic data show that the fissural carbonates precipitated from diagenetic fluids enriched carbon products deriving from the maturation of organic matter. The U-Pb isotopic analyzes performed on monazite crystals have dated three distinct events: 3.0-2.9 Ga (magmatic), 2.6 Ga (propylitic alteration) and 1.9 Ga (diagenetic illitization). The calculation of

  10. Geochemistry of komatiites and basalts from the Rio das Velhas and Pitangui greenstone belts, São Francisco Craton, Brazil: Implications for the origin, evolution, and tectonic setting (United States)

    Verma, Sanjeet K.; Oliveira, Elson P.; Silva, Paola M.; Moreno, Juan A.; Amaral, Wagner S.


    The Neoarchean Rio das Velhas and Pitangui greenstone belts are situated in the southern São Francisco Craton, Minas Gerais, Brazil. These greenstone belts were formed between ca. 2.79-2.73 Ga, and consist mostly of mafic to ultramafic volcanics and clastic sediments, with minor chemical sediments and felsic volcanics that were metamorphosed under greenschist facies. Komatiites are found only in the Rio das Velhas greenstone belt, which is composed of high-MgO volcanic rocks that have been identified as komatiites and high-Mg basalts, based on their distinctive geochemical characteristics. The Rio das Velhas komatiites are composed of tremolite + actinolite + serpentine + albite with a relict spinifex-texture. The Rio das Velhas komatiites have a high magnesium content ((MgO)adj ≥ 28 wt.%), an Al-undepleted Munro-type [(Al2O3/TiO2)adj and (CaO/Al2O3)adj] ratio ranging from 27 to 47 and 0.48 to 0.89, relatively low abundances of incompatible elements, a depletion of light rare earth elements (LREE), a pattern of non-fractionated heavy rare- earth elements (HREE), and a low (Gd/Yb)PM ratio (≤ 1.0). Negative Ce anomalies suggest that alteration occurred during greenschist facies metamorphism for the komatiites and high-Mg basalts. The low [(Gd/Yb)PM 18] and high HREE, Y, and Zr content suggest that the Rio das Velhas komatiites were derived from the shallow upper mantle without garnet involvement in the residue. The chemical compositions [(Al2O3/TiO2)adj, (FeO)adj, (MgO)adj, (CaO/Al2O3)adj, Na, Th, Ta, Ni, Cr, Zr, Y, Hf, and REE] indicate that the formation of the komatiites, high-Mg basalts and basalts occurred at different depths and temperatures in a heterogeneous mantle. The komatiites and high-Mg basalts melted at liquidus temperatures of 1450-1550 °C. The Pitangui basalts are enriched in the highly incompatible LILE (large-ion lithophile elements) relative to the moderately incompatible HFS (high field strength) elements. The Zr/Th ratio ranging from 76 to

  11. Visible and infrared properties of unaltered to weathered rocks from Precambrian granite-greenstone terrains of the West African Craton (United States)

    Metelka, Václav; Baratoux, Lenka; Jessell, Mark W.; Naba, Séta


    In situ and laboratory 0.35 μm-2.5 μm spectra of rocks from a Paleoproterozoic granite-greenstone terrain along with its Neoproterozoic sedimentary cover and derived regolith materials were examined in western Burkina Faso. The reflectance spectra show the influence of typical arid to semi-arid weathering with the formation of desert varnish, iron films, and dust coatings. Fe and Mg-OH absorption features related to chlorite, amphibole, pyroxene, epidote, and biotite are observable in the mafic and intermediate meta-volcanic rocks as well as in the granodiorites and tonalites. Al-OH absorption caused by kaolinite, smectite, illite/muscovite are typical for meta-volcano-sedimentary schists, Tarkwaian-type detrital meta-sediments, sandstones of the Taoudeni basin, all of the weathered surfaces and regolith materials. Ferric and ferrous iron absorptions related to both primary rock-forming minerals and secondary weathering minerals (goethite, hematite) were observed in most of the sampled materials. The results show that although weathering alters the spectral signature of the fresh rock, indicative absorption features located in the short wave infrared region remain detectable. In addition, spectra of soils partially reflect the mineral composition of the weathered rock surfaces. The analysis of the hyperspectral data shows the potential of differentiating between the sampled surfaces. The library presents a primary database for the geological and regolith analysis of remote sensing data in West Africa.

  12. Tectono-magmatic evolution of the Hutti-Maski Greenstone Belt, India: Constrained using geochemical and geochronological data (United States)

    Rogers, A. J.; Kolb, J.; Meyer, F. M.; Armstrong, R. A.


    The Hutti-Maski Greenstone Belt (HMGB), situated in the eastern block of the Dharwar Craton, India is dominated by bimodal volcanics with a minimum magmatic age of 2586 ± 59 Ma. Two phases of granitoid intruded into the belt, the syn-tectonic Kavital granitoid, homogeneous, medium-grained porphyritic granodiorite, with an intrusion age of 2543 ± 9 Ma, followed by the post-tectonic Yelagatti granitoid, heterogeneous, fine- to medium-grained granite to granodiorite. The extensively altered zircons from the Yelagatti granitoid have significant enrichments of U, Th (>1%) and common-Pb (up to 47%). Only two of the analyses were reproducible, providing a minimum 207Pb/ 206Pb age of 2221 ± 99 Ma, this may indicate an approximate magmatic age or more realistically a subsequent event. Felsic metavolcanic rocks contain cross-cutting veinlets, which formed during the Mesoproterozoic (ca. 1180 Ma), the final closure of the Pb system occurred between the Neoproterozoic and Ordovician, possibly related to the Pan-African orogeny. The tectono-magmatic evolution of the HMGB can be correlated with the collision between the eastern and western blocks of the Dharwar Craton subsequent to 2658 Ma and the craton wide magmatism from 2613 to 2513 Ma. These events can be accounted for by combining uniformitarian and non-uniformitarian models.

  13. Strontium and neodymium isotopic variations in early Archean gneisses affected by middle to late Archean high-grade metamorphic processes: West Greenland and Labrador (United States)

    Collerson, K. D.; Mcculloch, M. T.; Bridgwater, D.; Mcgregor, V. R.; Nutman, A. P.


    Relicts of continental crust formed more than 3400 Ma ago are preserved fortuitously in most cratons. The cratons provide the most direct information about crust and mantle evolutionary processes during the first billion years of Earth history. In view of their polymetamorphic character, these terrains are commonly affected by subsequent tectonothermal events. Hence, their isotope systematics may be severely disturbed as a result of bulk chemical change or local isotopic homogenization. This leads to equivocal age and source information for different components within these terrains. The Sr and Nd isotopic data are presented for early Archean gneisses from the North Atlantic Craton in west Greenland and northern Labrador which were affected by younger metamorphic events.

  14. Nb/Ta variations of mafic volcanics on the Archean-Proterozoic boundary: Implications for the Nb/Ta imbalance

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Yongsheng; GAO Shan; WANG Xuance; HU Shenghong; WANG Jianqi


    The HFSE and REE of the Precambrian mafic volcanics from the North China craton demonstrate obvious A(Archean)-P(Proterozoic) boundary. The Neoarchean mafic vol-canics show weak correlation between HFSE and TiO2. Their superchondritic Nb/Ta ratio (18.8(1.2) could be attributed to partial melting of mantle peridotite in the presence of garnet. Compared with Neoarchean mafic volcanics, the Paleoproterozoic ones have higher HFSE contents and lower Nb/Ta ratio (15.6(2.9). The significantly elevated HFSE and REE contents of Paleoproterozoic mafic volcanics imply metasomatic enrichment of mantle source, in which Ti-rich silicates could be present as suggested by significant positive correlations between TiO2 and HFSE. The global database of Precambrian mafic volcanics shows a similar A-P boundary. 23 Archean mafic volcanic suites yield an average Nb/Ta ratio of 17.8(1.9 higher than or close to the PM value; Proterozoic mafic volcanics from 28 suites yield an average Nb/Ta ratio of 14.7(4.1 deficit could be mainly formed in post-Archean time. Archean mafic volcanics could be one of the geochemical reservoirs complementing the low Nb/Ta of the post-Archean continental crust and DM.

  15. EPR study of thermally treated Archean microbial mats analogues and comparison with Archean cherts: towards a possible marker of oxygenic photosynthesis? (United States)

    Bourbin, M.; Derenne, S.; Westall, F.; Gourier, D.; Gautret, P.; Rouzaud, J.-N.; Robert, F.


    The datation of photosynthesis apparition remains an open question nowadays: did oxygenic photosynthesis appear just before the Great Oxidation Event (GOE) of the atmosphere, 2.3 to 2.4 Gyr ago, or does it originate much earlier? It is therefore of uttermost interest to find markers of oxygenic photosynthesis, applicable to samples of archean age. In order to handle this problem, Microcoleus Chtonoplastes cyanobacteria and Chloroflexus-like non-oxygenic photosynthetic bacteria, were studied using Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectroscopy, a high sensitivity technique for the study of organic radicals in mature geological samples (coals, cherts, meteorites...). M. chtonoplastes and Chloroflexus-like bacteria were sampled in mats from the hypersaline lake "La Salada de Chiprana" (Spain), an analogue to an Archean environment, and were submitted to accelerated ageing through cumulative thermal treatments. For thermal treatment temperatures higher than 620° C, a drastic increase in the EPR linewidth of the oxygenic photosynthetic bacteria (M. chtonoplastes) occurred, as compared with the anoxygenic photosynthetic one (Chloroflexus-like). The EPR study of a thermally treated mixture of the two bacteria evidences that this linewidth increase is driven by catalytic reaction at high temperatures on an element selectively fixed by M. chtonoplastes. Based on comparative EDS analyses, Mg is a potential candidate for this catalytic activity but its precise role and the nature of the reaction are still to be determined. The EPR study of organic radicals in chert rocks of ages ranging from 0.42 to 3.5 Gyr, from various localities and that underwent various metamorphisms, revealed a dispersion of the signal width for the most mature samples. This comparative approach between modern bacterial samples and Precambrian cherts leads to propose the EPR linewidth of mature organic matter in cherts as a potential marker of oxygenic photosynthesis. If confirmed, this marker

  16. Mobility of nutrients and trace metals during weathering in the late Archean (United States)

    Hao, Jihua; Sverjensky, Dimitri A.; Hazen, Robert M.


    The evolution of the geosphere and biosphere depends on the availability of bio-essential nutrients and trace metals. Consequently, the chemical and isotopic variability of trace elements in the sedimentary record have been widely used to infer the existence of early life and fluctuations in the near-surface environment on the early Earth, particularly fluctuations in the redox state of the atmosphere. In this study, we applied late Archean weathering models (Hao et al., 2017), developed to estimate the behavior of major elements and the composition of late Archean world average river water, to explore the behavior of nutrient and trace metals and their potential for riverine transport. We focused on P, Mn, Cr, and Cu during the weathering of olivine basalt. In our standard late Archean weathering model (pCO2,g = 10-1.5 bars, pH2,g = 10-5.0 bars), crustal apatite was totally dissolved by the acidic rainwater during weathering. Our model quantitatively links the pCO2,g of the atmosphere to phosphate levels transported by rivers. The development of late Archean river water (pH = 6.4) resulted in riverine phosphate of at least 1.7 μmolar, much higher than at the present-day. At the end of the early Proterozoic snowball Earth event when pCO2,g could be 0.01-0.10 bars, river water may have transported up to 70 μmolar phosphate, depending on the availability of apatite, thereby stimulating high levels of oxygenic photosynthesis in the marine environment. Crustal levels of Mn in olivine dissolved completely during weathering, except at large extents of weathering where Mn was stored as a component of a secondary carbonate mineral. The corresponding Mn content of river water, about 1.2 μmolar, is higher than in modern river water. Whiffs of 10-5 mole O2 gas or HNO3 kg-1 H2O resulted in the formation of pyrolusite (MnO2) and abundant hematite and simultaneous dramatic decreases in the concentration of Mn(II) in the river water. Chromite dissolution resulted in negligible

  17. Leucogranites of the Teton Range, Wyoming: A record of Archean collisional orogeny (United States)

    Frost, Carol D.; Swapp, Susan M.; Frost, B. Ronald; Finley-Blasi, Lee; Fitz-Gerald, D. Braden


    Leucogranitic rocks formed by crustal melting are a prominent feature of collisional orogens of all ages. This study describes leucogranitic gneisses associated with an Archean collisional orogeny preserved in the Teton Range of northwestern Wyoming, USA. These leucogneisses formed at 2.68 Ga, and initial Nd isotopic compositions suggest they are derived from relatively juvenile sources. Two distinct groups of leucogneisses, both trondhjemitic, are identified on the basis of field relations, petrology, and geochemistry. The Webb Canyon gneiss forms large, sheet-like bodies of hornblende biotite trondhjemite and granodiorite. This gneiss is silica-rich (SiO2 = 70-80%), strongly ferroan, comparatively low in alumina, and is characterized by high Zr and Y, low Sr, and high REE contents that define "seagull"-shaped REE patterns. The Bitch Creek gneiss forms small sills, dikes, and plutons of biotite trondhjemite. Silica, Zr, Y, and REE are lower and alumina and Sr are higher than in the Webb Canyon gneiss. These differences reflect different melting conditions: the Webb Canyon gneiss formed by dehydration melting in which amphibole and quartz breaks down, accounting for the low alumina, high FeO, high silica content and observed trace element characteristics. The Bitch Creek gneiss formed by H2O-excess melting in which plagioclase breaks down leaving an amphibole-rich restite, producing magmas higher in alumina and Sr and lower in FeO and HREE. Both melt mechanisms are expected in collisional environments: dehydration melting accompanies gravitational collapse and tectonic extension of dramatically thickened crust, and water-excess melting may occur when collision places a relatively cool, hydrous lower plate beneath a hotter upper plate. The Archean leucogranitic gneisses of the Teton Range are calcic trondhjemites and granodiorites whereas younger collisional leucogranites typically are true granites. The difference in leucogranite composition reflects the

  18. The Pale Orange Dot: The Spectrum and Habitability of Hazy Archean Earth (United States)

    Arney, Giada; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn D.; Meadows, Victoria S.; Wolf, Eric T.; Schwieterman, Edward; Charnay, Benjamin; Claire, Mark; Hébrard, Eric; Trainer, Melissa G.


    Recognizing whether a planet can support life is a primary goal of future exoplanet spectral characterization missions, but past research on habitability assessment has largely ignored the vastly different conditions that have existed in our planet's long habitable history. This study presents simulations of a habitable yet dramatically different phase of Earth's history, when the atmosphere contained a Titan-like, organic-rich haze. Prior work has claimed a haze-rich Archean Earth (3.8-2.5 billion years ago) would be frozen due to the haze's cooling effects. However, no previous studies have self-consistently taken into account climate, photochemistry, and fractal hazes. Here, we demonstrate using coupled climate-photochemical-microphysical simulations that hazes can cool the planet's surface by about 20 K, but habitable conditions with liquid surface water could be maintained with a relatively thick haze layer (τ ˜ 5 at 200 nm) even with the fainter young Sun. We find that optically thicker hazes are self-limiting due to their self-shielding properties, preventing catastrophic cooling of the planet. Hazes may even enhance planetary habitability through UV shielding, reducing surface UV flux by about 97% compared to a haze-free planet and potentially allowing survival of land-based organisms 2.7-2.6 billion years ago. The broad UV absorption signature produced by this haze may be visible across interstellar distances, allowing characterization of similar hazy exoplanets. The haze in Archean Earth's atmosphere was strongly dependent on biologically produced methane, and we propose that hydrocarbon haze may be a novel type of spectral biosignature on planets with substantial levels of CO2. Hazy Archean Earth is the most alien world for which we have geochemical constraints on environmental conditions, providing a useful analogue for similar habitable, anoxic exoplanets.

  19. Comparison of oxygen fugacities of S-type granites across the Archean-Proterozoic boundary (United States)

    Bucholz, C. E.; Eiler, J. M.; Stolper, E. M.; Breaks, F. B.


    We investigate whether changes in atmospheric O2 levels across the Archean-Proterozoic (AP) boundary were translated into the igneous record via partial melting or assimilation of sedimentary rocks with potentially differing oxidation states. To isolate the effects of sediment melting, we studied 5 S-type granites from the Superior Province (2640-2685 Ma) and 19 from the Paleoproterozoic (PP) Trans-Hudson and Wopmay orogenies (1715-1885 Ma), which were derived from sediments deposited at most 100-400 Ma before subsequent burial and partial melting. Published data from sediment melting experiments indicate that at a fixed temperature, the FeT/Mg ratios of partial melts - and therefore also FeT/Mg in biotites in granites formed from such melts - are sensitive to the abundance of Fe-Ti oxides in the residue. Specifically, FeT/Mg melt and biotite ratios are lower when Fe-Ti oxides are modally important in the residue due to the incorporation of a significant amount of bulk sediment Fe in the oxide phase. In turn, Fe-Ti oxide stability is highly sensitive to the Fe oxidation state inherited from the sedimentary source, being favored at high Fe3+/Fe2+ ratios. Analyzed biotite compositions from the Archean S-type granites have higher FeT/Mg ratios than those from the PP (2.7-3.7 v. 1.6-2.3) and therefore likely reflect more reducing conditions. The simplest explanation of our results is that the Archean S-type granites were derived from more reduced metasedimentary sources relative to the PP S-type granites, being richer in Fe2+-bearing minerals (e.g., pyrite or siderite) and poorer in Fe3+-bearing phases (e.g., magnetite or hematite). The variation in Fe oxidation state of S-type granites across the AP boundary could reflect the effect on sediments of the Great Oxygenation Event that roughly coincides with this boundary. Another possibility is that there is more reduced organic carbon in the sources of the Archean versus PP S-type granites; however, existing data

  20. Controls on Atmospheric O2: The Anoxic Archean and the Suboxic Proterozoic (United States)

    Kasting, J. F.


    Geochemists have now reached consensus that the Archean atmosphere was mostly anoxic, that a Great Oxidation Event (GOE) occurred at around 2.5 Ga, and that the ensuing Proterozoic atmosphere was consistently oxidized [1,2]. Evidence for this broad-scale change in atmospheric composition comes from a variety of sources, most importantly from multiple sulfur isotopes [3,4]. The details of both the Archean and Proterozoic environments remain controversial, however, as does the underlying cause of the GOE. Evidence of 'whiffs' of oxygen during the Archean [5] now extend back as far as 3.0 Ga, based on Cr isotopes [6]. This suggests that O2 was being produced by cyanobacteria well before the GOE and that the timing of this event may have been determined by secular changes in O2 sinks. Catling et al. [7] emphasized escape of hydrogen to space, coupled with progressive oxidation of the continents and a concomitant decrease in the flux of reduced gases from metamorphism. But hydrogen produced by serpentinization of seafloor could also have been a controlling factor [8]. Higher mantle temperatures during the Archean should have resulted in thicker, more mafic seafloor and higher H2 production; decreasing mantle temperatures during the Proterozoic should have led to seafloor more like that of today and a corresponding decrease in H2 production, perhaps by enough to trigger the GOE. Once the atmosphere became generally oxidizing, it apparently remained that way during the rest of Earth's history. But O2 levels in the mid-Proterozoic could have been as low at 10-3 times the Present Atmospheric Level (PAL) [9]. The evidence, once again, is based on Cr isotopes. Possible mechanisms for maintaining such a 'suboxic' Proterozoic atmosphere will be discussed. Refs: 1. H. D. Holland, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 66, 3811 (2002). 2. H. D. Holland, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences 361, 903 (Jun 29, 2006). 3. J. Farquhar, H. Bao, M. Thiemans, Science

  1. The Archean sulfur cycle and the early history of atmospheric oxygen. (United States)

    Canfield, D E; Habicht, K S; Thamdrup, B


    The isotope record of sedimentary sulfides can help resolve the history of oxygen accumulation into the atmosphere. We measured sulfur isotopic fractionation during microbial sulfate reduction up to 88 degrees C and show how sulfate reduction rate influences the preservation of biological fractionations in sediments. The sedimentary sulfur isotope record suggests low concentrations of seawater sulfate and atmospheric oxygen in the early Archean (3.4 to 2.8 billion years ago). The accumulation of oxygen and sulfate began later, in the early Proterozoic (2.5 to 0.54 billion years ago).

  2. Minor Sulfur Isotope Constraints on the composition of Earth's Archean atmosphere (United States)

    Claire, M.


    Minor sulfur isotope anomalies in the sedimentary record are direct recorders of ancient chemical reactions that occurred in the atmosphere, and therefore form the most direct proxy for Archean atmospheric composition. The mere presence of mass-independently fractionated sulfur isotopes (MIF-S) in the rock record has resolved nearly a century's worth of debate by constraining atmospheric oxygen to trace levels prior to 2.4 billion years ago, and indirectly indicates the presence of a dominant reducing gas, likely H2 or CH4. The MIF-S database has grown substantially in the past decade, and reveals complex time- and facies-dependent changes in MIF-S magnitudes. The structure within the sedimentary MIF-S record suggests that constraints beyond this simple "on-off" switch for atmospheric O2 are possible once we understand the mechanisms that generate and preserve the signal in the rock record. Recently, I proposed an initial quantitative framework for predictions of atmospheric MIF-S [1], but concluded that new measurements of MIF-S generation mechanisms were needed to provide robust constraints. Since then, identification of MIF-S arising from SO2 photoexcitation [2], and updated absorption cross-sections for SO2 and SO [3-4] provide critical new ground-truth on all 4 isotopes of sulfur. Furthermore, breakthroughs in coupled photochemical-climate modeling have enabled better predictions of UV transparency within hazy atmospheres [5] such as those that might have dominated in the Archean [6-8]. I will present 1-D photochemical modeling results based on these new fundamental constraints, in comparison with MIF-S data from the Archean, to interpret the steady-state composition of the Archean atmosphere and time-dependent perturbations to it. In particular, Δ36S/Δ33S resulting from perturbations to atmospheric species will be discussed as a key tool for constraining the composition of the reducing atmosphere. [1] Claire et al. (2014) GCA; [2] Whitehill et al., PNAS

  3. Archean Age Fossils from Northwestern Australia (Approximately 3.3 to 3.5 GA, Warrawoona Group, Towers Formation) (United States)

    Smith, Penny A. Morris


    Archean aged rocks from the Pilbara Block area of western Australia (Warrawoona Group, Towers Formation, -3.3-3.5 Ga) contain microfossils that are composed of various sizes of spheres and filaments. The first descriptions of these microfossils were published in the late 1970's (Dunlop, 1978; Dunlop, et. al., 1978). The authenticity of the microfossils is well established. The small size of the microfossils prevents isotope dating, at least with the present technology. Microbiologists, however, have established guidelines to determine the authenticity of the Archean aged organic remains (Schopf, Walter, 1992).

  4. Age constraints on felsic intrusions, metamorphism and gold mineralisation in the Palaeoproterozoic Rio Itapicuru greenstone belt, NE Bahia State, Brazil (United States)

    Mello, E.F.; Xavier, R.P.; McNaughton, N.J.; Hagemann, S.G.; Fletcher, I.; Snee, L.


    U-Pb sensitive high resolution ion microprobe mass spectrometer (SHRIMP) ages of zircon, monazite and xenotime crystals from felsic intrusive rocks from the Rio Itapicuru greenstone belt show two development stages between 2,152 and 2,130 Ma, and between 2,130 and 2,080 Ma. The older intrusions yielded ages of 2,152??6 Ma in monazite crystals and 2,155??9 Ma in zircon crystals derived from the Trilhado granodiorite, and ages of 2,130??7 Ma and 2,128??8 Ma in zircon crystals derived from the Teofila??ndia tonalite. The emplacement age of the syntectonic Ambro??sio dome as indicated by a 2,080??2-Ma xenotime age for a granite dyke probably marks the end of the felsic magmatism. This age shows good agreement with the Ar-Ar plateau age of 2,080??5 Ma obtained in hornblendes from an amphibolite and with a U-Pb SHRIMP age of 2,076??10 Ma in detrital zircon crystals from a quartzite, interpreted as the age of the peak of the metamorphism. The predominance of inherited zircons in the syntectonic Ambro??sio dome suggests that the basement of the supracrustal rocks was composed of Archaean continental crust with components of 2,937??16, 3,111??13 and 3,162??13 Ma. Ar-Ar plateau ages of 2,050??4 Ma and 2,054??2 Ma on hydrothermal muscovite samples from the Fazenda Brasileiro gold deposit are interpreted as minimum ages for gold mineralisation and close to the true age of gold deposition. The Ar-Ar data indicate that the mineralisation must have occurred less than 30 million years after the peak of the metamorphism, or episodically between 2,080 Ma and 2,050 Ma, during uplift and exhumation of the orogen. ?? Springer-Verlag 2006.

  5. Geologic evolution of the Serrinha nucleus granite–greenstone terrane (NE Bahia, Brazil) constrained by U–Pb single zircon geochronology


    Rios, Débora Correia; Davis, Donald Wayne; Conceicão, Herbet; Davis, W.J.; Rosa, Maria De Lourdes Da Silva; Dickin, A.P.


    p. 175–201 U–Pb single zircon crystallization ages were determined using TIMS and sensitive high resolution ion microprobe (SHRIMP) on samples of granitoid rocks exposed in the Serrinha nucleus granite–greenstone terrane, in NE Brazil. Our data show that the granitoid plutons can be divided into three distinct groups. Group 1 consists of Mesoarchaean (3.2–2.9 Ga) gneisses and N-S elongated TTG (Tonalite-Trondhjemite-Granodiorite) plutons with gneissic borders. Group 2 is represented by ca....

  6. Reconstructed ancestral enzymes suggest long-term cooling of Earth's photic zone since the Archean (United States)

    Garcia, Amanda K.; Schopf, J. William; Yokobori, Shin-ichi; Akanuma, Satoshi; Yamagishi, Akihiko


    Paleotemperatures inferred from the isotopic compositions (δ18O and δ30Si) of marine cherts suggest that Earth’s oceans cooled from 70 ± 15 °C in the Archean to the present ˜15 °C. This interpretation, however, has been subject to question due to uncertainties regarding oceanic isotopic compositions, diagenetic or metamorphic resetting of the isotopic record, and depositional environments. Analyses of the thermostability of reconstructed ancestral enzymes provide an independent method by which to assess the temperature history inferred from the isotopic evidence. Although previous studies have demonstrated extreme thermostability in reconstructed archaeal and bacterial proteins compatible with a hot early Earth, taxa investigated may have inhabited local thermal environments that differed significantly from average surface conditions. We here present thermostability measurements of reconstructed ancestral enzymatically active nucleoside diphosphate kinases (NDKs) derived from light-requiring prokaryotic and eukaryotic phototrophs having widely separated fossil-based divergence ages. The ancestral environmental temperatures thereby determined for these photic-zone organisms--shown in modern taxa to correlate strongly with NDK thermostability--are inferred to reflect ancient surface-environment paleotemperatures. Our results suggest that Earth's surface temperature decreased over geological time from ˜65-80 °C in the Archean, a finding consistent both with previous isotope-based and protein reconstruction-based interpretations. Interdisciplinary studies such as those reported here integrating genomic, geologic, and paleontologic data hold promise for providing new insight into the coevolution of life and environment over Earth history.

  7. Early Archean serpentine mud volcanoes at Isua, Greenland, as a niche for early life. (United States)

    Pons, Marie-Laure; Quitté, Ghylaine; Fujii, Toshiyuki; Rosing, Minik T; Reynard, Bruno; Moynier, Frederic; Douchet, Chantal; Albarède, Francis


    The Isua Supracrustal Belt, Greenland, of Early Archean age (3.81-3.70 Ga) represents the oldest crustal segment on Earth. Its complex lithology comprises an ophiolite-like unit and volcanic rocks reminiscent of boninites, which tie Isua supracrustals to an island arc environment. We here present zinc (Zn) isotope compositions measured on serpentinites and other rocks from the Isua supracrustal sequence and on serpentinites from modern ophiolites, midocean ridges, and the Mariana forearc. In stark contrast to modern midocean ridge and ophiolite serpentinites, Zn in Isua and Mariana serpentinites is markedly depleted in heavy isotopes with respect to the igneous average. Based on recent results of Zn isotope fractionation between coexisting species in solution, the Isua serpentinites were permeated by carbonate-rich, high-pH hydrothermal solutions at medium temperature (100-300 °C). Zinc isotopes therefore stand out as a pH meter for fossil hydrothermal solutions. The geochemical features of the Isua fluids resemble the interstitial fluids sampled in the mud volcano serpentinites of the Mariana forearc. The reduced character and the high pH inferred for these fluids make Archean serpentine mud volcanoes a particularly favorable setting for the early stabilization of amino acids.

  8. The Case for a Hot Archean Climate and its Implications to the History of the Biosphere

    CERN Document Server

    Schwartzman, David W


    The case for a much warmer climate on the early Earth than now is presented. The oxygen isotope record in sedimentary chert and the compelling case for a near constant isotopic oxygen composition of seawater over geologic time support thermophilic surface temperatures prevailing in the Archean, with some support for hot conditions lasting until about 1.5 billion years ago, aside from lower temperatures including glacial episodes at 2.1-2.4 Ga and possibly an earlier one at 2.9 Ga. Other evidence includes the following: 1) Melting temperatures of proteins resurrected from sequences inferred from robust molecular phylogenies give paleotemperatures at emergence consistent with a very warm early climate. 2) High atmospheric pCO2 levels in the Archean are consistent with high climatic temperatures near the triple point of primary iron minerals in banded iron formations, the formation of Mn-bicarbonate clusters leading to oxygenic photosynthesis and generally higher weathering intensities on land. These higher weat...

  9. Electron paramagnetic resonance study of a photosynthetic microbial mat and comparison with Archean cherts. (United States)

    Bourbin, M; Derenne, S; Gourier, D; Rouzaud, J-N; Gautret, P; Westall, F


    Organic radicals in artificially carbonized biomass dominated by oxygenic and non-oxygenic photosynthetic bacteria, Microcoleus chthonoplastes-like and Chloroflexus-like bacteria respectively, were studied by Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. The two bacteria species were sampled in mats from a hypersaline lake. They underwent accelerated ageing by cumulative thermal treatments to induce progressive carbonization of the biological material, mimicking the natural maturation of carbonaceous material of Archean age. For thermal treatments at temperatures higher than 620 °C, a drastic increase in the EPR linewidth is observed in the carbonaceous matter from oxygenic photosynthetic bacteria and not anoxygenic photosynthetic bacteria. This selective EPR linewidth broadening reflects the presence of a catalytic element inducing formation of radical aggregates, without affecting the molecular structure or the microstructure of the organic matter, as shown by Raman spectroscopy and Transmission Electron Microscopy. For comparison, we carried out an EPR study of organic radicals in silicified carbonaceous rocks (cherts) from various localities, of different ages (0.42 to 3.5 Gyr) and having undergone various degrees of metamorphism, i.e. various degrees of natural carbonization. EPR linewidth dispersion for the most primitive samples was quite significant, pointing to a selective dipolar broadening similar to that observed for carbonized bacteria. This surprising result merits further evaluation in the light of its potential use as a marker of past bacterial metabolisms, in particular oxygenic photosynthesis, in Archean cherts.

  10. Transient episodes of mild environmental oxygenation and oxidative continental weathering during the late Archean (United States)

    Kendall, Brian; Creaser, Robert A.; Reinhard, Christopher T.; Lyons, Timothy W.; Anbar, Ariel D.


    It is not known whether environmental O2 levels increased in a linear fashion or fluctuated dynamically between the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis and the later Great Oxidation Event. New rhenium-osmium isotope data from the late Archean Mount McRae Shale, Western Australia, reveal a transient episode of oxidative continental weathering more than 50 million years before the onset of the Great Oxidation Event. A depositional age of 2495 ± 14 million years and an initial 187Os/188Os of 0.34 ± 0.19 were obtained for rhenium- and molybdenum-rich black shales. The initial 187Os/188Os is higher than the mantle/extraterrestrial value of 0.11, pointing to mild environmental oxygenation and oxidative mobilization of rhenium, molybdenum, and radiogenic osmium from the upper continental crust and to contemporaneous transport of these metals to seawater. By contrast, stratigraphically overlying black shales are rhenium- and molybdenum-poor and have a mantle-like initial 187Os/188Os of 0.06 ± 0.09, indicating a reduced continental flux of rhenium, molybdenum, and osmium to seawater because of a drop in environmental O2 levels. Transient oxygenation events, like the one captured by the Mount McRae Shale, probably separated intervals of less oxygenated conditions during the late Archean. PMID:26702438

  11. Prebiotic Synthesis of Glycine from Ethanolamine in Simulated Archean Alkaline Hydrothermal Vents (United States)

    Zhang, Xianlong; Tian, Ge; Gao, Jing; Han, Mei; Su, Rui; Wang, Yanxiang; Feng, Shouhua


    Submarine hydrothermal vents are generally considered as the likely habitats for the origin and evolution of early life on Earth. In recent years, a novel hydrothermal system in Archean subseafloor has been proposed. In this model, highly alkaline and high temperature hydrothermal fluids were generated in basalt-hosted hydrothermal vents, where H2 and CO2 could be abundantly provided. These extreme conditions could have played an irreplaceable role in the early evolution of life. Nevertheless, sufficient information has not yet been obtained for the abiotic synthesis of amino acids, which are indispensable components of life, at high temperature and alkaline condition. This study aims to propose a new method for the synthesis of glycine in simulated Archean submarine alkaline vent systems. We investigated the formation of glycine from ethanolamine under conditions of high temperature (80-160 °C) and highly alkaline solutions (pH = 9.70). Experiments were performed in an anaerobic environment under mild pressure (0.1-8.0 MPa) at the same time. The results suggested that the formation of glycine from ethanolamine occurred rapidly and efficiently in the presence of metal powders, and was favored by high temperatures and high pressures. The experiment provides a new pathway for prebiotic glycine formation and points out the phenomenal influence of high-temperature alkaline hydrothermal vents in origin of life in the early ocean.

  12. Oxygen-Dependent Morphogenesis of Modern Clumped Photosynthetic Mats and Implications for the Archean Stromatolite Record

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malcolm R. Walter


    Full Text Available Some modern filamentous oxygenic photosynthetic bacteria (cyanobacteria form macroscopic tufts, laminated cones and ridges that are very similar to some Archean and Proterozoic stromatolites. However, it remains unclear whether microbes that constructed Archean clumps, tufts, cones and ridges also produced oxygen. Here, we address this question by examining the physiology of cyanobacterial clumps, aggregates ~0.5 mm in diameter that initiate the growth of modern mm- and cm-scale cones. Clumps contain more particulate organic carbon in the form of denser, bowed and bent cyanobacterial filaments, abandoned sheaths and non-cyanobacterial cells relative to the surrounding areas. Increasing concentrations of oxygen in the solution enhance the bending of filaments and the persistence of clumps by reducing the lateral migration of filaments away from clumps. Clumped mats in oxic media also release less glycolate, a soluble photorespiration product, and retain a larger pool of carbon in the mat. Clumping thus benefits filamentous mat builders whose incorporation of inorganic carbon is sensitive to oxygen. The morphogenetic sequence of mm-scale clumps, reticulate ridges and conical stromatolites from the 2.7 Ga Tumbiana Formation likely records similar O2-dependent behaviors, preserving currently the oldest morphological signature of oxygenated environments on Early Earth.

  13. Late Archean-Early Proterozoic timing for an Andean-style porphyry Cu-Mo deposit at Malanjkhand, Central Indian Tectonic Zone: implications for a Late Archean supercontinent (United States)

    Stein, H. J.; Zimmerman, A.; Hannah, J. L.; Markey, R. J.


    Eight Re-Os ages from six molybdenite samples representative of Cu-Mo mineralization in a highly deformed quartz reef and granite host rock comprising the large Malanjkhand deposit were obtained using ID-NTIMS. These data provide a clear Late Archean-Early Proterozoic age for this recently discovered deposit and by implication a minimum age for its hosting terrane, the Central Indian Tectonic Zone (CITZ), a continental scale structure separating peninsular India from northern India. The CITZ was previously inferred to be Middle Proterozoic or younger. Molybdenite dating indicates that stringer mineralization in the quartz reef and disseminated mineralization in the granite were contemporaneous at 2493 ± 8 Ma (2493.1 ± 1.4 Ma based on regression without uncertainty in the 187Re decay constant, MSWD = 0.5, n = 5). Additional molybdenite was precipitated during at least two pulses of reworking (ěrb1 12480 and ěrb1 12450 Ma) that we suggest configured the elongate quartz reef as the CITZ developed in response to NW-directed oblique convergence of a landmass from the south. Previously unrecognized petrographic evidence coupled with high Re concentrations for molybdenites (400-650 ppm) suggest that Malanjkhand is a porphyry Cu-Mo deposit of classic Andean-type, forming in a subduction-accretionary setting that includes involvement of mantle. We suggest that the CITZ may provide a median segment of an extensive and continuous Late Archean-Early Proterozoic orogenic belt that may include portions of the Moyar, Bhavani, Palghat, and Cauvery shear zones in southern India, the Eastern Ghats orogenic belt along the eastern side of India, and connecting to the Aravalli-Delhi belt extending through northwest India. This now folded orogenic belt could be related to the assembly of a Late Archean supercontinent whose eastward margin included East Antartica (Napier complex) at 2.5 Ga. In addition, we suggest that the Vestfold Hills complex (East Antartica) was part of this

  14. Gold distribution in Archean continental crust: Evaluating the effects of intracrustal differentiation in the Tanzanian Craton (United States)

    Long, K.; Rudnick, R. L.; McDonough, W. F.; Manya, S.


    We have evaluated the vertical distribution of gold in variably metamorphosed igneous rocks in the Tanzanian Craton: 2.6 Ga upper-crustal greenschist-facies greenstone belt basalts and andesites from the Lake Victoria Gold Field of northern Tanzania, and compositionally similar 2.6 Ga lower-crustal mafic granulite-facies xenoliths that were carried in rift-related basalts that erupted nearby. We implemented the preconcentration method of Pitcairn et al. (2006), which utilizes chromatographic separation of gold from acid-digested rocks using diisobutyl ketone (DIBK), followed by standard addition ICP-MS to determine the distribution of gold in the crust. Repeat analyses of the certified reference material TDB-1, a whole-rock powder diabase dike from Tremblay Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada (certified gold concentration = 6.3 × 1.0 ng/g), yielded an average gold concentration of 6.5 × 1.1 ng/g. Results were reproducible to within 17% for rock powder aliquots between 200-600 mg (n=38), where 400 mg sample aliquots were reproducible to within 6% (n=9), and 600 mg aliquots were reproducible to within 4.5% (n=4). Better reproducibility for the greater sample aliquots likely reflects the 'nugget' effect. Rock samples in the 0.1-0.8 ng/g gold concentration range reproduced to within 27% for 400-600 mg sample aliquots. Although the lavas come from an area containing gold deposits, all were more than 5 km from any gold mine. The Tanzanian greenstone belt basalts have the highest gold concentrations (9 ng/g to 62 μg/g, ave. = 40 (+68/-25) ng/g, 1σ (n=10)), followed by the greenstone belt andesites (0.4 to 120 ng/g, ave. = 1.1 (+0.9/-0.5) ng/g, 1σ (n=14)). The lowest concentrations were observed in the granulite-facies lower-crustal xenoliths (0.1 to 3.3 ng/g, ave. = 0.3 (+0.3/-0.1) ng/g, 1σ (n=21)). Gold is incompatible in silicates and can partition into hydrothermal and/or magmatic fluid or vapour during high-grade metamorphic dehydration reactions or partial melting

  15. Contrasting geochemical and Sm-Nd isotopic compositions of Archean metasediments from the Kongling high-grade terrain of the Yangtze craton: Evidence for cratonic evolution and redistribution of REE during crustal anatexis (United States)

    Gao, Shan; Ling, Wenli; Qiu, Yumin; Lian, Zhou; Hartmann, Gerald; Simon, Klaus


    Twenty-three clastic metasediments from the Kongling high-grade terrain of the Yangtze craton, South China were analyzed for major, trace and rare earth elements and Sm-Nd isotopic ratios. Associated dioritic-tonalitic-trondhjemitic (DTT) and granitic gneisses as well as amphibolites were also analyzed in order to constrain provenance. The results show that the clastic metasediments can be classified into 3 distinct groups in terms of mineralogical, geochemical and Sm-Nd isotopic compositions. Group A is characterized by having no to slight negative Eu anomalies (Eu/Eu∗ = 0.82-1.07), being high in Cr (191-396 ppm) and Ni (68-137 ppm), and low in Th (3.3-7.8 ppm) and REE (ΣREE = 99-156 ppm). These characteristics are similar to those of metasediments from Archean greenstone belts. In addition, the Group A metasediments have the value of the Chemical Index of Alteration (CIW) close to felsic gneisses. Their Sm-Nd isotopic, REE and trace element compositions can be interpreted by mixtures of the DTT gneisses and amphibolites. Dating of detrital zircons from 2 Group A samples by SHRIMP reveals a major concordant age group of 2.87-3.0 Ga, which is identical to the age of the trondhjemitic gneiss. These results strongly suggest that Group A was principally the first-cycle erosion product of the local Kongling DTT gneiss and amphibolite. Moreover, the higher than amphibolite Cr content and slight Eu depletion exhibited by some samples from this group infer that ultramafic rocks like komatiite and granite of probably 3.0-3.3 Ga in age also played a role. Group B is characterized by the presence of graphite and shows a more evolved composition similar to post-Archean shales with a prominent negative Eu anomaly (Eu/Eu∗ = 0.48-0.77) and high CIW. On paired Cr/Th vs La/Co and Co/Th plots, Group B samples conform to a two-end member mixing line of the Kongling granitic gneiss and amphibolite. However, data on Nd model age and CIW suggest that the granite component should

  16. Cooling age of the Birimian juvenile crust in West Africa. U-Pb, Rb-Sr and K-Ar data on the 2. 1 Ga granite-greenstone terrains from SW-Niger. Age de refroidissement de la croute juvenile birimienne d'Afrique de l'Ouest. Donnees U-Pb, Rb-Sr et K-Ar sur les formations a 2. 1 Ga du SW-Niger

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lama, C.; Dautel, D.; Zimmermann, J.L. (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), 54 - Nancy (France). Centre de Recherches Petrographiques et Geochimiques); Barbey, P. (Nancy-1 Univ., 54 (France)); Cheilletz, A. (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), 54 - Nancy (France). Centre de Recherches Petrographiques et Geochimiques Ecole Nationale Superieure de Geologie Appliquee et de Prospection Miniere, 54 - Nancy (France)); Pons, J. (Orleans Univ., 45 (France))


    A comparison between zircon U-Pb, whole-rock Rb-Sr and biotite-amphibole K-Ar data on Birimian granite-greenstone terrains from SW-Niger indicates that the youngest granitic plutons were emplaced at 2.115 [+-] 5 Ma and that both the plutons and the surrounding greenstones yield cooling ages around 2.118 Ma. The age similarity between the end of the plutonism and the cooling of plutons and surrounding greenstone further suggests rapid cooling at the end of the plutonic event and, thus, corroborates a model of greenstone metamorphism linked to the thermal effect of the plutons. (authors).

  17. Diversification in the Archean Biosphere: Insight from NanoSIMS of Microstructures in the Farrel Quartzite of Australia (United States)

    Oehler, D. Z.; Robert, F.; Walter, M. R.; Sugitani, K.; Meibom, A.; Mostefaoui, S.; Gibson, E. K.


    The nature of early life on Earth is difficult to assess because potential Early Archean biosignatures are commonly poorly preserved. Interpretations of such materials have been contested, and abiotic or epigenetic derivations have been proposed (summarized in [1]). Yet, an understanding of Archean life is of astrobiological importance, as knowledge of early evolutionary processes on Earth could provide insight to development of life on other planets. A recently-discovered assemblage of organic microstructures in approx.3 Ga charts of the Farrel Quartzite (FQ) of Australia [2-4] includes unusual spindle-like forms and a variety of spheroids. If biogenicity and syngeneity of these forms could be substantiated, the FQ assemblage would provide a new view of Archean life. Our work uses NanoSIMS to further assess the biogenicity and syngeneity of FQ microstructures. In prior NanoSIMS studies [5-6], we gained an understanding of nano-scale elemental distributions in undisputed microfossils from the Neoproterozoic Bitter Springs Formation of Australia. Those results provide a new tool with which to evaluate poorly preserved materials that we might find in Archean sediments and possibly in extraterrestrial materials. We have applied this tool to the FQ forms.

  18. No coincidence? Exploring the connection between the Great Oxidation Event and craton stabilization during the Archean-Proterozoic transition (United States)

    Kump, L. R.


    As geochronological constraints on the timing of the Great Oxidation Event (here defined as the passage of atmospheric oxygen levels through the proposed upper limit of 10-5 of present) have improved, it has become increasingly clear that this event is somehow tied to the tectonic factors that have defined the Archean-Proterozoic boundary for decades, namely the stabilization of continental cratons allowing for the growth of large continents. We have proposed two connections in the past: 1) elevated late Archean mantle plume activity brought oxidized material from the lithospheric graveyard to the upper mantle, reducing the oxygen fugacity of post-Archean volcanism, and 2) that the stabilization of the cratons allowed for a proportional increase in less-reducing, subaerial volcanism at the expense of more reducing, submarine volcanism. Critiques of these two proposals will be addressed in the context of subsequent work by the geosciences community on the geodynamics and geochemistry of the Archean-Proterozoic transition, and a synthetic hypothesis for a tectonic driver for atmospheric oxygenation will be presented.

  19. Spinifex-textured komatiites in the south border of the Carajas ridge, Selva Greenstone belt, Carajás Province, Brazil (United States)

    Siepierski, Lincoln; Ferreira Filho, Cesar Fonseca


    Spinifex-textured komatiites in the Selva greenstone belt are the first unequivocal examples of komatiites in the Transition Subdomain of the Carajás Mineral Province. Outcrops of spinifex-textured komatiites, located ∼1.5 km to the south of the Carajás ridge, were discovered during regional exploration for Ni-Cu-(PGE) sulfide deposits by VALE. They are associated with a 3.8 km long unit consisting of variable types of ultramafic rocks (talc schist, serpentinite and spinifex-textured komatiite). This ultramafic unit follows the steep dipping NW-SE trending Selva greenstone belt composed mainly by quartz-chlorite schists (interpreted as metasediments) and chlorite-actinolite schists (interpreted as metabasalts). Greenschist facies metamorphic parageneses characterize all rock types in the Selva greenstone belt. The komatiitic rocks in the Selva belt comprise a sequence of flows consisting of an upper spinifex-textured layer and a lower olivine cumulate layer. Although the spinifex and cumulus textures are well preserved in the field, the primary mineralogy of the komatiites has been completely replaced by greenschist facies metamorphic minerals. Platy olivine spinifex texture, consisting of an array of roughly parallel olivine plates, and random spinifex texture, consisting of randomly oriented olivine plates, are the most common primary volcanic textures in komatiites in the Selva greenstone belt. Platy and random spinifex texture is defined by former plates of olivine replaced by serpentine with minor actinolite, chlorite and magnetite, alternating with former matrix replaced by abundant actinolite and minor chlorite, talc, serpentine, and magnetite. The domains between olivine plates in both platy and random spinifex-textured rocks contain irregular arrays of fine-grained parallel crystals, representing primary fine-grained "quench" clinopyroxene crystals replaced by actinolite. Spinifex-textured komatiites have MgO contents bracket between 22.8 and 26.9 wt

  20. A reassessment of the Archean-Mesoproterozoic tectonic development of the southeastern Chhattisgarh Basin, Central India through detailed aeromagnetic analysis (United States)

    Sridhar, M.; Ramesh Babu, V.; Markandeyulu, A.; Raju, B. V. S. N.; Chaturvedi, A. K.; Roy, M. K.


    We constrained the geological framework over polydeformed Paleoproterozoic Sonakhan Greenstone Belt and addressed the tectonic evolution of Singhora basin in the fringes of Bastar Craton, central India by utilizing aeromagnetic data interpretation, 2.5D forward modelling and 3D magnetic susceptibility inversions. The Sonakhan Greenstone Belt exposes volcano-sedimentary sequences of the Sonakhan Group within NNW-SSE to NW-SE trending linear belts surrounded by granite gneisses, which are unconformably overlain by sedimentary rocks of Chhattisgarh Basin. The orientations of aeromagnetic anomalies are coincident with geological trends and appear to correlate with lithology and geologic structure. Regional magnetic anomalies and lineaments reveal both NNW-SSE and NE-SW trends. Prominent E-W trending linear, high amplitude magnetic anomalies are interpreted as the Trans-Chhattisgarh Aeromagnetic Lineament (TCAL). NW-SE trending aeromagnetic signatures related to Sonakhan Greenstone Belt extends below the Singhora sedimentary rocks and forms the basement in the west. The analysis suggests that TCAL is a block fault with northern block down-thrown and affected the basement rocks comprising the Sonakhan Greenstone Belt and Samblapur Granitoids. The episode of faulting represented by the TCAL is pre-Singhora sedimentation and played a vital role in basin evolution. The basement configuration image generated by estimates of depth to magnetic basement suggests a complex pattern of NNE-SSW to NE-SW trending depressions separated by a linear N-S trending basement ridge. It is inferred from the 3D magnetic susceptibility inversion that the thickness of sediments is more towards the eastern basin margin and the N-S ridge is a manifestation of post sedimentary faulting. Results of 2.5D modelling of a WNW-ESE profile across the Singhora Basin combined with results from 3D inversion suggest suggests the basin subsidence was controlled by NE-SW trending regional faults in an active

  1. River Valley pluton, Ontario - A late-Archean/early-Proterozoic anorthositic intrusion in the Grenville Province (United States)

    Ashwal, Lewis D.; Wooden, Joseph L.


    This paper presents Nd, Sr, and Pb isotopic data indicating a late-Archean/early-Proterozoic age for the River Valley anorthositic pluton of the southwestern Grenville Province of Sudbury, Ontario. Pb-Pb isotopic data on 10 whole-rock samples ranging in composition from anorthosite to gabbro yield an age of 2560 + or - 155 Ma. The River Valley pluton is thus the oldest anorthositic intrusive yet recognized within the Grenville Province. The Sm-Nd isotopic system records an age of 2377 + or - 68 Ma. High Pb-208/Pb-204 of deformed samples relative to igneous-textured rocks implies Th introduction and/or U loss during metamorphism in the River Valley area. Rb-Sr data from igneous-textured and deformed samples and from mineral separates give an age of 2185 + or - 105 Ma, indicating substantial disturbance of the Rb-Sr isotopic system.

  2. Evidence for crustal recycling during the Archean: The parental magmas of the stillwater complex (United States)

    Mccallum, I. S.


    The petrology and geochemistry of the Stillwater Complex, an Archean (2.7 Ga) layered mafic intrusion in the Beartooth Mountains of Montana is discussed. Efforts to reconstruct the compositions of possible parental magmas and thereby place some constraints on the composition and history of their mantle source regions was studied. A high-Mg andesite or boninite magma best matches the crystallization sequences and mineral compositions of Stillwater cumulates, and represents either a primary magma composition or a secondary magma formed, for example, by assimilation of crustal material by a very Mg-rich melt such as komatiite. Isotopic data do not support the extensive amounts of assimilation required by the komatiite parent hypothesis, and it is argued that the Stillwater magma was generated from a mantle source that had been enriched by recycling and homogenization of older crustal material over a large area.

  3. In situ carbon isotope analysis of Archean organic matter with SIMS (United States)

    Williford, K. H.; Ushikubo, T.; Lepot, K.; Hallmann, C.; Spicuzza, M. J.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Summons, R. E.; Valley, J. W.


    Spatiotemporal variability in the carbon isotope composition of sedimentary organic matter (OM) preserves information about the evolution of the biosphere and of the exogenic carbon cycle as a whole. Primary compositions, and imprints of the post-depositional processes that obscure them, exist at the scale of individual sedimentary grains (mm to μm). Secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) (1) enables analysis at these scales and in petrographic context, (2) permits morphological and compositional characterization of the analyte and associated minerals prior to isotopic analysis, and (3) reveals patterns of variability homogenized by bulk techniques. Here we present new methods for in situ organic carbon isotope analysis with sub-permil precision and spatial resolution to 1 μm using SIMS, as well as new data acquired from a suite of Archean rocks. Three analytical protocols were developed for the CAMECA ims1280 at WiscSIMS to analyze domains of varying size and carbon concentration. Average reproducibility (at 2SD) using a 6 μm spot size with two Faraday cup detectors was 0.4%, and 0.8% for analyses using 1 μm and 3 μm spot sizes with a Faraday cup (for 12C) and an electron multiplier (for 13C). Eight coals, two ambers, a shungite, and a graphite were evaluated for μm-scale isotopic heterogeneity, and LCNN anthracite (δ13C = -23.56 ± 0.1%, 2SD) was chosen as the working standard. Correlation between instrumental bias and H/C was observed and calibrated for each analytical session using organic materials with H/C between 0.1 and 1.5 (atomic), allowing a correction based upon a 13CH/13C measurement included in every analysis and a 12CH measurement made immediately after every analysis. The total range of the H/C effect observed for the Archean samples analyzed was < 3%. Analyses of Archean OM domains for which 12C count rate varies with the proportions of organic carbon, carbonate carbon, and quartz suggest that instrumental bias is consistent for 12C count

  4. Archean relic body at lower crust in Sulu area: Evidence from magnetic data

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    After the new 1:1000000 aero magnetic data were processed and the three-dimensional inversion work was carried out, a vast high magnetic body northwestward was discovered. The magnetic body is located at the depth of about 20 km on the west side of Tanlu fault and at about 25 km on the east side of Tanlu fault beneath the Sulu area. There is a difference of vertical distance of 3-5 km in depth between both sides. We think that the magnetic body is an Archean metamorphic plate and belongs to the North China block. The discovery of the magnetic body is significant for us to reconstruct the structure model of the Sulu orogenic belt, delineate the suture of collision between the North China block and the Yangtze block, and estimate the depth of slipping surface when the eastside of Tanlu fault moved northward.

  5. The Photochemical Oxidation of Siderite That Drove Hydrogen Based Microbial Redox Reactions in The Archean Biosphere (United States)

    Kim, J. D.; Yee, N.; Falkowski, P. G.


    Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe and molecular hydrogen (H2) is a rich source of electron in a mildly reducing environment for microbial redox reactions, such as anoxygenic photosynthesis and methanogenesis. Subaerial volcanoes, ocean crust serpentinization and mid-ocean ridge volcanoes have been believed to be the major source of the hydrogen flux to the atmosphere. Although ferrous ion (Fe2+) photooxidation has been proposed as an alternative mechanism by which hydrogen gas was produced, ferruginous water in contact with a CO2-bearing atmosphere is supersaturated with respect to FeCO3 (siderite), thus the precipitation of siderite would have been thermodynamically favored in the Archean environment. Siderite is the critical mineral component of the oldest fossilized microbial mat. It has also been inferred as a component of chemical sedimentary protolith in the >3750 Ma Nuvvuagittuq supracrustal belt, Canada and the presence of siderite in the protolith suggests the occurrence of siderite extends to Hadean time. Analyses of photooxidation of siderite suggest a significant flux of hydrogen in the early atmosphere. Our estimate of the hydrogen production rate under Archean solar flux is approximately 50 times greater than the estimated hydrogen production rate by the volcanic activity based on a previous report (Tian et al. Science 2005). Our analyses on siderite photooxidation also suggest a mechanism by which banded iron formation (BIF) was formed. The photooxidation transforms siderite to magnetite/maghemite (spinnel iron oxide), while oxygenic oxidation of siderite leads to goethite, and subsequently to hematite (Fe3+2O3) upon dehydration. We will discuss the photochemical reaction, which was once one of the most ubiquitous photochemical reactions before the rise of oxygen in the atmosphere. Photooxidation of siderite over time by UV light From left to right: UV oxidized siderite, pristine siderite, oxidized siderite by oxygen

  6. Oxidative Weathering of Archean Sulfides: Implications for the Great Oxidation Event (United States)

    Johnson, A.; Romaniello, S. J.; Reinhard, C.; Garcia-Robledo, E.; Revsbech, N. P.; Canfield, D. E.; Lyons, T. W.; Anbar, A. D.


    The first widely accepted evidence for oxidation of Earth's atmosphere and oceans occurs ~2.45 Ga immediately prior to the Great Oxidation Event (GOE). A major line of evidence for this transition includes the abundances and isotopic variations of redox-sensitive transition metals in marine sediments (e.g., Fe, Mo, Re, Cr, and U). It is often assumed that oxidative weathering is required to liberate these redox-sensitive elements from sulfide minerals in the crust, and hence that their presence in early Archean marine sediments signifies that oxidative weathering was stimulated by small and/or transient "whiffs" of O2 in the environment.1 However, studies of crustal sulfide reactivity have not been conducted at O2 concentrations as low as those that would have prevailed when O2 began its rise during the late Archean (estimated at consumed dissolved O2 in a range of pH-buffered solutions.3Our data extend the range of experimental pyrite oxidation rates in the literature by three orders of magnitude from ~10-3 present atmospheric O2 to ~10-6. We find that molybdenite and pyrite oxidation continues to law and reaction order of pyrite oxidation kinetics change significantly at nanomolar concentrations of O2 when compared to previous compilations.2 Our results provide new empirical data that should allow for more precise quantitative constraints on atmospheric pO2 based on the sedimentary rock record. 1Anbar, A.D. et al., 2007. Science, 317, i. 5846: 1903-1906. 2Williamson & Rimstidt, 1994. Geochim. et Cosmochim. Acta, 58, n. 24: 5443-5454. 3Lehner et al., 2015. PLoS ONE, 10, n. 6: 1-15.

  7. Empirical Records of Environmental Change across the Archean-Proterozoic Transition (United States)

    Kaufman, A. J.


    Time-series geochemical analyses of scientific drill cores intersecting the Archean-Proterozoic transition suggest a coupling of environmental and biological change that culminated in the pervasive oxygenation of Earth's atmosphere and oceans. Elemental and multiple isotope measurements of sedimentary archives, including carbonate, shale, and banded iron-formation from Western Australia, South Africa, Brazil, and southern Canada, indicate important changes in the carbon, sulfur, and nitrogen cycles that monitor the redox state of the oceans and the cyanobacterial buildup of atmospheric oxygen and ozone. In response, continental weathering would have increased, resulting in the enhanced delivery of sulfate and nutrients to seawater, further stimulating photoautotrophic fluxes of oxygen to surface environments. The positive feedback may additionally be responsible for the decline of atmospheric methane and surface refrigeration, represented by a series of discrete ice ages beginning around 2.4 billion years ago, due to the loss of greenhouse capacity during a time of lower solar luminosity. While speculative, the linkage of surface oxidation with enhanced nutrient supply and development of stratospheric sunscreen soon after the Archean-Proterozoic boundary suggests that the earliest perturbation in the carbon cycle may be associated with the rapid expansion of single-celled eukaryotes. Both sterol synthesis in eukaryotes and aerobic respiration require significant levels of oxygen in the ambient environment. Hence, Earth's earliest ice age(s) and onset of a modern and far more energetic carbon cycle may have been directly related to the global expansion of cyanobacteria that released oxygen to the environment, and of eukaryotes that respired it.

  8. Modeling the globally-integrated spectral variability of the Archean Earth: The purple planet (United States)

    Palle, E.; Sanroma, E.; Parenteau, M. N.; Kiang, N. Y.; Gutierrez-Navarro, A. M.; Lopez, R.; Montañes-Rodríguez, P.


    Ongoing searches for exoplanetary systems have revealed a wealth of planets with diverse physical properties. Planets even smaller than the Earth have already been detected and the efforts of future missions are aimed at the discovery, and perhaps characterization, of small rocky exoplanets within the habitable zone of their stars. Clearly, what we know about our planet will be our guideline for the characterization of such planets. But the Earth has been inhabited for at least 3.8 Gyr and its appearance has changed with time. Here, we have studied the Earth during the Archean eon, 3 Gyr ago. At that time, one of the more widespread life forms on the planet were purple bacteria. These bacteria are photosynthetic microorganisms and can inhabit both aquatic and terrestrial environments. Here, we use a radiative transfer model to simulate the visible and near-infrared radiation reflected by our planet, taking into account several scenarios regarding the possible distribution of purple bacteria over continents and oceans. We find that purple bacteria have a reflectance spectrum that has a strong reflectivity increase, similar to the red edge of leafy plants, although shifted redward. This feature produces a detectable signal in the disk-averaged spectra of our planet, depending on cloud amount and bacteria concentration/ distribution. We conclude that by using multi-color photometric observations, it is possible to distinguish between an Archean Earth in which purple bacteria inhabit vast extensions of the planet and a present-day Earth with continents covered by deserts, vegetation, or microbial mats.

  9. Characterizing the Purple Earth: Modeling the Globally Integrated Spectral Variability of the Archean Earth (United States)

    Sanromá, E.; Pallé, E.; Parenteau, M. N.; Kiang, N. Y.; Gutiérrez-Navarro, A. M.; López, R.; Montañés-Rodríguez, P.


    Ongoing searches for exoplanetary systems have revealed a wealth of planets with diverse physical properties. Planets even smaller than the Earth have already been detected and the efforts of future missions are aimed at the discovery, and perhaps characterization, of small rocky exoplanets within the habitable zone of their stars. Clearly, what we know about our planet will be our guideline for the characterization of such planets. However, the Earth has been inhabited for at least 3.8 Gyr and its appearance has changed with time. Here, we have studied the Earth during the Archean eon, 3.0 Gyr ago. At that time, one of the more widespread life forms on the planet was purple bacteria. These bacteria are photosynthetic microorganisms and can inhabit both aquatic and terrestrial environments. Here, we use a radiative transfer model to simulate the visible and near-infrared radiation reflected by our planet, taking into account several scenarios regarding the possible distribution of purple bacteria over continents and oceans. We find that purple bacteria have a reflectance spectrum that has a strong reflectivity increase, similar to the red edge of leafy plants, although shifted redward. This feature produces a detectable signal in the disk-averaged spectra of our planet, depending on cloud amount and purple bacteria concentration/distribution. We conclude that by using multi-color photometric observations, it is possible to distinguish between an Archean Earth in which purple bacteria inhabit vast extensions of the planet and a present-day Earth with continents covered by deserts, vegetation, or microbial mats.

  10. Comment on "Radiative forcings for 28 potential Archean greenhouse gases" by Byrne and Goldblatt (2014

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. V. Kochanov


    Full Text Available In the recent article by Byrne and Goldblatt, "Radiative forcing for 28 potential Archean greenhouse gases", Clim. Past. 10, 1779–1801 (2014, the authors employ the HITRAN2012 spectroscopic database to evaluate the radiative forcing of 28 Archean gases. As part of the evaluation of the status of the spectroscopy of these gases in the selected spectral region (50–1800 cm−1, the cross sections generated from the HITRAN line-by-line parameters were compared with those of the PNNL database of experimental cross sections recorded at moderate resolution. The authors claimed that for NO2, HNO3, H2CO, H2O2, HCOOH, C2H4, CH3OH and CH3Br there exist large or sometimes severe disagreements between the databases. In this work we show that for only three of these eight gases a modest discrepancy does exist between the two databases and we explain the origin of the differences. For the other five gases, the disagreements are not nearly at the scale suggested by the authors, while we explain some of the differences that do exist. In summary, the agreement between the HITRAN and PNNL databases is very good, although not perfect. Typically differences do not exceed 10 %, provided that HITRAN data exist for the bands/wavelengths of interest. It appears that a molecule-dependent combination of errors has affected the conclusions of the authors. In at least one case it appears that they did not take the correct file from PNNL (N2O4 (dimer+ NO2 was used in place of the monomer. Finally, cross sections of HO2 from HITRAN (which do not have a PNNL counterpart were not calculated correctly in BG, while in the case of HF misleading discussion was presented there based on the confusion by foreign or noise features in the experimental PNNL spectra.

  11. Reworking Intensity—A Key Factor Leading to the Formation of Superlarge Gold Deposits in Greenstone Belts and Metamorphosed Microclastic Rocks in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王秀璋; 陆德复; 等


    The greenstone belt and metamorphosed microclastic rock-type superlarge gold deposits in China are hosted in metamorphic rocks and later intrusive bodies.Sedimentation.regional metamorphism and mineralization contributed a lot to the formation of the deposits,so did remelting magmatic process to some deposits,but the deposits were finally formed by reworking processes.The key factor leading to the formation of superlarge gold deposits is the reworking intensity,which for superlarge gold deposits is reflected by the large-scale reworked source rocks and even ore materials of various sources,strongly oxidized ore-forming fluids with a long and repeated active history and stable geothermal heat current.The factor which decides the reworking intensity is the network consisting of structures of different classes.

  12. Environmental arsenic contamination and its health effects in a historic gold mining area of the Mangalur greenstone belt of Northeastern Karnataka, India. (United States)

    Chakraborti, Dipankar; Rahman, Mohammad Mahmudur; Murrill, Matthew; Das, Reshmi; Siddayya; Patil, S G; Sarkar, Atanu; Dadapeer, H J; Yendigeri, Saeed; Ahmed, Rishad; Das, Kusal K


    This report summarizes recent findings of environmental arsenic (As) contamination and the consequent health effects in a community located near historic gold mining activities in the Mangalur greenstone belt of Karnataka, India. Arsenic contents in water, hair, nail, soil and food were measured by FI-HG-AAS. Elemental analyses of soils were determined by ICP-MS (inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry). Of 59 tube-well water samples, 79% had As above 10 μg L(-1) (maximum 303 μg L(-1)). Of 12 topsoil samples, six were found to contain As greater than 2000 mg kg(-1) possibly indicating the impact of mine tailings on the area. All hair and nail samples collected from 171 residents contained elevated As. Arsenical skin lesions were observed among 58.6% of a total 181 screened individuals. Histopathological analysis of puncture biopsies of suspected arsenical dermatological symptoms confirmed the diagnosis in three out of four patients. Based on the time-course of As-like symptoms reported by the community as well as the presence of overt arsenicosis, it is hypothesized that the primary route of exposure in the study area was via contaminated groundwater; however, the identified high As content in residential soil could also be a significant source of As exposure via ingestion. Additional studies are required to determine the extent as well as the relative contribution of geologic and anthropogenic factors in environmental As contamination in the region. This study report is to our knowledge one of the first to describe overt arsenicosis in this region of Karnataka, India as well as more broadly an area with underlying greenstone geology and historic mining activity. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Spatially Resolved, In Situ Carbon Isotope Analysis of Archean Organic Matter (United States)

    Williford, Kenneth H.; Ushikubo, Takayuki; Lepot, Kevin; Hallmann, Christian; Spicuzza, Michael J.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Summons, Roger E.; Valley, John W.


    Spatiotemporal variability in the carbon isotope composition of sedimentary organic matter (OM) preserves information about the evolution of the biosphere and of the exogenic carbon cycle as a whole. Primary compositions, and imprints of the post-depositional processes that obscure them, exist at the scale of individual sedimentary grains (mm to micron). Secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) (1) enables analysis at these scales and in petrographic context, (2) permits morphological and compositional characterization of the analyte and associated minerals prior to isotopic analysis, and (3) reveals patterns of variability homogenized by bulk techniques. Here we present new methods for in situ organic carbon isotope analysis with sub-permil precision and spatial resolution to 1 micron using SIMS, as well as new data acquired from a suite of Archean rocks. Three analytical protocols were developed for the CAMECA ims1280 at WiscSIMS to analyze domains of varying size and carbon concentration. Average reproducibility (at 2SD) using a 6 micron spot size with two Faraday cup detectors was 0.4 %, and 0.8 % for analyses using 1 micron and 3 micron spot sizes with a Faraday cup (for C-12) and an electron multiplier (for C-13). Eight coals, two ambers, a shungite, and a graphite were evaluated for micron-scale isotopic heterogeneity, and LCNN anthracite (delta C-13 = -23.56 +/- 0.1 %, 2SD) was chosen as the working standard. Correlation between instrumental bias and H/C was observed and calibrated for each analytical session using organic materials with H/C between 0.1 and 1.5 (atomic), allowing a correction based upon a C-13H/C-13 measurement included in every analysis. Matrix effects of variable C/SiO2 were evaluated by measuring mm to sub-micron graphite domains in quartzite from Bogala mine, Sri Lanka. Apparent instrumental bias and C-12 count rate are correlated in this case, but this may be related to a crystal orientation effect in graphite. Analyses of amorphous

  14. Deep-Time drilling in the Australian Archean: the Agouron Institute geobiological drilling project. (Invited) (United States)

    Buick, R.


    The Agouron Institute has sponsored deep-time drilling across the South African Archean-Proterozoic boundary, investigating the rise of oxygen over an onshore-offshore environmental transect. It is now supporting a drilling program in the Australian Archean of the Pilbara Craton, addressing a similar theme but with the added goal of resolving controversy over the age and origin of hydrocarbon biomarker molecules in ancient kerogenous shales. As these have been claimed to provide evidence for the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis long before the rise of atmospheric oxygen to persistently high levels during the ~2.3 Ga “Great Oxidation Event”, their syngenesis with their host shales is thus of critical importance for the interpretation of Earth’s early oxygenation history. During the first drilling season, 3 holes were drilled using techniques and equipment to minimize organic geochemical contamination (new drill-string components cleaned before drilling potentially biomarker-bearing rocks, pre-contamination of drilling fluid with a synthetic organic compound of similar geochemical characteristics to biomarkers, sterile cutting and storage of samples immediately upon retrieval from the core-barrel). The initial hole was a blank control for organic geochemistry, drilled into rocks too metamorphosed to retain biomarker molecules. These rocks, cherts, carbonates and pelites of the 3.52 Ga Coucal Formation, Coonterunah Group, have been metamorphosed to upper greenschist facies at temperatures near 500°C and so should have had any ancient soluble hydrocarbons destroyed. However, because they contain both carbonate and organic carbon, these rocks can instead provide isotopic information about the earliest evolution of biological metabolism as they possess residues of both the reactant and product sides of the carbon-fixation reaction. The second hole sampled an on-shore section of carbonates and kerogenous shales in the ~2.65 Ga Carawine Dolomite and Lewin Shale

  15. Development of the archean crust in the medina mountain area, wind river range, wyoming (U.S.A.) (United States)

    Koesterer, M.E.; Frost, C.D.; Frost, B.R.; Hulsebosch, T.P.; Bridgwater, D.; Worl, R.G.


    Evidence for an extensive Archean crustal history in the Wind River Range is preserved in the Medina Mountain area in the west-central part of the range. The oldest rocks in the area are metasedimentary, mafic, and ultramafic blocks in a migmatite host. The supracrustal rocks of the Medina Mountain area (MMS) are folded into the migmatites, and include semi-pelitic and pelitic gneisses, and mafic rocks of probable volcanic origin. Mafic dikes intrude the older migmatites but not the MMS, suggesting that the MMS are distinctly younger than the supracrustal rocks in the migmatites. The migmatites and the MMS were engulfed by the late Archean granite of the Bridger, Louis Lake, and Bears Ears batholiths, which constitutes the dominant rock of the Wind River Range. Isotopic data available for the area include Nd crustal residence ages from the MMS which indicate that continental crust existed in the area at or before 3.4 Ga, but the age of the older supracrustal sequence is not yet known. The upper age of the MMS is limited by a 2.7 Ga RbSr age of the Bridger batholith, which was emplaced during the waning stages of the last regional metamorphism. The post-tectonic Louis Lake and Bears Ears batholiths have ages of 2.6 and 2.5 Ga, respectively (Stuckless et al., 1985). At least three metamorphic events are recorded in the area: (1) an early regional granulite event (M1) that affected only the older inclusions within the migmatites, (2) a second regional amphibolite event (M2) that locally reached granulite facies conditions, and (3) a restricted, contact granulite facies event (M3) caused by the intrusion of charnockitic melts associated with the late Archean plutons. Results from cation exchange geobarometers and geothermometers yield unreasonablu low pressures and temperatures, suggesting resetting during the long late Archean thermal evenn. ?? 1987.

  16. Geochemistry of Archean metasedimentary rocks of the Aravalli craton, NW India: Implications for provenance, paleoweathering and supercontinent reconstruction (United States)

    Ahmad, Iftikhar; Mondal, M. E. A.; Satyanarayanan, M.


    Basement complex of the Aravalli craton (NW India) known as the Banded Gneissic Complex (BGC) is classified into two domains viz. Archean BGC-I and Proterozoic BGC-II. We present first comprehensive geochemical study of the Archean metasedimentary rocks occurring within the BGC-I. These rocks occur associated with intrusive amphibolites in a linear belt within the basement gneisses. The association is only concentrated on the western margin of the BGC-I. The samples are highly mature (MSm) to very immature (MSi), along with highly variable geochemistry. Their major (SiO2/Al2O3, Na2O/K2O and Al2O3/TiO2) and trace (Th/Sc, Cr/Th, Th/Co, La/Sc, Zr/Sc) element ratios, and rare earth element (REE) patterns are consistent with derivation of detritus from the basement gneisses and its mafic enclaves, with major contribution from the former. Variable mixing between the two end members and closed system recycling (cannibalism) resulted in the compositional heterogeneity. Chemical index of alteration (CIA) of the samples indicate low to moderate weathering of the source terrain in a sub-tropical environment. In A-CN-K ternary diagram, some samples deceptively appear to have undergone post-depositional K-metasomatism. Nevertheless, their petrography and geochemistry (low K2O and Rb) preclude the post-depositional alteration. We propose non-preferential leaching of elements during cannibalism as the cause of the deceptive K-metasomatism as well as enigmatic low CIA values of some highly mature samples. The Archean metasedimentary rocks were deposited on stable basement gneisses, making the BGC-I a plausible participant in the Archean Ur supercontinent.

  17. Multiple sulfur-isotope signatures in Archean sulfates and their implications for the chemistry and dynamics of the early atmosphere (United States)

    Muller, Élodie; Philippot, Pascal; Rollion-Bard, Claire; Cartigny, Pierre


    Sulfur isotopic anomalies (∆33S and ∆36S) have been used to trace the redox evolution of the Precambrian atmosphere and to document the photochemistry and transport properties of the modern atmosphere. Recently, it was shown that modern sulfate aerosols formed in an oxidizing atmosphere can display important isotopic anomalies, thus questioning the significance of Archean sulfate deposits. Here, we performed in situ 4S-isotope measurements of 3.2- and 3.5-billion-year (Ga)-old sulfates. This in situ approach allows us to investigate the diversity of Archean sulfate texture and mineralogy with unprecedented resolution and from then on to deconvolute the ocean and atmosphere Archean sulfur cycle. A striking feature of our data is a bimodal distribution of δ34S values at ˜+5‰ and +9‰, which is matched by modern sulfate aerosols. The peak at +5‰ represents barite of different ages and host-rock lithology showing a wide range of ∆33S between -1.77‰ and +0.24‰. These barites are interpreted as primary volcanic emissions formed by SO2 photochemical processes with variable contribution of carbonyl sulfide (OCS) shielding in an evolving volcanic plume. The δ34S peak at +9‰ is associated with non-33S-anomalous barites displaying negative ∆36S values, which are best interpreted as volcanic sulfate aerosols formed from OCS photolysis. Our findings confirm the occurrence of a volcanic photochemical pathway specific to the early reduced atmosphere but identify variability within the Archean sulfate isotope record that suggests persistence throughout Earth history of photochemical reactions characteristic of the present-day stratosphere.

  18. Eclogite-High-Pressure Granulite Belt in Northern Edge of the Archean North China Craton

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    The discovery of retrograded eclogites and high-pressure basic granulites in the joining region of Hebei-Shanxi-Inner Mongolia (HSIM) abandon the old thoughts that Archean granulites in the North China craton are of middle or low pressure facies and promote the reconsideration of Early Precambrian cratonization tectonic process, and reveal the geological fact that the scale, rigid behavior and geological structure of Archean cratonic blocks have strong similarities to the present fundamental plate tectonics, which suggest new tectonic mechanism to understand the early continental evolution of the North China craton. (1) The retrograded eclogites and high-pressure granulites constitute a ENE-NE-striking structure-rock zone termed as the Sanggan structural belt. (2) The retrograded eclogites are closely associated with high-pressure granulites. We can call this belt a transitional eclogite-granulite facies metamorphic belt. Petrographically three metamorphic stages, at least, in the retrograded eclogite can be distinguished. ① The main mineral assemblage is composed of garnet+clinopyroxene+quartz+rutile. The mineral inclusions in garnet are fine-grained quartz, rutile and small inclusions of fine-grained second stage mineral aggregate. This aggregate consists of hypersthene+albite, and has the typical texture of small hypersthene core surrounded by albite micro-grained grains. ② The second mineral assemblage is represented by corona of garnet and symplectite of clinopyroxene. The corona of garnet is composed of hypersthene+plagioclase+clinopyroxene+a minor amount of quartz and magnetite. The symplectite of clinopyroxene is composed of hypersthene + albite+clinopyroxene. The secondary mineral assemblage along boundaries between quartz and garnet (or clinopyroxene) is fine-grained aggregate of hypersthene and clinopyroxene. ③ The third retrograded metamorphic minerals are mainly amphiboles replacing pyroxenes and plagioclases replacing garnets. The estimated

  19. Sulfur Isotope Trends in Archean Microbialite Facies Record Early Oxygen Production and Consumption (United States)

    Zerkle, A.; Meyer, N.; Izon, G.; Poulton, S.; Farquhar, J.; Claire, M.


    The major and minor sulfur isotope composition (δ34S and Δ33S) of pyrites preserved in ~2.65-2.5 billion-year-old (Ga) microbialites record localized oxygen production and consumption near the mat surface. These trends are preserved in two separate drill cores (GKF01 and BH1-Sacha) transecting the Campbellrand-Malmani carbonate platform (Ghaap Group, Transvaal Supergroup, South Africa; Zerkle et al., 2012; Izon et al., in review). Microbialite pyrites possess positive Δ33S values, plotting parallel to typical Archean trends (with a Δ33S/δ34S slope of ~0.9) but enriched in 34S by ~3 to 7‰. We propose that these 34S-enriched pyrites were formed from a residual pool of sulfide that was partially oxidized via molecular oxygen produced by surface mat-dwelling cyanobacteria. Sulfide, carrying the range of Archean Δ33S values, could have been produced deeper within the microbial mat by the reduction of sulfate and elemental sulfur, then fractionated upon reaction with O2 produced by oxygenic photosynthesis. Preservation of this positive 34S offset requires that: 1) sulfide was only partially (50­­-80%) consumed by oxidation, meaning H2S was locally more abundant (or more rapidly produced) than O2, and 2) the majority of the sulfate produced via oxidation was not immediately reduced to sulfide, implying either that the sulfate pool was much larger than the sulfide pool, or that the sulfate formed near the mat surface was transported and reduced in another part of the system. Contrastingly, older microbialite facies (> 2.7 Ga; Thomazo et al., 2013) appear to lack these observed 34S enrichments. Consequently, the onset of 34S enrichments could mark a shift in mat ecology, from communities dominated by anoxygenic photosynthesizers to cyanobacteria. Here, we test these hypotheses with new spatially resolved mm-scale trends in sulfur isotope measurements from pyritized stromatolites of the Vryburg Formation, sampled in the lower part of the BH1-Sacha core. Millimeter

  20. In search of early life: Carbonate veins in Archean metamorphic rocks as potential hosts of biomarkers (United States)

    Peters, Carl A.; Piazolo, Sandra; Webb, Gregory E.; Dutkiewicz, Adriana; George, Simon C.


    The detection of early life signatures using hydrocarbon biomarkers in Precambrian rocks struggles with contamination issues, unspecific biomarkers and the lack of suitable sedimentary rocks due to extensive thermal overprints. Importantly, host rocks must not have been exposed to temperatures above 250 °C as at these temperatures biomarkers are destroyed. Here we show that Archean sedimentary rocks from the Jeerinah Formation (2.63 billion yrs) and Carawine Dolomite (2.55 billion yrs) of the Pilbara Craton (Western Australia) drilled by the Agouron Institute in 2012, which previously were suggested to be suitable for biomarker studies, were metamorphosed to the greenschist facies. This is higher than previously reported. Both the mineral assemblages (carbonate, quartz, Fe-chlorite, muscovite, microcline, rutile, and pyrite with absence of illite) and chlorite geothermometry suggest that the rocks were exposed to temperatures higher than 300 °C and probably ∼400 °C, consistent with greenschist-facies metamorphism. This facies leads to the destruction of any biomarkers and explains why the extraction of hydrocarbon biomarkers from pristine drill cores has not been successful. However, we show that the rocks are cut by younger formation-specific carbonate veins containing primary oil-bearing fluid inclusions and solid bitumens. Type 1 veins in the Carawine Dolomite consist of dolomite, quartz and solid bitumen, whereas type 2 veins in the Jeerinah Formation consist of calcite. Within the veins fluid inclusion homogenisation temperatures and calcite twinning geothermometry indicate maximum temperatures of ∼200 °C for type 1 veins and ∼180 °C for type 2 veins. Type 1 veins have typical isotopic values for reprecipitated Archean sea-water carbonates, with δ13CVPDB ranging from - 3 ‰ to 0‰ and δ18OVPDB ranging from - 13 ‰ to - 7 ‰, while type 2 veins have isotopic values that are similar to hydrothermal carbonates, with δ13CVPDB ranging from - 18

  1. How to draw down CO2 from severe Hadean to habitable Archean? (United States)

    Zhelezinskaia, I.; Ding, S.; Mulyukova, E.; Martirosyan, N.; Johnson, A.; West, J. D.; Kolesnichenko, M.; Saloor, N.; Moucha, R.


    It has been hypothesized that as the magma ocean crystallized in the Hadean, volatiles such as CO2 and H2O were released to the surface culminating with the formation of a liquid ocean by about 4.4 Ga [1] and hot CO2-rich atmosphere [2]. The resulting late Hadean atmospheric pCO2 may have been as high as 100 bars [3] with corresponding surface temperatures ~500 K [4]. Geological evidence suggests that by the early-to-mid Archean, atmospheric pCO2 became less than 1 bar [5]. However, the mechanisms responsible for the great amount of CO2 drawdown in a relatively short period of time remain enigmatic. To identify these possible mechanisms, we have developed a box model during the CIDER 2015 Summer Program that takes into account geological constraints on basalt alteration [6, 7] and possible rate of new oceanic crust formation [8] for the Archean. Our model integrates geodynamic and geochemical approaches of interaction between the Hadean atmosphere, hydrosphere, oceanic crust, and mantle to drawdown CO2. Our primary assumption for the Hadean is the absence of the continental crust and thus continental weathering. Therefore in the model we present, the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is regulated by the formation of oceanic crust (OC), rate of the interaction between the ocean and OC, and carbonate subduction/CO2 degassing. Preliminary results suggest that it would take about 1 billion years for the atmospheric CO2 to decrease to 1 bar if the production of oceanic crust was 10 times more than today and the pH of the ocean was less than 7, making the basalt alteration more efficient. However, there is evidence that some continental crust began to form as early as 4.4 Ga [9] and therefore the role of continental weathering and its rate of CO2 drawdown will need to be further explored. References: [1] Wilde et al. (2001). Nature 409(6817), 175-178. [2] Walker (1985). Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere 16(2), 117-127. [3] Elkins-Tanton (2008). EPSL, 271, 181

  2. Archean Earth Atmosphere Fractal Haze Aggregates: Light Scattering Calculations and the Faint Young Sun Paradox (United States)

    Boness, D. A.; Terrell-Martinez, B.


    As part of an ongoing undergraduate research project of light scattering calculations involving fractal carbonaceous soot aggregates relevant to current anthropogenic and natural sources in Earth's atmosphere, we have read with interest a recent paper [E.T. Wolf and O.B Toon,Science 328, 1266 (2010)] claiming that the Faint Young Sun paradox discussed four decades ago by Carl Sagan and others can be resolved without invoking heavy CO2 concentrations as a greenhouse gas warming the early Earth enough to sustain liquid water and hence allow the origin of life. Wolf and Toon report that a Titan-like Archean Earth haze, with a fractal haze aggregate nature due to nitrogen-methane photochemistry at high altitudes, should block enough UV light to protect the warming greenhouse gas NH3 while allowing enough visible light to reach the surface of the Earth. To test this hypothesis, we have employed a rigorous T-Matrix arbitrary-particle light scattering technique, to avoid the simplifications inherent in Mie-sphere scattering, on haze fractal aggregates at UV and visible wavelenths of incident light. We generate these model aggregates using diffusion-limited cluster aggregation (DLCA) algorithms, which much more closely fit actual haze fractal aggregates than do diffusion-limited aggregation (DLA) algorithms.

  3. Geochemistry of Archean Tonalitic—Ganodioritic Gneisses from Chicheng County,Northwestern Hebei Province

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈岳龙; 陈伟邦; 等


    Detailed geological,chronological,mineralogical,petrological and geochemical studies have been conducted of the Chichent gneissic complex in northwestern Hebei province.The gneissic complex is composed mainly of tonalitic-granodioritic rocks according to O'Connor's classification.The zircou U-Pb age of the gneissic complex is 2468-27+33 Ma.,consistent with that of the rocks in the North Tonalitic-granodioritic Gneiss Belt in the North China Platorm.The Archean Chicheng gneissic complex is part of the belt.No significant difference in composition between early anhedral metasomatic and late semi-euhedral plagiocalases suggests that the gneissic complex is not composed merely of mafic rocks replaced by felsic fiuids.The REE patterns in the complex,in conjunction with major and trace elements data,show that the gneissic complex is the mixture of felsic magma produced by partial melting of FI dacitic granulite and crystallate derived from the magma produced by 50%±partial melting of TH2 tholeiitic granulite and 40%±fractional crystallization of hornblende.

  4. New Constraints on Archean-Paleoproterozoic Carbonate Chemistry and pCO2 (United States)

    Blättler, C. L.; Higgins, J. A.


    Very few constraints exist on Archean and Proterozoic seawater chemistry, leaving huge uncertainties on the boundary conditions for the evolution of life and a habitable environment. Ancient carbonate chemistry, which is intimately related to oceanic pH and atmospheric pCO2, remains particularly uncertain, despite its importance for understanding environments and temperatures on early Earth. Using a new application of high-precision calcium isotope measurements, we present data from the Tumbiana Formation (2.7 Ga, Western Australia), the Campbellrand Platform (2.6 Ga, South Africa) and the Pethei Group (1.9 Ga, Northwest Territories, Canada) that allow us to place constraints on carbonate chemistry both before and after the Great Oxidation Event. By analogy with calcium isotope behavior in sulfate minerals (Blättler and Higgins, 2014) and Mono Lake (Nielsen and DePaolo, 2013), we infer a lower limit on the ratio of calcium ions to carbonate alkalinity during deposition of these three sedimentary sequences. These data rule out the soda ocean hypothesis (Kempe and Degens, 1985) and make further predictions about the role of CO2 in solving the faint young Sun problem.

  5. Microaerobic steroid biosynthesis and the molecular fossil record of Archean life (United States)

    Waldbauer, Jacob R.; Newman, Dianne K.; Summons, Roger E.


    The power of molecular oxygen to drive many crucial biogeochemical processes, from cellular respiration to rock weathering, makes reconstructing the history of its production and accumulation a first-order question for understanding Earth’s evolution. Among the various geochemical proxies for the presence of O2 in the environment, molecular fossils offer a unique record of O2 where it was first produced and consumed by biology: in sunlit aquatic habitats. As steroid biosynthesis requires molecular oxygen, fossil steranes have been used to draw inferences about aerobiosis in the early Precambrian. However, better quantitative constraints on the O2 requirement of this biochemistry would clarify the implications of these molecular fossils for environmental conditions at the time of their production. Here we demonstrate that steroid biosynthesis is a microaerobic process, enabled by dissolved O2 concentrations in the nanomolar range. We present evidence that microaerobic marine environments (where steroid biosynthesis was possible) could have been widespread and persistent for long periods of time prior to the earliest geologic and isotopic evidence for atmospheric O2. In the late Archean, molecular oxygen likely cycled as a biogenic trace gas, much as compounds such as dimethylsulfide do today. PMID:21825157

  6. Large sulfur-isotope anomaly in nonvolcanic sulfate aerosol and its implications for the Archean atmosphere. (United States)

    Shaheen, Robina; Abaunza, Mariana M; Jackson, Teresa L; McCabe, Justin; Savarino, Joël; Thiemens, Mark H


    Sulfur-isotopic anomalies have been used to trace the evolution of oxygen in the Precambrian atmosphere and to document past volcanic eruptions. High-precision sulfur quadruple isotope measurements of sulfate aerosols extracted from a snow pit at the South Pole (1984-2001) showed the highest S-isotopic anomalies (Δ(33)S = +1.66‰ and Δ(36)S = +2‰) in a nonvolcanic (1998-1999) period, similar in magnitude to Pinatubo and Agung, the largest volcanic eruptions of the 20th century. The highest isotopic anomaly may be produced from a combination of different stratospheric sources (sulfur dioxide and carbonyl sulfide) via SOx photochemistry, including photoexcitation and photodissociation. The source of anomaly is linked to super El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) (1997-1998)-induced changes in troposphere-stratosphere chemistry and dynamics. The data possess recurring negative S-isotope anomalies (Δ(36)S = -0.6 ± 0.2‰) in nonvolcanic and non-ENSO years, thus requiring a second source that may be tropospheric. The generation of nonvolcanic S-isotopic anomalies in an oxidizing atmosphere has implications for interpreting Archean sulfur deposits used to determine the redox state of the paleoatmosphere.

  7. The Pale Orange Dot: The Spectrum and Habitability of Hazy Archean Earth

    CERN Document Server

    Arney, Giada; Meadows, Victoria S; Wolf, Eric T; Schwieterman, Edward; Charnay, Benjamin; Claire, Mark; Hébrard, Eric; Trainer, Melissa G


    Recognizing whether a planet can support life is a primary goal of future exoplanet spectral characterization missions, but past research on habitability assessment has largely ignored the vastly different conditions that have existed in our planet's long habitable history. This study presents simulations of a habitable yet dramatically different phase of Earth's history, when the atmosphere contained a Titan-like organic-rich haze. Prior work has claimed a haze-rich Archean Earth (3.8-2.5 billion years ago) would be frozen due to the haze's cooling effects. However, no previous studies have self-consistently taken into account climate, photochemistry, and fractal hazes. Here, we demonstrate using coupled climate-photochemical-microphysical simulations that hazes can cool the planet's surface by about 20 K, but habitable conditions with liquid surface water could be maintained with a relatively thick haze layer (tau ~ 5 at 200 nm) even with the fainter young sun. We find that optically thicker hazes are self-...

  8. Characterizing the purple Earth: Modelling the globally-integrated spectral variability of the Archean Earth

    CERN Document Server

    Sanromá, E; Parenteau, M N; Kiang, N Y; Gutiérrez-Navarro, A M; López, R; Montañés-Rodríguez, P


    The ongoing searches for exoplanetary systems have revealed a wealth of planets with diverse physical properties. Planets even smaller than the Earth have already been detected, and the efforts of future missions are placed on the discovery, and perhaps characterization, of small rocky exoplanets within the habitable zone of their stars. Clearly what we know about our planet will be our guideline for the characterization of such planets. But the Earth has been inhabited for at least 3.8 Ga, and its appearance has changed with time. Here, we have studied the Earth during the Archean eon, 3.0 Ga ago. At that time one of the more widespread life forms on the planet were purple bacteria. These bacteria are photosynthetic microorganisms and can inhabit both aquatic and terrestrial environments. Here, we used a radiative transfer model to simulate the visible and near-IR radiation reflected by our planet, taking into account several scenarios regarding the possible distribution of purple bacteria over continents an...

  9. Trace element differences between Archean, Proterozoic and Phanerozoic crustal components: Implications for crustal growth processes (United States)

    Tarney, J.; Wyborn, L. E. A.; Sheraton, J. W.; Wyborn, D.


    Critical to models for continental crust growth and recycling are the processes through which crustal growth takes place. In particular, it is important to know whether these processes have changed fundamentally with time in response to the earth's thermal evolution, and whether the crustal compositions generated are compatible with crustal remobilization, crustal recycling, or represent primary additions. There are some significant and consistent differences in the major and trace element compositions of crustal components with time which have important implications for crustal growth processes. These will be illustrated with reference to Archean rocks from a number of shield areas, Proterozoic granitoids from Australia and elsewhere, Palaeozoic granitoids from Australia and Scotland, and Mesozoic - recent granitoids from present continental margin belts. Surprisingly some rather simple and consistent patterns energy using this technique. There are then significant differences in compositions of granitoid crustal additions throughout geological time, with a particular type of granitoid apparently dominating a particular time period. This implies that the tectonic processes giving rise to granite generation have changed in response to the earth's thermal evolution.

  10. Mesoproterozoic suturing of Archean crustal blocks in western peninsular India: Implications for India-Madagascar correlations (United States)

    Ishwar-Kumar, C.; Santosh, M.; Wilde, S. A.; Tsunogae, T.; Itaya, T.; Windley, B. F.; Sajeev, K.


    The Kumta and Mercara suture zones welding together Archean crustal blocks in western peninsular India offer critical insights into Precambrian continental juxtapositions and the crustal evolution of eastern Gondwana. Here we present the results from an integrated study of the structure, geology, petrology, mineral chemistry, metamorphic P-T conditions, zircon U-Pb ages and Lu-Hf isotopes of metasedimentary rocks from the two sutures. The dominant rocks in the Kumta suture are greenschist- to amphibolite-facies quartz-phengite schist, garnet-biotite schist, chlorite schist, fuchsite schist and marble. The textural relations, mineral chemistry and thermodynamic modelling of garnet-biotite schist from the Kumta suture indicate peak metamorphic P-T conditions of ca. 11 kbar at 790 °C, with detrital SHRIMP U-Pb zircon ages ranging from 3420 to 2547 Ma, εHf (t) values from - 9.2 to 5.6, and TDMc model ages from 3747 to 2792 Ma. The K-Ar age of phengite from quartz-phengite schist is ca. 1326 Ma and that of biotite from garnet-biotite schist is ca. 1385 Ma, which are interpreted to broadly constrain the timing of metamorphism related to the suturing event. The Mercara suture contains amphibolite- to granulite-facies mylonitic quartzo-feldspathic gneiss, garnet-kyanite-sillimanite gneiss, garnet-biotite-kyanite-gedrite-cordierite gneiss, garnet-biotite-hornblende gneiss, calc-silicate granulite and metagabbro. The textural relations, mineral chemistry and thermodynamic modelling of garnet-biotite-kyanite-gedrite-cordierite gneiss from the Mercara suture indicate peak metamorphic P-T conditions of ca. 13 kbar at 825 °C, followed by isothermal decompression and cooling. For pelitic gneisses from the Mercara suture, LA-ICP-MS U-Pb zircon ages vary from 3249 to 3045 Ma, εHf (t) values range from - 18.9 to 4.2, and TDMc model ages vary from 4094 to 3314 Ma. The lower intercept age of detrital zircons in the pelitic gneisses from the Mercara suture ranges from 1464 to 1106

  11. Generation of TTG rocks in the Archean: insight from numerical simulations (United States)

    Rozel, Antoine; Golabek, Gregor; Gerya, Taras; Jain, Charitra; Tackley, Paul


    We study the creation of primordial continental crust (TTG rocks) for the first time employing fully self-consistent numerical models of thermochemical convection on a global scale. Starting from a pyrolytic bulk composition and an initially hot core, we first generate oceanic crust and depleted mantle. In our model, the basaltic material is both erupted at the surface and intruded at the base of the crust following a predefined partitioning. Second, we track the pressure-temperature conditions of the newly formed hydrated basalt and check if it matches the conditions necessary for the formation of primordial continental crust. We show that the "heat-pipe" model (assuming 100% eruption and no intrusion) proposed to be the main heat loss mechanism during the Archean epoch (Moore & Webb 2013) is not able to produce continental crust since it forms a cold and thick lithosphere. We systematically test various mechanical properties of the brittle domain (friction coefficients). Using our parameter study, we are also able to show that an intrusion fraction close to 70% (in agreement with [Crisp 1984]) combined with a friction coefficient of 0.2 products the expected amount of the three main petrological TTG compositions previously reported (Moyen 2011). This study represents a major step towards the production of self-consistent convection models able to generate the continental crust of the Earth. REFERENCES Crisp, J. A. (1984), Rates of magma emplacement and volcanic output. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 20(3-4), 177-211. Moore, W., and A. Webb (2013), Heat-pipe earth. Nature, 501, 501-505, doi:10.1038/nature12473. Moyen, J. (2011), The composite archaean grey gneisses: Petrological significance, and evidence for a non-unique tectonic setting for archaean crustal growth. Lithos, 123, 21-36, doi: 10.1016/j.lithos.2010.09.015.

  12. Cenozoic uplift on the West Greenland margin: active sedimentary basins in quiet Archean terranes. (United States)

    Jess, Scott; Stephenson, Randell; Brown, Roderick


    The North Atlantic is believed by some authors to have experienced tectonically induced uplift within the Cenozoic. Examination of evidence, onshore and offshore, has been interpreted to imply the presence of kilometre scale uplift across the margins of the Barents Sea, North Sea, Baffin Bay and Greenland Sea. Development of topography on the West Greenland margin (Baffin Bay), in particular, has been subject to much discussion and dispute. A series of low temperature thermochronological (AFT and AHe) studies onshore and interpretation of seismic architecture offshore have suggested uplift of the entire margin totalling ~3km. However, challenges to this work and recent analysis on the opposing margin (Baffin Island) have raised questions about the validity of this interpretation. The present work reviews and remodels the thermochronological data from onshore West Greenland with the aim of re-evaluating our understanding of the margin's history. New concepts within the discipline, such as effect of radiation damage on Helium diffusivity, contemporary modelling approaches and denudational mapping are all utilised to investigate alternative interpretations to this margins complex post rift evolution. In contrast to earlier studies our new approach indicates slow protracted cooling across much of the region; however, reworked sedimentary samples taken from the Cretaceous Nuussuaq Basin display periods of rapid reheating and cooling. These new models suggest the Nuussuaq Basin experienced a tectonically active Cenozoic, while the surrounding Archean basement remained quiet. Faults located within the basin appear to have been reactivated during the Palaeocene and Eocene, a period of well-documented inversion events throughout the North Atlantic, and may have resulted in subaerial kilometre scale uplift. This interpretation of the margin's evolution has wider implications for the treatment of low temperature thermochronological data and the geological history of the North

  13. Geochemical constraints on komatiite volcanism from Sargur Group Nagamangala greenstone belt, western Dharwar craton, southern India: Implications for Mesoarchean mantle evolution and continental growth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available We present field, petrographic, major and trace element data for komatiites and komatiite basalts from Sargur Group Nagamangala greenstone belt, western Dharwar craton. Field evidences such as crude pillow structure indicate their eruption in a marine environment whilst spinifex texture reveals their komatiite nature. Petrographic data suggest that the primary mineralogy has been completely altered during post-magmatic processes associated with metamorphism corresponding to greenschist to lower amphibolite facies conditions. The studied komatiites contain serpentine, talc, tremolite, actinolite and chlorite whilst tremolite, actinolite with minor plagioclase in komatiitic basalts. Based on the published Sm-Nd whole rock isochron ages of adjoining Banasandra komatiites (northern extension of Nagamangala belt and further northwest in Nuggihalli belt and Kalyadi belt we speculate ca. 3.2–3.15 Ga for komatiite eruption in Nagamangala belt. Trace element characteristics particularly HFSE and REE patterns suggest that most of the primary geochemical characteristics are preserved with minor influence of post-magmatic alteration and/or contamination. About 1/3 of studied komatiites show Al-depletion whilst remaining komatiites and komatiite basalts are Al-undepleted. Several samples despite high MgO, (Gd/YbN ratios show low CaO/Al2O3 ratios. Such anomalous values could be related to removal of CaO from komatiites during fluid-driven hydrothermal alteration, thus lowering CaO/Al2O3 ratios. The elemental characteristics of Al-depleted komatiites such as higher (Gd/YbN (>1.0, CaO/Al2O3 (>1.0, Al2O3/TiO2 (18 together with higher HREE, Y, Zr suggest their derivation from shallower upper mantle without garnet involvement in residue. The observed chemical characteristics (CaO/Al2O3, Al2O3/TiO2, MgO, Ni, Cr, Nb, Zr, Y, Hf, and REE indicate derivation of the komatiite and komatiite basalt magmas from heterogeneous mantle (depleted to primitive mantle at

  14. Iron isotopes in ancient and modern komatiites: Evidence in support of an oxidised mantle from Archean to present (United States)

    Hibbert, K. E. J.; Williams, H. M.; Kerr, A. C.; Puchtel, I. S.


    The mantle of the modern Earth is relatively oxidised compared to the initially reducing conditions inferred for core formation. The timing of the oxidation of the mantle is not conclusively resolved but has important implications for the timing of the development of the hydrosphere and atmosphere. In order to examine the timing of this oxidation event, we present iron isotope data from three exceptionally well preserved komatiite localities, Belingwe (2.7 Ga), Vetreny (2.4 Ga) and Gorgona (0.089 Ga). Measurements of Fe isotope compositions of whole-rock samples are complemented by the analysis of olivine, spinel and pyroxene separates. Bulk-rock and olivine Fe isotope compositions (δ57Fe) define clear linear correlations with indicators of magmatic differentiation (Mg#, Cr#). The mean Fe isotope compositions of the 2.7-2.4 Ga and 0.089 Ga samples are statistically distinct and this difference can be explained by greater extent of partial melting represented by the older samples and higher mantle ambient temperatures in the Archean and early Proterozoic relative to the present day. Significantly, samples of all ages define continuous positive linear correlations between bulk rock δ57Fe and V/Sc and δ57Fe and V, and between V/Sc and V with TiO2, providing evidence for the incompatible behaviour of V (relative to Sc) and of isotopically heavy Fe. Partial melting models calculated using partition coefficients for V at oxygen fugacities (fO2s) of 0 and + 1 relative to the fayalite-magnetite-quartz buffer (FMQ) best match the data arrays, which are defined by all samples, from late Archean to Tertiary. These data, therefore, provide evidence for komatiite generation under moderately oxidising conditions since the late Archean, and argue against a change in mantle fO2 concomitant with atmospheric oxygenation at ~ 2.4 Ga.

  15. Block and shear-zone architecture of the Minnesota River Valley subprovince: Implications for late Archean accretionary tectonics (United States)

    Southwick, D.L.; Chandler, V.W.


    The Minnesota River Valley subprovince of the Superior Province is an Archean gneiss terrane composed internally of four crustal blocks bounded by three zones of east-northeast-trending linear geophysical anomalies. Two of the block-bounding zones are verified regional-scale shears. The geological nature of the third boundary has not been established. Potential-field geophysical models portray the boundary zones as moderately north-dipping surfaces or thin slabs similar in strike and dip to the Morris fault segment of the Great Lakes tectonic zone at the north margin of the subprovince. The central two blocks of the subprovince (Morton and Montevideo) are predominantly high-grade quartzofeldspathic gneiss, some as old as 3.6 Ga, and late-tectonic granite. The northern and southern blocks (Benson and Jeffers, respectively) are judged to contain less gneiss than the central blocks and a larger diversity of syntectonic and late-tectonic plutons. A belt of moderately metamorphosed mafic and ultramafic rocks having some attributes of a dismembered ophiolite is partly within the boundary zone between the Morton and Montevideo blocks. This and the other block boundaries are interpreted as late Archean structures that were reactivated in the Early Proterozoic. The Minnesota River Valley subprovince is interpreted as a late accretionary addition to the Superior Province. Because it was continental crust, it was not subductible when it impinged on the convergent southern margin of the Superior Craton in late Archean time, and it may have accommodated to convergent-margin stresses by dividing into blocks and shear zones capable of independent movement.

  16. Archean rocks in antarctica: 2.5-billion-year uranium-lead ages of pegmatites in enderby land. (United States)

    Grew, E S; Manton, W I


    Uranium-lead isotopic data indicate that the granulite-facies Napier complex of Enderby Land, Antarctica, was cut by charnockitic pegmatites 2.5 billion years ago and by pegmatites lacking hypersthene 0.52 billion years ago. The 4-bil-lion-years lead-lead ages (whole rock) reported for the Napier complex are rejected since these leads developed in three stages. Reconstructions of Gondwanaland suggest that the Napier complex may be a continuation of the Archean granulitic terrain of southern India.

  17. Modern-style Subduction Processes in the Archean:Evidence from the Shangyi Complex in North China Craton

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Renmin; WAN Yusheng; CHENG Suhua; FENG Yonggang


    Three fragments of the Arehean oceanic crust have been found between the Archean granulite belt and the Paleo-Proterozoic Hongqiyingzi group in North China craton,which spread and geochronology evidence of the ancient oceanic fragments.The magma crystallizing age of the tonalite in the Shangyi complex is 2512+19 Ma and the geochemical characteristics suggest that the Nb-enriched basalts may be related to crustal contamination and formed in the intra-oceanic arc of the supra subduction zone setting.

  18. Early Archean (approximately 3.4 Ga) prokaryotic filaments from cherts of the apex basalt, Western Australia: The oldest cellularly preserved microfossils now known (United States)

    Schopf, J. W.


    In comparison with that known from later geologic time, the Archean fossil record is miniscule: although literally hundreds of Proterozoic formations, containing more that 2800 occurrences of bona fide microfossils are now known, fewer than 30 units containing some 43 categories of putative microfossils (the vast majority of which are of questionable authenticity) have been reported from the Archean. Among the oldest known fossils are Early Archean filaments reported from cherts of the Towers Formation and the Apex Basalt of the 3.3-3.6 Ga-old Warrawoona Group of Western Australia. The paleobiologic significance of the Towers Formation microstructures is open to question: thin aggregated filaments are properly regarded as dubiomicrofossils (perhaps biogenic, but perhaps not); therefore, they cannot be regarded as firm evidence of Archean life. Although authentic, filamentous microfossiles were reported from a second Towers Formation locality, because the precise layer containing the fossiliferous cherts was not relocated, this discovery can neither be reconfirmed by the original collector nor confirmed independently by other investigators. Discovery of microfossils in bedded cherts of the Apex Basalt, the stratigraphic unit immediately overlying the Towers Formation, obviates the difficulties stored above. The cellularly preserved filaments of the Apex Basalt meet all of the criteria required of a bona fide Archean microfossils. Recent studies indicate that the Apex assemblage includes at least six morphotypes of uniseriate filaments, composed of barrel-shaped, discoidal, or quadrate cells and exhibiting rounded or conical terminal cells and medial bifurcated and paired half-cells that reflect the occurrence of prokaryotic binary cell division. Interestingly, the majority of these morphotypes are morphologically more similar to extant cyanobacteria than to modern filamentous bacteria. Prokaryotes seem clearly to have been hypobradytelic, and the evidence suggests

  19. Structural development of high-temperature mylonites in the Archean Wyoming province, northwestern Madison Range, Montana (United States)

    Kellogg, Karl S.; Mogk, David W.


    The Crooked Creek mylonite, in the northwestern Madison Range, southwestern Montana, is defined by several curved lenses of high non-coaxial strain exposed over a 7-km-wide, northeast-trending strip. The country rocks, part of the Archean Wyoming province, are dominantly trondhjemitic to granitic orthogneiss with subordinate amphibolite, quartzite, aluminous gneiss, and sills of metabasite (mafic granulite). Data presented here support an interpretation that the mylonite formed during a period of rapid, heterogeneous strain at near-peak metamorphic conditions during an early deformational event (D1) caused by northwest–southeast-directed transpression. The mylonite has a well-developed L-S tectonite fabric and a fine-grained, recrystallized (granoblastic) texture. The strong linear fabric, interpreted as the stretching direction, is defined by elongate compositional “fish,” fold axes, aligned elongate minerals, and mullion axes. The margins of the mylonitic zones are concordant with and grade into regions of unmylonitized gneiss. A second deformational event (D2) has folded the mylonite surface to produce meter- to kilometer-scale, tight-to-isoclinal, gently plunging folds in both the mylonite and country rock, and represents a northwest–southeast shortening event. Planar or linear fabrics associated with D2 are remarkably absent. A third regional deformational event (D3) produced open, kilometer-scale folds generally with gently north-plunging fold axes. Thermobarometric measurements presented here indicate that metamorphic conditions during D1 were the same in both the mylonite and the country gneiss, reaching upper amphibolite- to lower granulite-facies conditions: 700 ± 50° C and 8.5 ± 0.5 kb. Previous geochronological studies of mylonitic and cross-cutting rocks in the Jerome Rock Lake area, east of the Crooked Creek mylonite, bracket the timing of this high-grade metamorphism and mylonitization between 2.78 and 2.56 Ga, nearly a billion years

  20. Retrograde fluids in the Archean Shawmere anorthosite, Kapuskasing Structural Zone, Ontario, Canada (United States)

    Lamb, William M.; Morrison, Jean

    The Archean Shawmere anorthosite lies within the granulite facies portion of the Kapuskasing Structural Zone (KSZ), Ontario, and is crosscut by numerous linear alteration veins containing calcite+quartz+/- dolomite+/-zoisite+/-clinozoisite+/-margarite+/-paragonite+/-chlorite. These veins roughly parallel the trend of the Ivanhoe Lake Cataclastic Zone. Equilibria involving clinozoisite+margarite+quartz+/-calcite +/-plagioclase show that the vein minerals were stable at T0.9. Thus, vein formation, while clearly retrograde, spanned a range of temperatures, and fluid compositions evolved from H2O-rich to CO2-rich. The calcite in the retrograde veins has δ18O values that range from 8.4 to 11.2‰ (average=+9.7+/-0.9‰) and δ13C values that range from -3.9 to -1.6‰ (average=-3.1+/-0.6‰). These values indicate that the fluids from which calcite precipitated underwent extensive exchange with the anorthosite and other crustal lithologies. The fluids may have been initially derived either from devolatilization of metamorphic rocks or crystallization of igneous rocks in the adjacent Abitibi subprovince. Vein quartz contains CO2-rich fluid inclusions (final melting T=-57.0 to -58.7°C) that range in size from 5 to 17 μm. Measured homogenization temperatures (T h) range from -44.0 to 14.5°C, however for most inclusions (46 of S1), T h=-44.0 to -21.1°C (ρCO2 1.13 to 1.05g/cm3). At 400 to 600°C, these densities correspond to pressures of 3.5 to 7 kbar, which is the best estimate of pressures of vein formation. It has been argued that some high density CO2-rich fluid inclusions found in the KSZ were formed during peak metamorphism and thus document the presence of a CO2-rich fluid during peak granulite facies metamorphism (Rudnick et al. 1984). The association of high density CO2-rich fluid inclusions with clearly retrograde veins documents the formation of similar composition and density inclusions after the peak of metamorphism. Thus, the coincidence of entrapment

  1. Coupled Iron and Sulfur Isotope Constraints on the Archean and Paleoproterozoic Ocean Redox State (United States)

    Rouxel, O. J.; Bekker, A.


    The rise of atmospheric oxygen level by ca. 2.3 Ga have led to dramatic shifts in the iron and sulfur oceanic cycles. Past studies of non-mass dependent and mass dependent sulfur isotope record in sedimentary sulfides over geological time have placed important constraints on biogeochemical cycle of sulfur and evolution of Precambrian ocean chemistry. Recently, we applied a similar time-record approach to explore potential changes in Fe isotope composition of pyrite in black shales. Although the underlying mechanisms for Fe isotope fractionation in organic-rich sediments are debated, we identified direct link between the rise of atmospheric oxygen and changes in the Fe ocean cycle suggesting that Fe isotopes are useful proxies to the past ocean redox state. Since biogeochemical cycles of Fe and S are closely coupled in marine systems, Fe-limitation and S-limitation for pyrite formation in black shales should leave imprint on the isotopic record of both elements. Coupled Fe and S isotope systematics of Devonian pyrite display a range of 50‰ in δ34S values whereas δ56Fe values vary between - 1.0 and +0.1‰ consistent with Fe isotope variations in modern marine sediments. Similarly, pyrite in the 1.88 Ga Gunflint Formation has δ34S values ranging from - 32‰ to +10‰ and displays a range of δ56Fe values between 0 to - 0.4‰. In contrast, Archean black shales (e.g. Manjeri Fm., Belingwe Belt and Jeerinah Fm., Hamersley Basin) display a smaller range of δ34S values between together with ubiquitous non-mass dependent S-isotope fractionation but a larger range of δ56Fe values from - 3.5 to +0.2‰. A transitional period between ca. 2.3 and ca. 1.8 Ga is marked by a larger spread of δ34S values from - 34 to +28‰, disappearance of MIF and a larger range of δ56Fe values from - 1.7 to +1.1‰. These results confirm that after the rise of atmospheric oxygen by ca. 2.3 Ga, Paleoproterozoic ocean became stratified and gradually affected by an increase of seawater

  2. Archean Lithosphere Beneath Arctic Canada: Lu-Hf Isotope Systematics for Kimberlite-Hosted Garnet-Peridotites From Somerset Island (United States)

    Schmidberger, S. S.; Simonetti, A.; Francis, D.; Gariepy, C.


    Knowledge of the age of lithospheric mantle underlying the continents provides valuable constraints for the timing of formation and stabilization of Archean cratons. This study reports Lu-Hf isotopic data for garnet-peridotites, and their constituent garnets, from the Nikos kimberlite (100 Ma) on Somerset Island in the Canadian Arctic obtained using a Micromass IsoProbe multicollector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS) at GEOTOP-UQAM. The low temperature peridotites (1100 C; 160-190 km) and their 176Hf/177Hf(0.1Ga) isotopic compositions (0.28265-0.28333; \\epsilonHf(0.1Ga)=-2 to +22) are less radiogenic than those of the shallow xenoliths. A Lu-Hf isochron for six peridotites yields a mid Archean age of 3.4\\pm0.3 Ga and an initial 176Hf/177Hf ratio of 0.28101\\pm24. The remaining peridotites (n=9), in contrast, are characterized by extremely high (+35) initial \\epsilonHf(3.4Ga) values, which correlate negatively with their 176Lu/177Hf ratios, suggesting addition of Hf as a result of metasomatic interaction with the host kimberlite. The garnets from the low temperature (3.4 Ga old) peridotites are characterized by high 176Lu/177Hf ratios and define an errorchron age of 1.4\\pm0.2 Ga, which may reflect re-equilibration of Hf during kimberlite magmatism.

  3. Stratigraphy of the Archean western Superior Province from P- and S-wave receiver functions: Further evidence for tectonic accretion? (United States)

    Angus, D. A.; Kendall, J.-M.; Wilson, D. C.; White, D. J.; Sol, S.; Thomson, C. J.


    The Archean western Superior Province in Canada represents the nucleus of the North American continent whose origin has been speculated to be the result of widespread crustal accretion some 2.7 Ga ago. In this paper, crustal and upper-mantle seismic discontinuities beneath the western Superior Province of the Canadian shield are imaged with teleseismic P-to-S and S-to-P converted phases using the receiver function method. Three crustal discontinuities are observed: the Moho, ranging in depth between 38 and 47 km and dipping to the south; and two intra-crustal discontinuities having depths of approximately 15 and 30 km. The crustal discontinuities undulate laterally and often lose continuity, possibly indicating an imbricated structure and/or regions of velocity gradients. In the shallow lithosphere, a positive discontinuity is imaged at approximately 65 km depth and is consistent with earlier refraction and wide-angle reflection results. Additionally, two zones of negative receiver function amplitudes at 55 km depth are observed and are coincident with a region of anomalous tomographic low P- and S-wave velocities as well as a zone of high electrical conductivity. The images for the crust and shallow upper-mantle, when integrated with previous geophysical studies, are consistent with ideas of continental root formation due to imbrication of Archean subducted material and accretion of island arcs observed in surface geology.

  4. Millimeter-scale concentration gradients of hydrocarbons in Archean shales: Live-oil escape or fingerprint of contamination? (United States)

    Brocks, Jochen J.


    Archean shales from the Pilbara in Western Australia contain biomarkers that have been interpreted as evidence for the existence of cyanobacteria and eukaryotes 2.7 billion years (Ga) ago, with far reaching implications for the evolution of Earth's early biosphere. To re-evaluate the provenance of the biomarkers, this study determined the spatial distribution of hydrocarbons in the original drill core material. Rock samples were cut into millimeter-thick slices, and the molecular content of each slice was analyzed. In core from the Hamersley Group (˜2.5 Ga), C chromatographic phenomena associated with live-oil escape and contaminant diffusion have strong effects on molecular ratios and maturity parameters, potentially with broad implications for oil-source rock correlation studies and paleoenvironmental interpretations. For the Archean shales, the live-oil effect is consistent with some of the observed patterns, but only the contamination model fully explains the complex chromatographic fingerprints. Therefore, the biomarkers in the Pilbara samples have an anthropogenic origin, and previous conclusions about the origin of eukaryotes and oxygenic photosynthesis based on these samples are not valid. However, the study also identified indigenous molecules. The spatial distribution of particular aromatic hydrocarbons suggests they are syngenetic. Although devoid of biological information, these aromatics now represent the oldest known clearly-indigenous terrestrial liquid hydrocarbons.

  5. Extensive seismic anisotropy in the lower crust of Archean metamorphic terrain, South India, inferred from ambient noise tomography (United States)

    Das, Ritima; Rai, S. S.


    We use Rayleigh and Love wave empirical Green's function (EGF) recovered from the cross correlation of seismic ambient noise to study the spatial distribution of radial anisotropy in the southern India crust. The corresponding dispersion curves in the period 2 to 32 s are measured from ambient noise data recorded at 57 sites, and the strength of anisotropy computed from the discrepancy between shear velocities obtained from Rayleigh (VSV) and Love (VSH) at various depths down to 40 km. In upper crust (up to a depth of 20 km) the region is characterized by anisotropy coefficients of - 2 to + 2% that could be explained due to a combination of fluid-filled open cracks and foliated metamorphic rocks. At deeper levels (beyond 20 km), except for the Archean metamorphic terrain, most part of south India has anisotropies of up to 5%. This may be due to rocks with varying degree of metamorphism. Beneath the Archean metamorphic terrain, the anisotropy is recorded up to 9% in the depth range of 20-40 km. This high anisotropy is unlikely to be the manifestation of any recent geodynamic process, considering that the region has low surface heat flow ( 30 mW/m2). We propose that the observed strong anisotropy in the metamorphic belt of southern India crust could best be explained as due to the presence of micaceous minerals or amphiboles in the deep crust that are formed possibly during the evolution of granulite terrain at 2.5 Ga.

  6. Linking the Fe-, Mo-, and Cr isotope records with the multiple S isotope record of Archean sedimentary rocks (United States)

    Ohmoto, H.; Watanabe, Y.


    Researchers have interpreted the isotopic data of redox sensitive elements (e.g., Fe, Mo and Cr) in Archean- and Proterozoic-aged sedimentary rocks within a framework of an atmospheric O2 evolution model that relied on an interpretation of the multiple sulfur isotopic record of sedimentary rocks. The current paradigm is that the anomalous isotopic fractionations of sulfur (AIF-S, or MIF-S) in sedimentary rocks were created by the UV photolysis of volcanic SO2 in an O2-poor (i.e., pO2 atmosphere, and that the rise of atmospheric pO2 to > 1 ppm occurred at ~2.45 Ga. However, this paradigm has recently encountered the following serious problems: (1) UV photolysis of SO2 by a broad-band UV lamp, which simulates the UV spectra of the sun light, produced the δ34S-Δ33S values for the S0 and SO4 that are significantly different from >90% of data on natural samples. (2) Many Archean-age sedimentary rocks do not exhibit AIF-S signatures. (3) Strong AIF-S signatures are typically found in organic C- and pyrite rich Archean-age black shales that were altered by submarine hydrothermal fluids during the early diagenetic stage of the rocks. (4) H2S, rather than SO2, was probably the dominant S-bearing volcanic gas on an anoxic Earth. Yet, UV photolysis of H2S does not generate AIF-S. (5) Some post-2.0 Ga natural samples were found to possess strong AIF-S signatures, such as sulfates in air pollutants that were produced by coal burning in an oxygen-rich atmosphere. Lasaga et al. (2008) demonstrated theoretically that chemisorption reactions between some solid surfaces and S-bearing aqueous (or gaseous) species, such as between organic matter and aqueous sulfate, may generate AIF-S. Watanabe et al. (2009; in prep.) demonstrated experimentally that reactions between simple amino acid crystals and sulfate under hydrothermal conditions produced AIF-S signatures that matched with more than 90% of data on natural samples. These studies, as well as the observed correlations between the

  7. SHRIMP-RG U-Pb isotopic systematics of zircon from the Angel Lake orthogneiss, East Humboldt Range, Nevada: Is this really archean crust? (United States)

    Premo, Wayne R.; Castineiras, Pedro; Wooden, Joseph L.


    New SHRIMP-RG (sensitive high-resolution ion microprobe-reverse geometry) data confirm the existence of Archean components within zircon grains of a sample from the orthogneiss of Angel Lake, Nevada, United States, previously interpreted as a nappe of Archean crust. However, the combined evidence strongly suggests that this orthogneiss is a highly deformed, Late Cretaceous monzogranite derived from melting of a sedimentary source dominated by Archean detritus. Zircon grains from the same sample used previously for isotope dilution-thermal ionization mass spectrometry (ID-TIMS) isotopic work were analyzed using the SHRIMP-RG to better define the age and origin of the orthogneiss. Prior to analysis, imaging revealed a morphological variability and intragrain, polyphase nature of the zircon population. The SHRIMP-RG yielded 207Pb/206Pb ages between ca. 2430 and 2580 Ma (a best-fit mean 207Pb/206Pb age of 2531 ± 19 Ma; 95% confidence) from mostly rounded to subrounded zircons and zircon components (cores). In addition, several analyses from rounded to subrounded cores or grains yielded discordant 207Pb/206Pb ages between ca. 1460 and ca. 2170 Ma, consistent with known regional magmatic events. All cores of Proterozoic to latest Archean age were encased within clear, typically low Th/U (206Pb/238U ages between 72 and 91 Ma, consistent with magmatic ages from Lamoille Canyon to the south. An age of ca. 90 Ma is suggested, the younger 206Pb/238U ages resulting from Pb loss. The Cretaceous and Precambrian zircon components also have distinct trace element characteristics, indicating that these age groups are not related to the same igneous source. These results support recent geophysical interpretations and negate the contention that the Archean-Proterozoic boundary extends into the central Great Basin area. They further suggest that the world-class gold deposits along the Carlin Trend are not underlain by Archean cratonal crust, but rather by the Proterozoic Mojave

  8. Decreasing µ142Nd Variation in the Archean Convecting Mantle from 4.0 to 2.5 Ga: Heterogeneous Domain Mixing or Crustal Recycling? (United States)

    Brandon, A. D.; Debaille, V.


    The 146Sm-142Nd (t1/2=68 Ma) chronometer can be used to examine silicate differentiation in the first 400 Ma of Earth history. Early fractionation between Sm and Nd is recorded in cratonic Archean rocks in their 142Nd/144Nd ratios that that deviate up to ±20 ppm, or μ142Nd - ppm deviation relative to the present-day convecting mantle at 0. These values likely record early extraction of incompatible trace element (ITE) enriched material with -μ142Nd, either as crust or late stage residual melt from a magma ocean, and resulting in a complimentary ITE depleted residual mantle with +μ142Nd. If this early-formed ITE-enriched material was re-incorporated rapidly back into the convecting mantle, both ITE-enriched and ITE-depleted mantle domains would have been established in the Hadean. Alternatively, if it was early-formed crust that remained stable it could have slowly eroded and progressively remixed into the convecting mantle as subducted sediment during the Archean. Each of these scenarios could potentially explain the decrease in the maximum variation in µ142Nd from ±20 at 4.0 Ga to 0 at 2.5 Ga [1,2,3]. In the scenario where these variations reflect mixing of mantle domains, this implies long mantle mixing times of greater than 1 Ga in the Archean in order to preserve the early-formed heterogeneities. This can be achieved in a stagnant lid tectonic regime in the Archean with sporadic and short subduction cycles [2]. This scenario would also indicate that mixing times in the convecting mantle were much slower than the previously proposed 100 Ma in the Hadean and Archean. In the alternative scenario, sediment with -µ142Nd was progressively mixed into the mantle via subduction in the Archean [3]. This scenario doesn't require slow mantle mixing times or a stagnant-lid regime. It requires crustal resident times of up to 750 Ma to maintain a steady supply of ancient sediment recycling over the Archean. Each of these scenarios evoke very contrasting conditions for

  9. Archean Arctic continental crust fingerprints revealing by zircons from Alpha Ridge bottom rocks (United States)

    Sergeev, Sergey; Petrov, Oleg; Morozov, Andrey; Shevchenko, Sergey; Presnyakov, Sergey; Antonov, Anton; Belyatsky, Boris


    Whereas thick Cenozoic sedimentary cover overlapping bedrock of the Arctic Ocean, some tectonic windows were sampled by scientific submarine manipulator, as well as by grabbing, dredging and drilling during «Arctic-2012» Russian High-Arctic expedition (21 thousands samples in total, from 400-km profile along Alpha-Mendeleev Ridges). Among others, on the western slope of Alpha Ridge one 10x10 cm fragment without any tracks of glacial transportation of fine-layered migmatitic-gneiss with prominent quartz veinlets was studied. Its mineral (47.5 vol.% plagioclase + 29.6% quartz + 16.6% biotite + 6.1% orthoclase) and chemical composition (SiO2:68.2, Al2O3:14.9, Fe2O3:4.44, TiO2:0.54, MgO:2.03, CaO:3.13, Na2O:3.23, K2O:2.16%) corresponds to trachydacite vulcanite, deformed and metamorphozed under amphibolite facies. Most zircon grains (>80%) from this sample has an concordant U-Pb age 3450 Ma with Th/U 0.8-1.4 and U content of 100-400 ppm, epsilon Hf from -4 up to 0, and ca 20% - ca 3.3 Ga with Th/U 0.7-1.4 and 90-190 ppm U, epsilon Hf -6.5 to -4.5, while only 2% of the grains show Proterozoic age of ca 1.9 Ga (Th/U: 0.02-0.07, U~500 ppm, epsilon Hf about 0). No younger zircons were revealed at all. We suppose that magmatic zircon crystallized as early as 3450 Ma ago during acid volcanism, the second phase zircon crystallization from partial melt (or by volcanics remelting) under amphibolite facies metamorphism was at 3.3 Ga ago with formation of migmatitie gneisses. Last zircon formation from crustal fluids under low-grade metamorphic conditions was 1.9 Ga ago. There are two principal possibilities for the provenance of this metavolcanic rock. The first one - this is ice-rafted debris deposited by melted glacial iceberg. However, presently there are no temporal and compositional analogues of such rocks in basement geology of peri-oceanic regions, including Archean Itsaq Gneiss Complex, Lewisian Complex and Baltic Shield but these regions are far from the places of

  10. Returning from the deep: Archean atmospheric fingerprints in modern hotspot lavas (Invited) (United States)

    Jackson, M. G.; Cabral, R. A.; Rose-Koga, E. F.; Koga, K. T.; Whitehouse, M. J.; Antonelli, M. A.; Farquhar, J.; Day, J. M.; Hauri, E. H.


    Ocean plates transport surface materials, including oceanic crust and sediment, into the mantle at subduction zones. However, the fate of the subducted package--oceanic crust and sediment--in the mantle is poorly understood. A long-standing hypothesis maintains that subducted materials reside in the mantle for an extended, but unknown, period of time and are then recycled back to the Earth's surface in regions of buoyantly upwelling mantle and melted beneath hotspots. Sulfur isotopes provide an important new tool to evaluate the presence of ancient recycled materials in hotspot lavas. Widespread terrestrial mass independently fractionated sulfur (MIF-S) isotope signatures were generated exclusively through atmospheric photochemical reactions until ~2.45 Ga. In fact, the only significant reservoirs of MIF-S containing rocks documented so far are sediments and hydrothermal rocks older than ~2.45 Ga. Armed with this insight, we examined sulfur isotopes in olivine phenocrysts and olivine-hosted sulfides in lavas from the island of Mangaia, Cook Islands. Lavas from this location host unusually radiogenic Pb-isotopic compositions--referred to as a HIMU (high U/Pb) component--and this has been attributed to ancient recycled oceanic crust in the mantle source. In Cabral et al. (2013), we report MIF-S in olivine phenocrysts and olivine-hosted sulfides. The discovery of MIF-S isotopic signatures in young hotspot lavas appears to provide a "timestamp" and "signature" for preservation of subducted Archean surface materials in the mantle sourcing Mangaia lavas. We report new sulfur isotope data on olivine-hosted sulfides from the Mangaia lavas that reinforce our discovery of MIF-S anomalies reported in Cabral et al. (2013). We also report new sulfur isotopic data on Mangaia whole rock powders, and we find no evidence of MIF-S signatures. It is not yet clear why the individual Mangaia sulfides and the olivine separates have more extreme MIF-S than the whole rocks. We consider it

  11. Geochemistry and petrogenesis of the K-rich 'Bongo-type' granitoids in the Paleoproterozoic Bole-Nangodi greenstone belt of Ghana (United States)

    Abitty, Emmanuel K.; Dampare, Samuel B.; Nude, Prosper M.; Asiedu, Daniel K.


    The 'Bongo-type' granitoids intrude the northern portion (where it cross cuts the Tarkwaian), central and south-central portions of the Bole-Nangodi greenstone belt in Ghana. The non-foliated, porphyritic granitoids are characterised by microcline (5-18 mm), often set in a medium to fine grained matrix of quartz and plagioclase, contains granular quartz and show incipient development of mymerkites under thin section. The major mafic phases are a brownish-green variety of hornblende ± biotite, with sphene, epidote and apatite occurring as accessory minerals. The pink looking 'Bongo-type' granitoids are classified as granites with subordinate granodiorites and quartz monzonites. Whole-rock geochemical analyses show that the granitoids are magnesian and metaluminous to weakly peraluminous. On the basis of their Th-Co-K2O and SiO2 contents, the granitoids classified as high-K calc-alkaline and shoshonite series rocks. They show enriched LILE trends, decoupled LILE-HFSE patterns, negative Ta-Nb anomaly, pronounced negative Ti anomaly and variable positive and negative Sr anomalies. The K-rich granitoids from the middle and south-central portions of the Bole-Nangodi belt show the lowest concentrations of LILE and some HFSE with the most prominent negative Ti and Si anomalies. The 'Bongo-type' granitoids show I-type characteristics. Based on Ba-U-Th concentrations, they are interpreted to have had some interaction with crustal materials or some influence of subducted sediments. The granitoids unequivocally show subduction-related signatures and mimic high silica adakites (HSA). They show evidence of being emplaced in a volcanic arc geotectonic environment. Their geochemical similarities to A-type granitoids, however, suggest an arc-back-arc tectonic setting.

  12. Geochemistry and petrogenesis of the late Archaean high-K granites in the southern Musoma-Mara Greenstone Belt: Their influence in evolution of Archaean Tanzania Craton (United States)

    Mshiu, Elisante Elisaimon; Maboko, Makenya A. H.


    Musoma-Mara Greenstone Belt (MMGB) is abundantly occupied by the post-orogenic high-K granites which also they mark the end of magmatism in the area. The granites are characterized by high SiO2 and Al2O3 contents that average 74.42% and 13.08% by weight respectively. They have low Na2O content (mean = 3.36 wt.%) and high K2O contents (mean = 4.95 wt.%) which resulted to relatively high K2O/Na2O ratios (mean = 1.50). They also characterized by low Mg# (mean = 33) as well as low contents of transition elements such as Cr and Ni which are below detection limit (<20 ppm). Negative anomalies in Eu (Eu/Eu*, mean = 0.56), Nd, Ta and Ti elements as shown in the chondrite and primitive mantle normalized diagrams indicate MMGB high-K granites originated from a subduction related environments. These high-K granites also characterized by relative enrichment of the LREE compared to HREE as revealed by their high (La/Yb)CN ratio ranging from 8.71 to 50.93 (mean = 26.32). They have relatively flat HREE pattern with (Tb/Yb)CN ratio varying between 0.81 and 2.12 (mean = 1.55). Their linear trend in the variation diagrams of both major and trace elements indicate magmatic differentiation was also an important process during their formation. Conclusively, the geochemical characteristics as well as experimental evidences suggests MMGB high-K granites were formed from partial melting of pre-existing TTG rocks, under low pressure at 15 km depth or less and temperature around 950 °C in which plagioclase minerals were the stable phases in the melt.

  13. Evidence for an Early Archean component in the Middle to Late Archean gneisses of the Wind River Range, west-central Wyoming: conventional and ion microprobe U-Pb data (United States)

    Aleinikoff, J.N.; Williams, I.S.; Compston, W.; Stuckless, J.S.; Worl, R.G.


    Gneissic rocks that are basement to the Late Archean granites comprising much of the Wind River Range, west-central Wyoming, have been dated by the zircon U-Pb method using both conventional and ion microprobe techniques. A foliated hornblende granite gneiss member from the southern border of the Bridger batholith is 2670??13 Ma. Zircons from a granulite just north of the Bridger batholith are equant and faceted, a typical morphology for zircon grown under high grade metamorphic conditions. This granulite, which may be related to a second phase of migmatization in the area, is 2698??8 Ma. South of the Bridger batholith, zircons from a granulite (charnockite), which is related to an earlier phase of migmatization in the Range, yield a discordia with intercept ages of about 2.3 and 3.3 Ga. However, ion microprobe analyses of single zircon grains indicate that this rock contains several populations of zircon, ranging in age from 2.67 to about 3.8 Ga. Based on zircon morphology and regional geologic relationships, we interpret the data as indicating an age of ???3.2 Ga for the first granulite metamorphism and migmatization. Older, possibly xenocrystic zircons give ages of ???3.35, 3.65 and ???3.8 Ga. Younger zircons grew at 2.7 and 2.85 Ga in response to events, including the second granulite metamorphism at 2.7 Ga, that culminated in the intrusion of the Bridger batholith and migmatization at 2.67 Ga. These data support the field and petrographic evidence for two granulite events and provide some temporal constraints for the formation of continental crust in the Early and Middle Archean in the Wyoming Province. ?? 1989 Springer-Verlag.

  14. Possible magmatic underplating beneath the west coast of India and adjoining Dharwar craton: Imprint from Archean crustal evolution to breakup of India and Madagascar (United States)

    Saikia, Utpal; Das, Ritima; Rai, S. S.


    The shear wave velocity of the crust along a ∼660 km profile from the west to the east coast of South India is mapped through the joint inversion of receiver functions and Rayleigh wave group velocity. The profile, consisting of 38 broadband seismic stations, covers the Archean Dharwar craton, Proterozoic Cuddapah basin, and rifted margin and escarpment. The Moho is mapped at a depth of ∼40 km beneath the mid-Archean Western Dharwar Craton (WDC), Cuddapah Basin (CB), and the west and east coasts formed through the rifting process. This is in contrast with a thin (∼35 km) crust beneath the late-Archean Eastern Dharwar Craton (EDC). Along the profile, the average thickness of the upper, middle and lower crust is ∼4 km, 12 ± 4 km and 24 ± 4 km respectively. Above the Moho, we observe a high-velocity layer (HVL, Vs > 4 km/s) of variable thickness increasing from 3 ± 1 km beneath the EDC to 11 ± 3 km beneath the WDC and the CB, and 18 ± 2 km beneath the west coast of India. The seismic wave velocity in this layer is greater than typical oceanic lower crust. We interpret the high-velocity layer as a signature of magmatic underplating due to past tectonic processes. Its significant thinning beneath the EDC may be attributed to crustal delamination or relamination at 2.5 Ga. These results demonstrate the dual signature of the Archean Dharwar crust. The change in the geochemical character of the crust possibly occurred at the end of Archean when Komatiite volcanism ceased. The unusually thick HVL beneath the west coast of India and the adjoining region may represent underplated material formed due to India-Madagascar rifting, which is supported by the presence of seaward dipping reflectors and a 85-90 Ma mafic dyke in the adjoining island.

  15. In-situ dating of the Earth's oldest trace fossil at 3.34 Ga (United States)

    Fliegel, D.; Kosler, J.; McLoughlin, N.; Simonetti, A.; de Wit, M. J.; Wirth, R.; Furnes, H.


    Microbial activity in volcanic glass within the oceanic crust can produce micron sized pits and tunnels. Such biogenic textures have been described from the recent oceanic crust and mineralized equivalents in pillow lavas as old as 3.47-3.45 Ga from the Barberton Greenstone Belt (BGB) of South Africa. In meta-volcanic glasses these microbial traces are preserved by titanite mineralization (CaTiSiO 5) and on the basis of morphological, textural and geochemical evidence have been argued to represent Earth's oldest trace fossils. Here we report the results of in-situ U-Pb dating of titanite that infills trace fossils from the Hooggenoeg Complex of the BGB using laser ablation MC-ICP-MS (multi-collector inductively coupled, plasma mass spectrometry). This yields a titanite age of 3.342 ± 0.068 Ga demonstrating the antiquity of the BGB trace fossils. This radiometric age confirms that a sub-seafloor biosphere was already established in the PaleoArchean and that it likely represented an important habitat for the emergence and evolution of early microbial life on the Earth.

  16. Unravelling atmospheric photolysis and ocean redox chemistry from Paleoarchean pyrite : a multiple sulfur and iron stable isotope study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Galić, A.


    This thesis brought together four individual studies on the geochemistry of three recently obtained drill cores from the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa. These data were used to provide a synthesis of the iron and sulfur cycles in the Paleoarchean, with a particular focus on the nature and o

  17. Hafnium and iron isotopes in early Archean komatiites record a plume-driven convection cycle in the Hadean Earth (United States)

    Nebel, Oliver; Campbell, Ian H.; Sossi, Paolo A.; Van Kranendonk, Martin J.


    Archean (>2.5 billion years) komatiites are considered expressions of mantle plumes that originate from and thereby sample the lowermost mantle overlying the Earth's core. Some komatiites have reported Hf isotope signatures that require a mantle source with a time-integrated Lu/Hf that is appreciably higher than average modern depleted mantle. The systematic study of the time and locus of parent-daughter fractionation of the mantle sources of these komatiites potentially constrains differentiation processes in the early Earth, and subsequent distribution and storage of early mantle reservoirs. We present radiogenic Hf and stable Fe isotopes for a series of komatiites from the Pilbara craton in Western Australia (aged 3.5 to 2.9 Ga). After careful evaluation of the effects of alteration, we find that pristine samples are characterised by a light Fe isotope mantle source and initial 176Hf/177Hf well above the age-corrected depleted mantle. Taken together these observations require a component of an old, melt-depleted reservoir in their mantle source. The Hf isotope signature of this component appears to be complementary to the first terrestrial crust, as preserved in Hadean (i.e., >4 Ga) detrital zircon cores, suggesting a causal relationship and a Hadean age for this depletion event. We propose that this Early Refractory Reservoir (ERR) is the residue formed by deep melting in hot Hadean mantle plumes, which then accumulated at the base of the first crust. Parts of this primordial lithosphere were destabilised and sank to the core-mantle boundary in cold drips and subsequently returned in hot mantle plumes, whose thermal capacity allows melting of such refractory mantle with its archetype isotope signature. The cycling of this material via cold drips and hot plumes suggests a plume-dominated convection prior to ∼3.9 Ga, which is then replaced by Archean-style plate tectonics.

  18. Pre-plate tectonics and structure of the Archean mantle lithosphere imaged by seismic anisotropy - inferences from the LAPNET array in northern Fennoscandia (United States)

    Plomerova, Jaroslava; Vecsey, Ludek; Babuska, Vladislav; Lapnet Working Group


    Various studies of seismic anisotropy clearly demonstrate the Archean mantle lithosphere consists of domains with different fabrics reflecting fossil anisotropic structures. We detect anisotropic signal both in the P-wave travel-time deviations and shear-wave splitting recorded by the LAPNET array (2007-2009) in the Archean craton of Fennoscandia (Plomerova et al., 2011). The anisotropic parameters change across the array and stations with similar characteristics form groups. The geographical variations of seismic-wave anisotropy delimit individual sharply bounded domains of the mantle lithosphere, each of them having a consistent fabric. The domains can be modelled in 3D by peridotite aggregates with dipping lineation a, or foliation (a,c). Also radial anisotropy of the Archean lithosphere derived from surface waves indicates inclined structure of all the cratonic regions of the continents, though with less detailed lateral resolution in comparison with body-wave anisotropy. These findings allow us to interpret the domains as micro-plate fragments retaining fossil fabrics in the mantle lithosphere, reflecting thus an olivine LPO created before the micro-plates assembled. Successive subductions of oceanic lithosphere is a mechanism which can work in modern-style plate tectonics as we know it now, being considered as widespread since 2.7 Ga. Though the modern plate tectonics is the most distinct tectonic style acting up to now, we have to consider a mechanism creating oriented structures (fabrics) in a pre-plate-tectonic style. The early lithosphere formed in dynamic conditions far from simple cooling which would result in sub-horizontal layered structure of the lithosphere. Earlier tectonic modes in a hotter and more dynamic Earth might be similar in some respects to those of the modern-plate tectonics. Basaltic "rockbergs" on convecting magma ocean in the Hadean Earth are supposed to turn to either proto-plate tectonics with platelets and supercratonal, or, to

  19. Oceanic plateau model for continental crustal growth in the Archaean: A case study from the Kostomuksha greenstone belt, NW Baltic Shield (United States)

    Samsonov, A. V.; Shchipansky, A. A.; Jochum, K. P.; Mezger, K.; Hofmann, A. W.; Puchtel, I. S.


    Field studies combined with chemical and isotope data indicate that the Kostomuksha greenstone belt in the NW Baltic Shield consists of two lithotectonic terranes, one mafic igneous and the other sedimentary, separated by a major shear zone. The former contains submarine komatiite-basalt lavas and volcaniclastic lithologies, and the latter is composed of shelf-type rocks and BIF. Komatiitic and basaltic samples yield Sm-Nd and Pb-Pb isochron ages of 2843+/-39 and 2813+/-78 Ma, respectively. Their trace-element compositions resemble those of recent Pacific oceanic flood basalts with primitive-mantle normalized Nb/Th of 1.5-2.1 and Nb/La of 1.0-1.5. This is in sharp contrast with island arc and most continental magmas, which are characterized by Nb/(Th,La)N≪1. Calculated initial Nd-isotope compositions (ɛNd(T)=+2.8 to +3.4) plot close to an evolution line previously inferred for major orogens (``MOMO''), which is also consistent with the compositions of recent oceanic plateaux. The high liquidus temperatures of the komatiite magmas (1550°C) and their Al-depleted nature require an unusually hot (1770°C) mantle source for the lavas (>200°C hotter than the ambient mantle at 2.8 Ga), and are consistent with their formation in a deep mantle plume in equilibrium with residual garnet. This plume had the thermal potential to produce oceanic crust with an average thickness of ~30 km underlain by a permanently buoyant refractory lithospheric mantle keel. Nb/U ratios in the komatiites and basalts calculated on the basis of Th-U-Pb relationships range from 35 to 47 and are thus similar to those observed in modern MORB and OIB. This implies that some magma source regions of the Kostomuksha lavas have undergone a degree of continental material extraction comparable with those found in the modern mantle. The mafic terrane is interpreted as a remnant of the upper crustal part of an Archaean oceanic plateau. When the newly formed plateau reached the active continental margin

  20. SHRIMP-RG U-Pb isotopic systematics of zircon from the Angel Lake orthogneiss, East Humboldt Range, Nevada: is this really Archean crust? REPLY (United States)

    Premo, Wayne R.


    The comments from McGrew and Snoke are well received and their concerns for the interpretations in our paper (Premo et al., 2008), which questions the original contention that the Angel Lake orthogneiss is an Archean rock, are many and varied—all of which we will attempt to address. As they point out, this issue is an important one as this particular crustal exposure may delimit the southwestern extent of the Archean Wyoming province (Foster et al., 2006; Mueller and Frost, 2006), which has implications for the true crustal evolution of this region of the Great Basin and perhaps more importantly its relationship (if any) to the location of the world-class gold deposits of north-central Nevada (e.g., Howard, 2003).

  1. Rare Earth Element and yttrium compositions of Archean and Paleoproterozoic Fe formations revisited: New perspectives on the significance and mechanisms of deposition (United States)

    Planavsky, Noah; Bekker, Andrey; Rouxel, Olivier J.; Kamber, Balz; Hofmann, Axel; Knudsen, Andrew; Lyons, Timothy W.


    The ocean and atmosphere were largely anoxic in the early Precambrian, resulting in an Fe cycle that was dramatically different than today's. Extremely Fe-rich sedimentary deposits—i.e., Fe formations—are the most conspicuous manifestation of this distinct Fe cycle. Rare Earth Element (REE) systematics have long been used as a tool to understand the origin of Fe formations and the corresponding chemistry of the ancient ocean. However, many earlier REE studies of Fe formations have drawn ambiguous conclusions, partially due to analytical limitations and sampling from severely altered units. Here, we present new chemical analyses of Fe formation samples from 18 units, ranging in age from ca. 3.0 to 1.8 billion years old (Ga), which allow a reevaluation of the depositional mechanisms and significance of Precambrian Fe formations. There are several temporal trends in our REE and Y dataset that reflect shifts in marine redox conditions. In general, Archean Fe formations do not display significant shale-normalized negative Ce anomalies, and only Fe formations younger than 1.9 Ga display prominent positive Ce anomalies. Low Y/Ho ratios and high shale-normalized light to heavy REE (LREE/HREE) ratios are also present in ca. 1.9 Ga and younger Fe formations but are essentially absent in their Archean counterparts. These marked differences in Paleoproterozoic versus Archean REE + Y patterns can be explained in terms of varying REE cycling in the water column. Similar to modern redox-stratified basins, the REE + Y patterns in late Paleoproterozoic Fe formations record evidence of a shuttle of metal and Ce oxides across the redoxcline from oxic shallow seawater to deeper anoxic waters. Oxide dissolution—mainly of Mn oxides—in an anoxic water column lowers the dissolved Y/Ho ratio, raises the light to heavy REE ratio, and increases the concentration of Ce relative to the neighboring REE (La and Pr). Fe oxides precipitating at or near the chemocline will capture these REE

  2. On the nature and origin of highly-refractory Archean lithosphere: Petrological and geophysical constraints from the Tanzanian craton (United States)

    Gibson, S. A.; McMahon, S. C.; Day, J. A.; Dawson, J. B.


    The nature and timescales of garnet formation are important to understanding how subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) has evolved since the Archean, and also to mantle dynamics, because the presence of garnet greatly influences the density of the lower lithosphere and hence the long-term stability of thick (150 to 220 km) subcratonic lithosphere. Nevertheless, the widespread occurrence of garnet in the SCLM remains one of the 'holy grails' of mantle petrology. Garnets found in mantle xenoliths from the eastern margin of the Tanzanian Craton (Lashaine) have diverse compositions and provide major constraints on how the underlying deep (120 to 160 km) mantle evolved during the last 3 billion years. Certain harzburgite members of the xenolith suite contain the first reported occurrence of pyrope garnets with rare-earth element patterns similar to hypothetical garnets proposed to have formed in the Earth's SCLM during the Archean, prior to metasomatism [Stachel et al., 2004]. These rare ultradepleted low-Cr garnets occur in low temperature (~1050 oC) xenoliths derived from depths of ~120 km and coexist in chemical and textural equilibrium with highly-refractory olivine (Fo95.4) and orthopyroxene (Mg#=96.4). These phases are all more magnesian than generally encountered in global mantle harzburgites and diamond inclusions. The ultradepleted garnets form interconnecting networks around grains of orthopyroxene which give the rocks a banded appearance: we propose that the increase in pressure associated with cratonization may have caused isochemical exsolution of ultradepleted garnet from orthopyroxene. These unique garnets have not previously been identified in global suites of mantle xenoliths or diamond inclusions. We believe they are rare because their low concentrations of trace elements make them readily susceptible to geochemical overprinting. This highly-refractory low-density peridotite may be common in the 'shallow' SCLM but not normally brought to the

  3. Constraints on the Archean atmospheric oxygen and sulfur cycle from mass-independent sulfur records from Anshan-Benxi BIFs, Liaoning Province, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    The Archean atmospheric oxygen concentration and sulfur cycle was long debated. The banded iron formation (BIF) is a special type of the sedimentary formation, which has truly recorded the atmospheric and oceanic conditions at that time. In this study, the composition of multiple sulfur isotope (δ34S/δ33S/δ32S) for sulfides bedded in the Archean (~2.7 Ga) BIFs, in Anshan-Benxi area of Liaoning Province has been measured. The value of △33S varies from -0.89‰ to +1.21‰, which shows very obvious mass-independent fractionation (MIF) signatures. These non-zero △33S values indicate that the Archean sulfur cycles are different from what it is today, which have been deeply influenced by gas phase photochemical reactions. Algoma-type BIFs which are closely related to the volcanic activity have negative △33S value, however, Superior-type BIFs which are far away from the volcanic center have positive △33S value. The δ34S varies in a large range from -22.0‰ to +11.8‰, which indicates that the bacteria reduction activity has already existed at that time, and that the oceanic sulfate concentration has at least reached 1 mmol/L in local areas. Combined with the contemporaneous existence of the hematite, magnetite and the occurrence and preservation of the sulfur MIF, it can be inferred that the Archean atmospheric oxygen level must be at 10-2―10-3 of the present atmospheric level (PAL).

  4. Probing Archean lithosphere using the Lu-Hf isotope systematics of peridotite xenoliths from Somerset Island kimberlites, Canada (United States)

    Schmidberger, Stefanie S.; Simonetti, Antonio; Francis, Don; Gariépy, Clément


    A knowledge of the Hf isotopic composition of the subcontinental lithosphere beneath Archean cratons is essential to constrain the Hf isotope budget of the Earth's mantle. Hf isotopic measurements were obtained by MC-ICP-MS for a suite of refractory peridotite xenoliths and constituent garnets from the Nikos kimberlite (100 Ma) on Somerset Island in order to constrain the isotopic composition and age of the lithosphere beneath the northern Canadian craton. The low-temperature Nikos peridotites (Somerset lithosphere, are characterized by higher 176Lu/ 177Hf ratios (0.03-0.05) and Hf isotopic values ( 176Hf/ 177Hf (0.1Ga)=0.28296-0.28419) than the deep-seated high-temperature peridotites (>1100°C; 0.004-0.03, 0.28265-0.28333, respectively). These differences in Hf isotope signatures suggest that shallow and deep subcontinental lithosphere beneath Somerset Island represent isotopically distinct domains and do not share a common petrogenetic history. The Lu-Hf isotope systematics of the shallow low-temperature peridotites define a positively sloped line that plot along a 2.8 Ga reference isochron. A number of these peridotites are characterized by highly radiogenic Hf isotopic compositions suggestive of long-term radiogenic ingrowth (billions of years). These findings are consistent with an interpretation that the shallow Somerset lithosphere (to depths of ˜150 km) stabilized in the Archean. The majority of the high-temperature peridotites plot closer to the composition of the host kimberlite. Although the observed isotopic variation may be attributed in part to kimberlite-related Hf addition, it is possible that these deep-seated xenoliths represent younger mantle. The superchondritic 176Lu/ 177Hf ratios observed for a number of the shallow low-temperature peridotites indicate strong fractionation of Lu and Hf, suggesting mantle root formation in the garnet stability field (depths >80 km). The Hf isotope compositions for the Somerset low-temperature peridotites

  5. Melting of a subduction-modified mantle source: A case study from the Archean Marda Volcanic Complex, central Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia (United States)

    Morris, P. A.; Kirkland, C. L.


    Subduction processes on early earth are controversial, with some suggestions that tectonics did not operate until the earth cooled to a sufficient point around the Archean-Proterozoic boundary. One way of addressing this issue is to examine well-preserved successions of Archean supracrustal rocks. Here we discuss petrography, whole-rock chemical and isotopic data combined with zircon Hf isotopes from andesites, high-magnesium andesites (HMA), dacites, high-magnesium dacites (HMD), rhyolites and coeval felsic intrusive rocks of the c. 2730 Ma Marda Volcanic Complex (MVC) in the central Yilgarn Craton of Western Australia. We demonstrate that these rocks result from melting of a metasomatized mantle source, followed by fractional crystallization in a crustal magma chamber. Contamination of komatiite by Archean crust, to produce the Marda Volcanic Complex andesites, is not feasible, as most of these crustal sources are too radiogenic to act as viable contaminants. The ɛNd(2730) of MVC andesites can be produced by mixing 10% Narryer semi-pelite with komatiite, consistent with modelling using Hf isotopes, but to achieve the required trace element concentrations, the mixture needs to be melted by about 25%. The most likely scenario is the modification of a mantle wedge above a subducting plate, coeval with partial melting, producing volcanic rocks with subduction signatures and variable Mg, Cr and Ni contents. Subsequent fractionation of cognate phases can account for the chemistry of dacites and rhyolites.

  6. Sm-Nd Ages of Two Meta-Anorthosite Complexes Around Holenarsipur: Constraints on the Antiquity of Archean Supracrustal Rocks of the Dharwar Craton

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Y J Bhaskar Rao; Anil Kumar; A B Vrevsky; R Srinivasan; G V Anantha Iyer


    Whole-rock Sm-Nd isochron ages are reported for two stratiform meta-anorthosite complexes emplaced into the Archean supracrustal-gneiss association in the amphibolite facies terrain around Holenarsipur, in the Dharwar carton, South India. While these metaperidotite-pyroxenite-gabbro-anorthosite complexes are petrologically and geochemically similar, they differ in the intensity of tectonic fabric developed during the late Archean (c.2.5Ga) deformation. They also differ in their whole-rock Sm-Nd isochron ages and initial Nd isotopic compositions: 3.285 ± 0.17 Ga, Nd = 0.82 ± 0.78 for the Honnavalli meta-anorthosite complex from a supracrustal enclave in the low-strain zone, and 2.495 ± 0.033 Ga, Nd = -2.2+-0.3 for the Dodkadnur meta-anorthosites from the high-strain southern arm of the Holenarsipur Supracrustal Belt (HSB). We interpret these results as indicating that the magmatic protoliths of both meta-anorthosite complexes were derived from a marginally depleted mantle at c.3.29 Ga but only the Dodkadnur rocks were isotopically reequilibrated on a cm-scake about 800 Ma later presumably due to the development of strong penetrative fabrics in them during Late Archean thermotectonic event around 2.5Ga. Our results set a younger age limit at c.3.29Ga for the supracrustal rocks of the HSB in the Dharwar craton.

  7. Chondritic osmium isotopic composition of late Archean convecting upper mantle:Evidence from Zunhua podiform chromitites, Hebei, North China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XIA Qiongxia; ZHI Xiachen; LI Jianghai; HUANG Xiongnan


    Podiform chromite deposits are a characteristic feature of the mantle sequences of harzburgitic ophiolites. The chromites usually have very low Re and high Os contents, which makes it the most resistant phase remaining from the primary magmatic history of the ultramafic sections of ophiolites. The podiform chromite is one of the robust indicators of initial Os isotopic compositions of the ophiolites where podiform chromites were derived from, which provides strong evidence for the origin and evolution of oceanic lithosphere. The Re and Os contents and the Os isotopic compositions of seven podiform chromitites from Zunhua ophiolitic mélange belt, North China are reported in this study. The Re contents range from 0.019 to 0.128 ng/g, Os from 8.828 to 354.0 ng/g, and the 187Os/188Os ratio from 0.11003 to 0.11145. Three massive chromitites among the sample set have very high Os contents (>300 ng/g), and their 187Os/188Os ratios range from 0.11021 to 0.11030, averaging 0.11026 ± 0.00005 (σ), equivalent to a γOs = -0.12 ± 0.06 at 2.6 Ga, which means that the Os isotopic composition of convecting upper mantle is chondritic in late Archean. It is the Os isotopic composition of podiform chromitites that are derived from the oldest ophiolite in the world till now.

  8. Magnetotelluric survey to locate the Archean-Proterozoic suture zone in the northeastern Great Basin, Nevada, Utah, and Idaho (United States)

    Sampson, Jay A.; Rodriguez, Brian D.


    North-central Nevada contains a large amount of gold in linear belts, the origin of which is not fully understood. During July 2008, September 2009, and August 2010, the U.S. Geological Survey, as part of the Assessment Techniques for Concealed Mineral Resources project, collected twenty-three magnetotelluric soundings along two profiles in Box Elder County, Utah; Elko County, Nevada; and Cassia, Minidoka, and Blaine Counties, Idaho. The main twenty-sounding north-south magnetotelluric profile begins south of Wendover, Nev., but north of the Deep Creek Range. It continues north of Wendover and crosses into Utah, with the north profile terminus in the Snake River Plain, Idaho. A short, three-sounding east-west segment crosses the main north-south profile near the northern terminus of the profile. The magnetotelluric data collected in this study will be used to better constrain the location and strike of the concealed suture zone between the Archean crust and the Paleoproterozoic Mojave province. This report releases the magnetotelluric sounding data that was collected. No interpretation of the data is included.

  9. Exploring the faint young Sun problem and the possible climates of the Archean Earth with a 3-D GCM

    CERN Document Server

    Charnay, Benjamin; Wordsworth, Robin; Leconte, Jérémy; Millour, Ehouarn; Codron, Francis; Spiga, Aymeric


    Different solutions have been proposed to solve the "faint young Sun problem", defined by the fact that the Earth was not fully frozen during the Archean despite the fainter Sun. Most previous studies were performed with simple 1-D radiative convective models and did not account well for the clouds and ice-albedo feedback or the atmospheric and oceanic transport of energy. We apply a global climate model (GCM) to test the different solutions to the faint young Sun problem. We explore the effect of greenhouse gases (CO2 and CH4), atmospheric pressure, cloud droplet size, land distribution, and Earth's rotation rate. We show that neglecting organic haze, 100 mbar of CO2 with 2 mbar of CH4 at 3.8 Ga and 10 mbar of CO2 with 2 mbar of CH4 at 2.5 Ga allow a temperate climate (mean surface temperature between 10{\\deg}C and 20{\\deg}C). Such amounts of greenhouse gases remain consistent with the geological data. Removing continents produces a warming lower than +4{\\deg}C. The effect of rotation rate is even more limit...

  10. A review of structural patterns and melting processes in the Archean craton of West Greenland: Evidence for crustal growth at convergent plate margins as opposed to non-uniformitarian models (United States)

    Polat, Ali; Wang, Lu; Appel, Peter W. U.


    The Archean craton of West Greenland consists of many fault-bounded Eoarchean to Neoarchean tectonic terranes (crustal blocks). These tectonic terranes are composed mainly of tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) gneisses, granitic gneisses, metavolcanic-dominated supracrustal belts, layered anorthositic complexes, and late- to post-tectonic granites. Rock assemblages and geochemical signatures in these terranes suggest that they represent fragments of dismembered oceanic island arcs, consisting mainly of TTG plutons, tholeiitic to calc-alkaline basalts, boninites, picrites, and cumulate layers of ultramafic rocks, gabbros, leucogabbros and anorthosites, with minor sedimentary rocks. The structural characteristics of the terrane boundaries are consistent with the assembly of these island arcs through modern style of horizontal tectonics, suggesting that the Archean craton of West Greenland grew at convergent plate margins. Several supracrustal belts that occur at or near the terrane boundaries are interpreted as relict accretionary prisms. The terranes display fold and thrust structures and contain numerous 10 cm to 20 m wide bifurcating, ductile shear zones that are characterized by a variety of structures including transposed and redistributed isoclinal folds. Geometrically these structures are similar to those occurring on regional scales, suggesting that the Archean craton of West Greenland can be interpreted as a continental scale accretionary complex, such as the Paleozoic Altaids. Melting of metavolcanic rocks during tectonic thickening in the arcs played an important role in the generation of TTGs. Non-uniformitarian models proposed for the origin of Archean terranes have no analogs in the geologic record and are inconsistent with structural, lithological, petrological and geochemical data collected from Archean terranes over the last four decades. The style of deformation and generation of felsic rocks on outcrop scales in the Archean craton of West

  11. On the nature and origin of garnet in highly-refractory Archean lithosphere: implications for continent stabilisation (United States)

    Gibson, Sally


    The nature and timescales of garnet formation in the Earth's subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) are important to our understanding of how this rigid outer shell has evolved and stabilised since the Archean. Nevertheless, the widespread occurrence of pyrope garnet in the sub-cratonic mantle remains one of the 'holy grails' of mantle petrology. The paradox is that garnet often occurs in mantle lithologies (dunites and harzburgites) which represent residues of major melting events (up to 40 %) whereas experimental studies on fertile peridotite suggest this phase should be exhausted by <20 % melting. Furthermore, garnets commonly found in mantle peridotite suites have diverse compositions that are typically in equilibrium with high-pressure, small-fraction, mantle melts suggesting they formed as a result of enrichment of the lithospheric mantle following cratonisation. This refertilisation -- which typically involves addition of Fe, incompatible trace elements and volatiles -- affects the lower 30 km of the lithosphere and potentially leads to negative buoyancy and destabilisation. Pyrope garnets found in mantle xenoliths from the eastern margin of the Tanzanian Craton (Lashaine) have diverse compositions and provide major constraints on how the underlying deep (120 to 160 km) mantle stabilised and evolved during the last 3 billion years. The garnets display systematic trends from ultra-depleted to enriched compositions that have not been recognised in peridotite suites from elsewhere (Gibson et al., 2013). Certain harzburgite members of the xenolith suite contain the first reported occurrence of pyrope garnets with rare-earth element (REE) patterns similar to hypothetical garnets proposed by Stachel et al. (2004) to have formed in the Earth's SCLM during the Archean, prior to metasomatism. These rare ultra-depleted low-Cr garnets occur in low temperature (~1050 oC) xenoliths derived from depths of ~120 km and coexist in chemical and textural equilibrium with

  12. Volcano-sedimentary processes operating on a marginal continental arc: the Archean Raquette Lake Formation, Slave Province, Canada (United States)

    Mueller, W. U.; Corcoran, P. L.


    The 200-m thick, volcano-sedimentary Raquette Lake Formation, located in the south-central Archean Slave Province, represents a remnant arc segment floored by continental crust. The formation overlies the gneissic Sleepy Dragon Complex unconformably, is laterally interstratified with subaqueous mafic basalts of the Cameron River volcanic belt, and is considered the proximal equivalent of the turbidite-dominated Burwash Formation. A continuum of events associated with volcanism and sedimentation, and controlled by extensional tectonics, is advocated. A complex stratigraphy with three volcanic and three sedimentary lithofacies constitute the volcano-sedimentary succession. The volcanic lithofacies include: (1) a mafic volcanic lithofacies composed of subaqueous pillow-pillow breccia, and subaerial massive to blocky flows, (2) a felsic volcanic lithofacies representing felsic flows that were deposited in a subaerial environment, and (3) a felsic volcanic sandstone lithofacies interpreted as shallow-water, wave- and storm-reworked pyroclastic debris derived from explosive eruptions. The sedimentary lithofacies are represented by: (1) a conglomerate-sandstone lithofacies consistent with unconfined debris flow, hyperconcentrated flood flow and talus scree deposits, as well as minor high-energy stream flow conglomerates that formed coalescing, steep-sloped, coarse-clastic fan deltas, (2) a sandstone lithofacies, interpreted as hyperconcentrated flood flow deposits that accumulated at the subaerial-subaqueous interface, and (3) a mudstone lithofacies consistent with suspension sedimentation in a small restricted lagoon-type setting. The Raquette Lake Formation is interpreted as a fringing continental arc that displays both high-energy clastic sedimentation and contemporaneous effusive and explosive mafic and felsic volcanism. Modern analogues that develop along active plate margins in which continental crust plays a significant role include Japan and the Baja California

  13. Microbial and Metabolic Diversity of the Alkaline Hot Springs of Paoha Island: A Late Archean and Proterozoic Ocean Analogue Environment. (United States)

    Foster, I. S.; Demirel, C.; Hyde, A.; Motamedi, S.; Frantz, C. M.; Stamps, B. W.; Nunn, H. S.; Oremland, R. S.; Rosen, M.; Miller, L. G.; Corsetti, F. A.; Spear, J. R.


    Paoha Island formed 450 years ago within Mono Lake, California, as a result of magmatic activity in the underlying Long Valley Caldera. Previous studies of Paoha Island hot springs focused on the presence of novel organisms adapted to high levels of arsenic (114-138 µM). However, the microbial community structure, relationship with Mono Lake, and preservation potential of these communities remains largely unexplored. Here, we present water chemistry, 16S and 18S rRNA gene sequences, and metagenomic data for spring water and biofilms sampled on a recently exposed mudflat along the shoreline of Paoha Island. Spring waters were hypoxic, alkaline, and saline, had variable temperature (39-70 °C near spring sources) and high concentrations of arsenic, sulfide and reduced organic compounds. Thermodynamic modeling based on spring water chemistry indicated that sulfide and methane oxidation were the most energetically favorable respiratory metabolisms. 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed distinct communities in different biofilms: red biofilms were dominated by arsenite-oxidizing phototrophs within the Ectothiorhodospiraceae, while OTUs most closely related to the cyanobacterial genus Arthrospira were present in green biofilms, as well as a large proportion of sequences assigned to sulfur-oxidizing bacteria. Metagenomic analysis identified genes related to arsenic resistance, arsenic oxidation/reduction, sulfur oxidation and photosynthesis. Eukaryotic rRNA gene sequencing analyses revealed few detectable taxa in spring biofilms and waters compared to Mono Lake; springs receiving splash from the lake were dominated by the alga Picocystis. The co-occurrence of hypoxia, high pH, and close proximity of anoxygenic and oxygenic phototrophic mats makes this site a potential Archean/Proterozoic analogue environment, but suggests that similar environments if preserved in the rock record, may not preserve evidence for community dynamics or the existence of photosynthetic metabolisms.

  14. High-grade metamorphism during Archean-Paleoproterozoic transition associated with microblock amalgamation in the North China Craton: Mineral phase equilibria and zircon geochronology (United States)

    Yang, Qiong-Yan; Santosh, M.; Tsunogae, Toshiaki


    Metamorphic regimes in Archean terranes provide important keys to the plate tectonic processes in early Earth. The North China Craton (NCC) is one of the ancient continental nuclei in Asia and recent models propose that the cratonic architecture was built through the assembly of several Archean microcontinental blocks into larger crustal blocks. Here we investigate garnet- and pyroxene-bearing granulite facies rocks along the periphery of the Jiaoliao microcontinental block in the NCC. The garnet-bearing granulites contain peak mineral assemblage of garnet + clinopyroxene + orthopyroxene + magnetite + plagioclase + quartz ± biotite ± ilmenite. Mineral phase equilibria computations using pseudosection and geothermobarometry suggest peak P-T condition of 800-830 °C and 7-8 kbar for metamorphism. Isopleths using XMg of orthopyroxene and XCa of garnet in another sample containing the peak mineral assemblage of garnet + orthopyroxene + quartz + magnetite ± fluid yield peak P-T conditions of 860-920 °C and 11-14 kbar. Geochemical data show tonalitic to granodioritic composition and arc-related tectonic setting for the magmatic protoliths of these rocks. Zircon LA-ICP-MS analyses yield well-defined discordia with upper intercept ages of 2562 ± 20 Ma (MSWD = 0.94) and 2539 ± 21 Ma (MSWD = 0.59) which is correlated with the timing of emplacement of the magmatic protolith. A younger group of zircons with upper intercept ages of 2449 ± 41 Ma (MSWD = 0.83); N = 6 as 2449 ± 41 Ma (MSWD = 0.83; N = 6) and 2480 ± 44 Ma (MSWD = 1.2; N = 9) constrains the timing of metamorphism. Zircon Lu-Hf data show dominantly positive εHf(t) values (up to 8.5), and yield crustal residence ages (TDMC) in the range of 2529 to 2884 Ma, suggesting magma sources from Meso-Neoarchean juvenile components. The high temperature and medium to high pressure metamorphism is considered to have resulted from the subduction-collision tectonics associated with microblock amalgamation in the NCC at

  15. Petrogenesis and Tectonic Implications of Paleoproterozoic Metapelitic Rocks in the Archean Kongling Complex from the Northern Yangtze Craton, South China (United States)

    Li, Y.; Zheng, J.; Wang, W.; Xiong, Q.


    The Archean Kongling Complex in the northern Yangtze Craton is an ideal target to investigate the Precambrian accretion and evolution of continental crust in South China. This study aims to unravel the crustal evolution and tectonic setting of the Yangtze Craton during the Paleoproterozoic time, using integrated studies of petrography, zircon U-Pb and Hf isotopes and whole-rock geochemistry of Paleoproterozoic metapelitic rocks in the Kongling Complex. These rocks contain garnet, sillimanite, biotite, plagioclase, minor graphite and ilmenite. Zircons from the samples show nebulous sector-zoning and rim-core structure, suggesting both metamorphic origin and detrital origin with metamorphic overprints. The metamorphic zircons and metamorphic overprints have concordant 207Pb/206Pb age at ~2.0 Ga, while detrital grains yield three distinct concordant-age populations of >2.5 Ga, 2.4-2.2 Ga and 2.2-2.1 Ga. The age patterns indicate that the depositional age of the metasedimentary rocks was 2.1-2.0 Ga. Those 2.2-2.1 Ga detrital zircons with variable ɛHf(t) values (-7.28 to 2.97) suggest the addition of juvenile materials from depleted mantle to the crust during 2.2-2.1 Ga. The 2.4-2.2 Ga zircons have Hf model ages (TDM2) of ~2.6-3.5 Ga and >2.5 Ga zircons have TDM2 ages varying from 2.9 Ga to 3.3 Ga. The new data suggest that the Kongling Complex was originally a Paleoarchean (old up to 3.5 Ga) continental nucleus, which experienced multiple episodes of growth and reworking events at 3.3-3.2 Ga, 2.9 Ga, 2.7-2.6 Ga, 2.4-2.2 Ga and 2.2-2.1 Ga. In combination with available data, the new results in this study suggest a continent-arc-continent evolution model to explain the tectonic evolution of the Yangtze Craton during the Paleoproterozoic time: the western margin of Yangtze Craton was originally an individual continent, which underwent a reworking event during 2.4-2.2 Ga and a crust growth event caused by continent-arc collision during 2.2-2.1 Ga; it subsequently collided

  16. Evidence for Archean inheritance in the pre-Panafrican crust of Central Cameroon: Insight from zircon internal structure and LA-MC-ICP-MS Usbnd Pb ages (United States)

    Ganwa, Alembert Alexandre; Klötzli, Urs Stephan; Hauzenberger, Christoph


    sources. It is likely that erosion, transport and deposition took place between 2116 and 821 Ma. Geochemical data show that the REE, Y, Yb, Sr/Y of some samples are similar to the known Archean craton formations (depletion in REE, Y ≤ 10 ppm, Yb ≤ 1 ppm, Sr/Y ≥ 30). These characteristics are known as specific for the Archean TTG (Tonalite-Trondhjemite-Granodiorite). It means that: i) Archean TTG contribute significantly to the detritus of the sedimentary basin, ii) The depositional basin and the source rock were close and the detritus was immature. Our results show that the Pre-Panafrican history of central Cameroon includes Meso- to Neo-Archean crustal accretion and associated magmatism prior to the Paleoproterozoic event of the West Central African Belt. In respect to this new insight, any evolutionary reconstruction of the area should integrate the presence of Archean crust.

  17. Paleoproterozoic magmatism across the Archean-Proterozoic boundary in central Fennoscandia: Geochronology, geochemistry and isotopic data (Sm-Nd, Lu-Hf, O) (United States)

    Lahtinen, Raimo; Huhma, Hannu; Lahaye, Yann; Lode, Stefanie; Heinonen, Suvi; Sayab, Mohammad; Whitehouse, Martin J.


    The central Fennoscandia is characterized by the Archean-Proterozoic (AP) boundary and the Central Finland Granitoid Complex (CFGC), a roundish area of approximately 40,000 km2 surrounded by supracrustal belts. Deep seismic reflection profile FIRE 3A runs across these units, and we have re-interpreted the profile and crustal evolution along the profile using 1.92-1.85 Ga plutonic rocks as lithospheric probes. The surface part of the profile has been divided into five subareas: Archean continent (AC) in the east, AP, CFGC, boundary zone (BZ) and the Bothnian Belt (BB) in the west. There are 12 key samples from which zircons were studied for inclusions and analyzed (core-rim) by ion probe for U-Pb dating and oxygen isotopes, followed by analyzes for Lu-Hf by LA-MC-ICP-MS. The AC plutonic rocks (1.87-1.85 Ga) form a bimodal suite, where the proposed mantle source for the mafic rocks is 2.1-2.0 Ga metasomatized lower part of the Archean subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) and the source for the felsic melts is related plume-derived underplated mafic material in the lower crust. Variable degrees of contamination of the Archean lower crust have produced "subduction-like" Nb-Ta anomalies in spidergrams and negative εNd (T) values in the mafic-intermediate rocks. The felsic AC granitoids originate from a low degree melting of eclogitic or garnet-bearing amphibolites with titanite ± rutile partly prevailing in the residue (Nb-Ta fractionation) followed by variable degree of assimilation/melting of the Archean lower crust. The AP plutonic rocks (ca. 1.88 Ga) can be divided into I-type and A-type granitoids (AP/A), where the latter follow the sediment assimilation trend in ASI diagram, have high δ18O values (up to 8‰) in zircons and exhibit negative Ba anomalies (Rb-Ba-Th in spidergram), as found in sedimentary rocks. A mixing/assimilation of enriched mantle-derived melts with melts from already migmatized sedimentary rocks ± amphibolites is proposed. The CFGC is

  18. Early Cambrian Post-collisional volcanosedimentary Rey Bouba greenstone belt in northern Cameroun: LA-MC-ICP-MS U-Pb geochronology and implications for the geodynamic evolution of the Central African Fold Belt (CAFB). (United States)

    Bouyo, Merlain


    The Rey Bouba Greenstone Belt (RBGB) is a greenschist volcanosedimentary basin representing the youngest accretion event that characterized the geodynamic evolution of the CAFB of Northern Cameroon. LA-MC-ICP-MS U-Pb detrital zircon data indicate that both older PP to MP and younger NP to Early Cambrian sources from ca 2000 to ca 540 Ma, with main provenance being zircon grains from Cryogenian igneous rocks (between ca 850 and ca 650 Ma) were involved in the formation of the RBGB basin. Considering the age of metamorphism inferred from high pressure granulites at ca 600 Ma within the CAFB of northern Cameroon as the most direct evidence for the timing of continental collision, we conclude that the deformation associated with migmatites and post-collisional granites which fed the Rey Bouba basin mostly with NP zircon lasts until post 540 Ma, in correlation with the final amalgamation of the Gondwana Supercontinent during Latest Neoproterozoic-Earliest Cambrian. Therefore, the RBGB may represent the youngest post-collisional metavolcanosedimentary basin within the CAFB.

  19. Rb–Sr and Sm–Nd isotope systematics and geochemical studies on metavolcanic rocks from Peddavura greenstone belt: Evidence for presence of Mesoarchean continental crust in easternmost part of Dharwar Craton, India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    M Rajamanickam; S Balakrishnan; R Bhutani


    Linear, north–south trending Peddavura greenstone belt occurs in easternmost part of the Dharwar Craton. It consists of pillowed basalts, basaltic andesites, andesites (BBA) and rhyolites interlayered with ferruginous chert that were formed under submarine condition. Rhyolites were divided into type-I and II based on their REE abundances and HREE fractionation. Rb–Sr and Sm–Nd isotope studies were carried out on the rock types to understand the evolution of the Dharwar Craton. Due to source heterogeneity Sm–Nd isotope system has not yielded any precise age. Rb–Sr whole-rock isochron age of 2551 ± 19 (MSWD = 1.16) Ma for BBA group could represent time of seafloor metamorphism after the formation of basaltic rocks. Magmas representing BBA group of samples do not show evidence for crustal contamination while magmas representing type-II rhyolites had undergone variable extents of assimilation of Mesoarchean continental crust (< 3.3 Ga) as evident from their initial Nd isotope values. Trace element and Nd isotope characteristics of type I rhyolites are consistent with model of generation of their magmas by partial melting of mixed sources consisting of basalt and oceanic sediments with continental crustal components. Thus this study shows evidence for presence of Mesoarchean continental crust in Peddavura area in eastern part of Dharwar Craton.

  20. In situ dating of the oldest morphological traces of life on Earth (United States)

    Fliegel, D.; McLoughlin, N.; Simonetti, A.; de Wit, M.; Furnes, H.


    Sea floor pillow basalts contain tubular and granular bioalteration micro textures in their glassy margins1,2 created by microbes etching the rock3,4, hypothetically to get access to nutrients and electrons donors5. The etched pits in the rock can be regarded as trace fossils6 that later become mineralized by titanite (CaTiSiO5). Such trace fossils are known from recent oceanic crust to some of the oldest preserved Archean ocean floor, in the Barberton greenstone belt (BGB), in S-Africa7. However, the antiquity of BGB trace fossils has been questioned by some since only the host rock was dated until now8. Here, we report for the first time in situ U-Pb radiometric dating of titanite mineralizing the BGB trace fossils using LA-MC-ICPMS. An U-Pb date of of approx. 3.15 ± 0.05 Ga (95.4 % confidence) for the titanite demonstrates the antiquity of the BGB trace fossils. This result confirms the BGB trace fossils as the oldest directly dated morphological trace of life on Earth. We will present addition data to reveal the mineralization of trace fossils by titanite, comparing the BGB trace fossils to other similar tubular titanite mineralized textures from different locations and younger ages. Our data confirms that a sub-oceanic biosphere was already established in the early Archean by at least 3.2 Ga. Further the results highlight the importance of the sub-ocean habitats for the development and possibly refuge for life on (early) Earth. 1. Furnes, H. et al. Bioalteration of basaltic glass in the oceanic crust. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems 2, (2001). 2. Staudigel, H. et al. 3.5 billion years of glass bioalteration: vulcanic rocks as a basis for microbial life. Earth-Science Reviews 89, 156-176 (2008). 3. Furnes, H. et al. Links Between Geological Processes, Microbial Activeties and Evolution of Life. Dilek, Y., Furnes, H. and Muehlenbachs, K. (eds.), pp. 1-68 (Springer,2008). 4. McLoughlin, N. et al. Current Developments in Bioerosion (Erlangen Earth Conference

  1. Granite-hosted molybdenite mineralization from Archean Bundelkhand cratonmolybdenite characterization, host rock mineralogy, petrology, and fluid inclusion characteristics of Mo-bearing quartz

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    J K Pati; M K Panigrahi; M Chakarborty


    The dominantly high-K, moderate to high SiO2 containing, variably fractionated, volcanic-arc granitoids (± sheared) from parts of Bundelkhand craton, northcentral India are observed to contain molybdenite (Mo) in widely separated 23 locations in the form of specks, pockets, clots and stringers along with quartz ± pyrite ± arsenopyrite ± chalcopyrite ± bornite ± covellite ± galena ± sphalerite and in invisible form as well. The molybdenite mineralization is predominantly associated with Bundelkhand Tectonic Zone, Raksa Shear Zone, and localized shear zones. The incidence of molybdenite is also observed within sheared quartz and tonalite–trondhjemite–granodiorite (TTG) gneisses. The fluid inclusion data show the presence of bi-phase (H2O–CO2), hypersaline and moderate temperature (100°–300°C) primary stretched fluid inclusions suggesting a possible hydrothermal origin for the Mo-bearing quartz occurring within variably deformed different granitoids variants of Archean Bundelkhand craton.

  2. Identification of 3.5 Ga detrital zircons from Yangtze craton in south China and the implication for Archean crust evolution

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Xiaoming; GAO Shan; LING Wenli; YUAN Honglin; HU Zhaochu


    The LA-ICP-MS U-Pb dating of hundreds of detrital zircon grains from the Sinian sandstones of Liantuo formation and tillites of Nantuo formation at Sanxia area in Yichang identified 3319-3508 Ma zircon grains. Their 207pb/206pb and 206pb/238U ages show excellent agreement (concordia degree 99 %-100 % ). Their CL images exhibit well-developed oscillatory zoning and the Th/U ratios are within 0. 46-0. 76, implying that they are igneous zircons which formed during middle-early Archean. These zircons are the oldest ones discovered in Yangtze craton until now. However, the detrital zircons with ages older than 3.3 Ga in the metamorphic rocks of Kongling group were not found by further investigation, which suggests the presence of crust older than high-grade metamorphic Kongling terrain in Yangtze craton.

  3. Lu Hf systematics of the ultra-high temperature Napier Metamorphic Complex in Antarctica: Evidence for the early Archean differentiation of Earth's mantle (United States)

    Choi, Sung Hi; Mukasa, Samuel B.; Andronikov, Alexandre V.; Osanai, Yasuhito; Harley, Simon L.; Kelly, Nigel M.


    The Napier Complex of the East Antarctic Craton comprises some of the oldest rocks on Earth (˜ 3.8 billion years old), overprinted by an ultra-high temperature (UHT) metamorphic event near the Archean-Proterozoic boundary. Garnet, orthopyroxene, sapphirine, osumilite, rutile and a whole rock representing a fully equilibrated assemblage from this UHT granulite belt have yielded a Lu-Hf isochron age of 2403 ± 43 Ma, the first ever determined on a UHT mineral assemblage. Preservation of the UHT mineral assemblage in the rock analyzed, without any significant retrogression, suggests rapid cooling with closure likely to have occurred for the Lu-Hf system at post-peak UHT conditions near a temperature of ˜ 800 °C. This mineral-whole rock isochron yields an initial 176Hf/ 177Hf ratio corresponding to an ɛHf value of - 14 ± 1, acquired during UHT metamorphism. Such a low value demonstrates that overall UHT granulites evolved in a low Lu/Hf environment, probably formed when the rocks were first extracted from a highly depleted mantle. Zircon ɛHf values we have measured "see through" the UHT metamorphism and show that the source materials for the magmas that formed the Napier Complex were extremely depleted (> + 5.6 ɛHf at 3.85 Ga) relative to the chondritic uniform reservoir (CHUR). These results also suggest significant depletion of the early Archean mantle, in agreement with the early differentiation of the Earth that the latest core formation models require.

  4. Archean Mass-independent Fractionation of Sulfur Isotope:New Evidence of Bedded Sulfide Deposits in the Yanlingguan-Shihezhuang area of Xintai, Shandong Province

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Yanhe; HOU Kejun; WAN Defang; YUE Guoliang


    Multiple sulfur isotope ratios (34S/33S/32S) of Archean bedded sulfides deposits were measured in the Yanlingguan Formation of the Taishan Group in Xintai, Shandong Province, East of China; δ33S =-0.7‰ to 3.8‰,δ34S = 0.1‰-8.8‰, △33S = -2.3‰ to -0.7‰ The sulfur isotope compositions show obvious mass-independent fractionation (MIF) signatures. The presence of MIF of sulfur isotope in Archean sulfides indicates that the sulfur was from products of photochemical reactions of volcanic SO2 induced by solar UV radiation, implying that the ozone shield was not formed in atmosphere at that time, and the oxygen level was less than 10-5PAL (the present atmosphere level). The sulfate produced by photolysis of SO2 with negative △33S precipitated near the volcanic activity center; and the product of element S with positive △33S precipitated far away from the volcanic activity center. The lower △33S values of sulfide (-2.30‰ to-0.25‰) show that Shihezhuang was near the volcanic center,and sulfur was mostly from sulfate produced by photolysis. The higher △33S values (-0.5‰ to-2‰)indicate that Yanlingguan was far away from the volcanic center and that some of sulfur were from sulfate, another from element S produced by photolysis. The data points of sulfur isotope from Yanlingguan are in a line parallel to MFL (mass dependent fractionation line) on the plot of δ34S-δ33S,showing that the volcanic sulfur species went through the atmospheric cycle into the ocean, and then mass dependent fractionation occurred during deposition of sulfide. The data points of sulfur isotope from Shihezhuang represent a mix of different sulfur source.

  5. 俄罗斯白海活动带中的太古宙榴辉岩%Archean eclogites from Belomorian Mobile Belt, Russia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李小犁; 张立飞; 魏春景


    The oldest eclogite outcrops with Archean age were found in Belomorian Mobile Belt in Russia, which is a sharp breakthrough in geology. The Belomorian Mobile Belt is located at the north-east of Archean nucleus of the Fennoscandian shield, in the Belomorian accretionary-collisional orogeny between Kola Peninsula and Karelian craton, which was affected many times by high-moderate-pressure metamorphism and structural deformation in Neoarchean and Paleoproterozoic periods. There are two eclogite-bearing areas, Gridino and Salma. Gidino eclogites include polygenetic Archean eclogite fragments (-2. 72 Ga) with complicated composition, consisting of migmatized and strongly deformed tectonic melange, and various Paleoproterozoic mafic dykes and veins. Salma eclogites were considered to be formed at 2. 87 Ga, and the Fe-Ti-eclogite variety at 2. 8 Ga. The two eclogite assemblages have similar p-T evolution paths in general, and the p-T condition of Gridino eclogite (T= 740 - 865 ℃ , p= 1. 4 - 1. 8 GPa) should be higher than that of Salma eclogites (T≈700 ℃ , p=1. 3 - 1. 4 GPa). The protolith of Salma eclogite might be related with oceanic environment.%在俄罗斯白海活动区发现的迄今为止最古老的太古宙榴辉岩的出露,对整个地质学领域是一次革命性事件.白海活动带位于芬诺斯干地亚地盾东北部太古宙陆核,处于科拉半岛大陆和卡累利阿克拉通之间的太古宙增生碰撞带中,在新太古代和古元古代期间多次受到中高压变质和构造变形作用.榴辉岩出露包括Gridino和Salma两大地区.Gridino榴辉岩区的榴辉岩产状可分为TTG片麻岩围岩中具有复杂成因的太古宙榴辉岩包裹镶体(2.72 Ga),组成强烈构造变形的混合混杂岩体(mélange),以及众多古元古代侵入岩墙岩脉状基性榴辉岩.Salma榴辉岩区的榴辉岩年龄应该晚于2.87 Ga,其中的Fe-Ti-榴辉岩年龄测定为约2.80 Ga.两大榴辉岩区的p-T演化轨迹比较类

  6. A linear Hf isotope-age array despite different granitoid sources and complex Archean geodynamics: Example from the Pietersburg block (South Africa) (United States)

    Laurent, Oscar; Zeh, Armin


    Combined U-Pb and Lu-Hf isotope data from zircon populations are widely used to constrain Hadean-Archean crustal evolution. Linear Hf isotope-age arrays are interpreted to reflect the protracted, internal reworking of crust derived from the (depleted) mantle during a short-lived magmatic event, and related 176Lu/177Hf ratios are used to constrain the composition of the reworked crustal reservoir. Results of this study, however, indicate that Hf isotope-age arrays can also result from complex geodynamic processes and crust-mantle interactions, as shown by U-Pb and Lu-Hf isotope analyses of zircons from well characterized granitoids of the Pietersburg Block (PB), northern Kaapvaal Craton (South Africa). Apart from scarce remnants of Paleoarchean crust, most granitoids of the PB with ages between 2.94 and 2.05 Ga (n = 32) define a straight Hf isotope-age array with low 176Lu/177Hf of 0.0022, although they show a wide compositional range, were derived from various sources and emplaced successively in different geodynamic settings. The crustal evolution occurred in five stages: (I) predominately mafic crust formation in an intra-oceanic environment (3.4-3.0 Ga); (II) voluminous TTG crust formation in an early accretionary orogen (3.0-2.92 Ga); (III) internal TTG crust reworking and subduction of TTG-derived sediments in an Andean-type setting (2.89-2.75 Ga); (IV) (post-)collisional high-K magmatism from both mantle and crustal sources (2.71-2.67 Ga); and (V) alkaline magmatism in an intra-cratonic environment (2.05-2.03 Ga). The inferred array results from voluminous TTG crust formation during stage II, and involvement of this crust during all subsequent stages by two different processes: (i) internal crust reworking through both partial melting and assimilation at 2.89-2.75 Ga, leading to the formation of biotite granites coeval with minor TTGs, and (ii) subduction of TTG-derived sediments underneath the PB, causing enrichment of the mantle that subsequently became

  7. Silicon isotope fractionation during microbial reduction of Fe(III)-Si gels under Archean seawater conditions and implications for iron formation genesis (United States)

    Reddy, Thiruchelvi R.; Zheng, Xin-Yuan; Roden, Eric E.; Beard, Brian L.; Johnson, Clark M.


    Microbial dissimilatory iron reduction (DIR) is a deeply rooted metabolism in the Bacteria and Archaea. In the Archean and Proterozoic, the most likely electron acceptor for DIR in marine environments was Fe(III)-Si gels. It has been recently suggested that the Fe and Si cycles were coupled through sorption of aqueous Si to iron oxides/hydroxides, and through release of Si during DIR. Evidence for the close association of the Fe and Si cycles comes from banded iron formations (BIFs), which consist of alternating bands of Fe-bearing minerals and quartz (chert). Although there has been extensive study of the stable Fe isotope fractionations produced by DIR of Fe(III)-Si gels, as well as studies of stable Fe isotope fractionations in analogous abiologic systems, no studies to date have investigated stable Si isotope fractionations produced by DIR. In this study, the stable Si isotope fractionations produced by microbial reduction of Fe(III)-Si gels were investigated in simulated artificial Archean seawater (AAS), using the marine iron-reducing bacterium Desulfuromonas acetoxidans. Microbial reduction produced very large 30Si/28Si isotope fractionations between the solid and aqueous phase at ˜23 °C, where Δ30Sisolid-aqueous isotope fractionations of -3.35 ± 0.16‰ and -3.46 ± 0.09‰ were produced in two replicate experiments at 32% Fe(III) reduction (solid-phase Fe(II)/FeTotal = 0.32). This isotopic fractionation was substantially greater than that observed in two abiologic controls that had solid-phase Fe(II)/FeTotal = 0.02-0.03, which produced Δ30Sisolid-aqueous isotope fractionations of -2.83 ± 0.24‰ and -2.65 ± 0.28‰. In a companion study, the equilibrium Δ30Sisolid-aqueous isotope fractionation was determined to be -2.3‰ for solid-phase Fe(II)/FeTotal = 0. Collectively, these results highlight the importance of Fe(II) in Fe-Si gels in producing large changes in Si isotope fractionations. These results suggest that DIR should produce highly

  8. The chemical conditions of the late Archean Hamersley basin inferred from whole rock and pyrite geochemistry with Δ33S and δ34S isotope analyses (United States)

    Gregory, Daniel D.; Large, Ross R.; Halpin, Jacqueline A.; Steadman, Jeffery A.; Hickman, Arthur H.; Ireland, Trevor R.; Holden, Peter


    The well-preserved late Archean sedimentary rocks of the Fortescue and Hamersley Basins in Western Australia offer fascinating insights into early earth ocean chemistry prior to the Great Oxidation Event (GOE). In this study, we use a combination of whole rock geochemistry, LA-ICPMS trace element analysis of sedimentary pyrite and pyrrhotite and SHRIMP-SI sulfur isotope analyses to elucidate the chemical changes in these sedimentary rocks. These proxies are used to examine chemical conditions of the ocean during the late Archean. Two to three periods of oxygen enrichment prior to the deposition of banded iron formations (BIF) can be identified. One minor stage of general increase in whole rock enrichment factors and trace element content of pyrite is observed up stratigraphy in the Jeerinah Formation, Fortescue Basin and a more substantial stage is present in the Paraburdoo and Bee Gorge Members of the Wittenoom Formation, Hamersley Basin. Some of the trace element enrichments indicate organic matter burial flux (Ni, Cr, Zn, Co and Cu) which suggests an increase in biological productivity. If the increased biological activity reflects an increase in cyanobacteria activity then an associated increase in oxygen is likely to have occurred during the deposition of the Bee Gorge Member. An increase in atmospheric oxygen would result in continental weathering of sulfide and other minerals, increasing the trace element content of the water column via erosion and avoiding excessive depletion of trace elements due to drawdown in seawater. Since some of these trace elements may also be limiting nutrients (such as Mo and Se) for the cyanobacteria, the degree of biological productivity may have further increased due to the increasing amount of trace elements introduced by oxygenation in a positive feedback loop. These periods of increased productivity and oxygen rise stopped prior to the onset of BIF deposition in the Hamersley Basin. This may be due to the ocean reaching an

  9. Micro- and nanobands in late Archean and Palaeoproterozoic banded-iron formations as possible mineral records of annual and diurnal depositions (United States)

    Li, Yi-Liang


    The microbands in Precambrian banded-iron formations (BIFs) have been conjectured to record annual or even diurnal depositions. However, these bands have rarely been observed in high resolution at their true (micro) scale. Here, I suggest that nanobands of fine-grained hematite represent possible diurnal depositions and that microbands of chert/jasper represent possible annual depositions in three sets of BIFs: 2460-Myr BIFs from the Kuruman Iron Formation, Transvaal Supergroup of South Africa; 2480-Myr BIFs from the Dales Gorge Member of the Brockman Iron Formation, Western Australia; and 2728-Myr BIFs from the Hunter Mine Group, Abitibi Greenstone Belt, Canada. Observations made using scanning electron microscopy indicate that hematite and chert were syngenetic, and that there was a hiatus between their precipitation and the genesis of the remainder of the minerals containing structural Fe(II). Spindle-like grains of hematite, monocrystals of magnetite, and ferro-dolomite formed microbands of ∼30-70 μm in thickness, which appear cyclically in the matrix of the chert. Neither the band-bound magnetite and dolomite nor the linear formations of the hematite spindles represent annual depositions due to their diagenetic features. The thinnest microbands (∼3-∼12 μm) were observed in the chert and jasper, and indicate depositional rates of 6.6-22.2 m/Myr in the BIFs. These rates are consistent with the integrated deposition rates calculated by geochronologic methods for the BIFs, if annual deposition is assumed. The ∼26-nm nanobands observed only in hematite grains reflect an annual deposition of ∼18.6 μm, or ∼18.6 m/Myr, which is also consistent with the depositional rate calculated by geochronologic methods. It is tentatively suggested that these ∼26-nm nanobands were formed from the diurnal precipitation of Fe(III) resulting from the circadian metabolism of Fe(II)-oxidizing or oxygen-evolving photosynthetic microorganisms, which slowed down the rise

  10. Primary arsenic(V) preserved in 3.26 billion-year-old shallow marine cherts of the Fig Tree Group demonstrates a complete Paleoarchean arsenic cycle driven by photosynthetic bacteria (United States)

    Myers, K. D.; Tice, M. M.; Bostick, B. C.


    Microbial arsenic (As) redox cycling is hypothesized to have been widespread in oxygen-free Archean environments, yet our understanding of Archean As cycles is hindered by a poor sedimentary record of As. Concentrations of up to 1.6 wt % As were discovered in chert clasts of a fan delta conglomerate sourced from shallow-water coastal environments in the 3.26-3.23 Ga Fig Tree Group of the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa. Arsenic is associated at the outcrop-scale with Fe-bearing conglomerate pebbles and underlying banded ferruginous cherts, whereas low-Fe chert clasts, underlying low-Fe banded black and white cherts, bedded barites, and overlying ash deposits lack As. Bulk As and Fe K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy and 1-100 μm scale μ-X-ray fluorescence mapping were used to determine the abundance, oxidation state, and mineralogy of As in relation to sedimentary textures and bulk Fe mineralogy. Arsenic concentration is strongly linked to lithology: hematite (Fe2O3)-rich pebbles contain higher Fe:As ratios ( 10:1-100:1) than sideritic pebbles with little to no Fe2O3 (Fe:As 1:1-10:1). Arsenopyrite (FeAsS), orpiment (As2S3), As(III), and As(V) line pre-erosional textures and early dewatering structures. Significantly, As(V) is associated with hematite, pyrite, and siderite but not with products of recent oxidative weathering such as goethite. These results are best explained by As(V) adsorption to Fe-oxide phases during deposition or very early diagenesis, prior to silicification. Microbially-mediated SO42- and As(V) reduction led to As2S3 precipitation, known to occur in modern reducing and arsenic-bearing aquifers. Later metamorphic alteration of As2S3 led to partial replacement, likely isomorphously, with FeAsS. The presence of minerals formed during different stages of As(V) reduction associated with early sedimentary textures show that a complete biogeochemical As redox cycle was possible by 3.2 Ga. The As(V)/As(III) pair has a more positive

  11. Lithophile and siderophile element systematics of Earth's mantle at the Archean-Proterozoic boundary: Evidence from 2.4 Ga komatiites (United States)

    Puchtel, I. S.; Touboul, M.; Blichert-Toft, J.; Walker, R. J.; Brandon, A. D.; Nicklas, R. W.; Kulikov, V. S.; Samsonov, A. V.


    likely ancient mafic crust. The large positive 182W anomaly present in the tonalites requires that the precursor crust incorporated a primordial component with Hf/W that became fractionated, relative to the bulk mantle, within the first 50 Ma of Solar System history. The absolute HSE abundances in the mantle source of the Vetreny komatiite system are estimated to be 66 ± 7% of those in the present-day Bulk Silicate Earth. This observation, coupled with the normal 182W/184W composition of the komatiitic basalts, when corrected for crustal contamination (μ182W = -0.5 ± 4.5 ppm), indicates that the W-HSE systematics of the Vetreny komatiite system most likely were established as a result of late accretion of chondritic material to Earth. Our present results, combined with isotopic and chemical data available for other early and late Archean komatiite systems, are inconsistent with the model of increasing HSE abundances in komatiitic sources as a result of slow downward mixing into the mantle of chondritic material accreted to Earth throughout the Archean. The observed HSE concentration variations rather reflect sluggish mixing of diverse post-magma ocean domains characterized by variably-fractionated lithophile and siderophile element abundances.

  12. A tale of two eras: Pliocene-Pleistocene unroofing of Cenozoic and late Archean zircons from active metamorphic core complexes, Solomon Sea, Papua New Guinea (United States)

    Baldwin, Suzanne L.; Ireland, Trevor R.


    U/Pb ion microprobe analyses of zircons from gneisses and granodiorites exposed in the D'Entrecasteaux Islands, and from conglomerate sections of the Goodenough No. 1 well in the adjacent Trobriand Basin, provide constraints on the age of magmatism, peak metamorphism, and nature of rocks unroofed during initial stages of metamorphic core complex formation in the Solomon Sea. The youngest populations of zircons from felsic gneisses and granodiorites indicate late Pliocene 206Pb*/238U ages. No inherited zircons were identified in the granodiorites, and the 206Pb*/238U ages (1.65 ± 0.18 Ma; 1.98 ± 0.08 Ma [2σ]) are interpreted as crystallization ages. These synkinematically emplaced granodiorites, intruded into actively extending continental crust, are some of the youngest known granitoids currently exposed at the Earth' surface. Zircon ages from felsic gneisses (2.63 ± 0.16 Ma; 2.72 ± 0.28 Ma [2σ]) are interpreted to date zircon growth subsequent to eclogite facies metamorphism. Felsic gneiss samples also contained zircon xenocrysts from Cretaceous-Miocene protoliths. In striking contrast, zircons from igneous and metamorphic clasts from the Goodenough No. 1 well indicate a single population with a 207Pb*/206/Pb* age of 2781 ± 9 Ma (2σ). We speculate that they are derived from basement rocks unroofed during initial stages of development of the D&Entrecasteaux metamorphic core complexes. These results provide the first direct evidence for the existence of Archean protoliths in the basement rocks of southeastern Papua New Guinea.

  13. Geochemistry of anorthositic differentiated sills in the Archean (~ 2970 Ma) Fiskenæsset Complex, SW Greenland: Implications for parental magma compositions, geodynamic setting, and secular heat flow in arcs (United States)

    Polat, Ali; Fryer, Brian J.; Appel, Peter W. U.; Kalvig, Per; Kerrich, Robert; Dilek, Yildirim; Yang, Zhaoping


    The Fiskenæsset Complex, SW Greenland, is one of the best preserved layered Archean intrusions in the world, consisting of an association of ca. 550-meter-thick anorthosite, leucogabbro, gabbro, and ultramafic rocks (dunite, peridotite, pyroxenite, and hornblendite). Despite poly-phase deformation and amphibolite to granulite facies metamorphism, primary cumulate textures and igneous layering are well-preserved in the complex. This study reports new major and trace element data for three variably thick (1 to 5 m) differentiated (dunite, through peridotite, pyroxenite, gabbro leucogabbro, to anorthosite) sequences (Sequences 1, 2 and 3) in the Sinarssuk area of the Fiskenæsset region. On several variation diagrams, samples from these sequences plot along a well-defined liquid line of descent, consistent with in situ fractional crystallization. The average chemical compositions of these sequences are used to constrain their approximate parental magma compositions. Petrographic observations and geochemical data suggest that Sequences 2 and 3 solidified from evolved magmas that underwent olivine fractionation prior to their intrusion. In contrast, Sequence 1 appears to have been derived from a near-primary parental magma (SiO 2 = 43 wt.%, MgO = 20 wt.%, Al 2O 3 = 16 wt.%, CaO = 9.3 wt.%, Ni = 840 ppm, Mg-number = 80). The trace element patterns of this parental magma are comparable to those of Phanerozoic boninites, consistent with a supra-subduction zone geodynamic setting. If the relative thickness of ultramafic layers, the sum of dunite, peridotite and pyroxenite layers, in differentiated sequences is taken as an analog for the original complex emplaced into Archean oceanic crust, the Fiskenæsset Complex might have had a minimum thickness of 1000 m, with a 500 m thick ultramafic unit at the bottom. The thickness of the ultramafic unit in the preserved complex is less than 50 m, suggesting that more than 90% of the original ultramafic unit was either delaminated

  14. A new method of discriminating different types of post-Archean ophiolitic basalts and their tectonic significance using Th-Nb and Ce-Dy-Yb systematics

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Emilio Saccani


    In this paper, a new discrimination diagram using absolute measures of Th and Nb is applied to post-Archean ophiolites to best discriminate a large number of different ophiolitic basalts. This diagram was obtained using >2000 known ophiolitic basalts and was tested using w560 modern rocks from known tectonic settings. Ten different basaltic varieties from worldwide ophiolitic complexes have been examined. They include two basaltic types that have never been considered before, which are: (1) medium-Ti basalts (MTB) generated at nascent forearc settings; (2) a type of mid-ocean ridge basalts showing garnet signature (G-MORB) that characterizes Alpine-type (i.e., non volcanic) rifted margins and ocean-continent transition zones (OCTZ). In the Th-Nb diagram, basalts generated in oceanic subduction-unrelated settings, rifted margins, and OCTZ can be distinguished from subduction-related basalts with a misclassification rate<1%. This diagram highlights the chemical variation of oceanic, rifted margin, and OCTZ basalts from depleted compositions to progressively more enriched compositions reflecting, in turn, the variance of source composition and degree of melting within the MORB-OIB array. It also highlights the chemical contributions of enriched (OIB-type) components to mantle sources. Enrichment of Th relative to Nb is particularly effective for highlighting crustal input via subduction or crustal contamination. Basalts formed at continental margin arcs and island arc with a complex polygenetic crust can be distinguished from those generated in intra-oceanic arcs in supra-subduction zones (SSZ) with a misclassification rate <1%. Within the SSZ group, two sub-settings can be recognized with a misclassification rate <0.5%. They are: (1) SSZ influenced by chemical contribution from subduction-derived components (forearc and intra-arc sub-settings) characterized by island arc tholeiitic (IAT) and boninitic basalts; (2) SSZ with no contribution from subduction

  15. Zircon U-Pb Age, Trace Element, and Hf Isotope Evidence for Paleoproterozoic Granulite-Facies Metamorphism and Archean Crustal Remnant in the Dabie Orogen

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lei Nengzhong; Wu Yuanbao


    .90 Gainherited zircons show the similar Hf isotope features. These indicate that both growth of juvenile crust and reworking of ancient crust took place at the time of zircon formation. It is inferred that the Archean basement of the Yangtze block occurs in thenorth as the Dabie orogen, with ca. 2.90-2.95 Ga and 2.75-2.80 Ga as two major episodes of crustalformation.

  16. A new method of discriminating different types of post-Archean ophiolitic basalts and their tectonic significance using Th-Nb and Ce-Dy-Yb systematics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilio Saccani


    Full Text Available In this paper, a new discrimination diagram using absolute measures of Th and Nb is applied to post-Archean ophiolites to best discriminate a large number of different ophiolitic basalts. This diagram was obtained using >2000 known ophiolitic basalts and was tested using ∼560 modern rocks from known tectonic settings. Ten different basaltic varieties from worldwide ophiolitic complexes have been examined. They include two basaltic types that have never been considered before, which are: (1 medium-Ti basalts (MTB generated at nascent forearc settings; (2 a type of mid-ocean ridge basalts showing garnet signature (G-MORB that characterizes Alpine-type (i.e., non volcanic rifted margins and ocean-continent transition zones (OCTZ. In the Th-Nb diagram, basalts generated in oceanic subduction-unrelated settings, rifted margins, and OCTZ can be distinguished from subduction-related basalts with a misclassification rate <1%. This diagram highlights the chemical variation of oceanic, rifted margin, and OCTZ basalts from depleted compositions to progressively more enriched compositions reflecting, in turn, the variance of source composition and degree of melting within the MORB-OIB array. It also highlights the chemical contributions of enriched (OIB-type components to mantle sources. Enrichment of Th relative to Nb is particularly effective for highlighting crustal input via subduction or crustal contamination. Basalts formed at continental margin arcs and island arc with a complex polygenetic crust can be distinguished from those generated in intra-oceanic arcs in supra-subduction zones (SSZ with a misclassification rate <1%. Within the SSZ group, two sub-settings can be recognized with a misclassification rate <0.5%. They are: (1 SSZ influenced by chemical contribution from subduction-derived components (forearc and intra-arc sub-settings characterized by island arc tholeiitic (IAT and boninitic basalts; (2 SSZ with no contribution from subduction

  17. Lu-Hf systematics of the ultra-high temperature Napier Complex, East Antarctica: evidence for the early Archean formation of continental crust (United States)

    Choi, S.; Mukasa, S. B.; Andronikov, A. V.; Osanai, Y.; Harley, S. L.; Kelly, N. M.


    The Napier Complex in East Antarctica comprises some of the oldest rocks on earth (~3.8 billion years old), overprinted by an ultra-high temperature (UHT) metamorphic event near the Archean-Proterozoic boundary. Garnet, orthopyroxene, sapphirine, osumilite, rutile and a whole rock representing an equilibrated assemblage from this belt yield a Lu-Hf isochron age of 2,403 ± 43 Ma. Preservation of the UHT mineral assemblage in the rock analyzed suggests rapid cooling with closure likely to have occurred for the Lu-Hf system at post-peak UHT conditions near a temperature of ~800C. Individual zircon grains from Gage Ridge within the Napier Complex yielded a remarkably uniform range of 176Hf/177Hf values between 0.280433 ± 7 and 0.280505 ± 10, corresponding to ɛHf > +5.6 at 3.85 Ga relative to the chondritic uniform reservoir (CHUR). Because of their exceedingly low Lu/Hf values (<0.001), the grains are effectively recording the initial Hf isotope composition of the magmatic systems from which the gneiss protoliths crystallized. These results indicate that (1) the source of the crustal materials that formed the Napier Complex at 3.85 Ga were depleted relative to the CHUR. The extent of depletion involved is higher than has been predicted by extrapolation from the Lu-Hf isotopic evolution inferred for the source of Proterozoic and Phanerozoic basalts, judging from an fLu/Hf value of 0.51, (2) the depleted mantle reservoir has been in existence since very early in Earth’s history, in agreement with the early differentiation of the Earth that the latest core formation models require, and (3) an extremely depleted source also mean that the bulk of continental crust was extracted from the mantle by ~3.8 Ga. Moreover, the results demonstrate that even the oldest silicic rocks in the complex are not likely to have formed from remobilized older crustal materials, but were instead juvenile products of mantle melting. In addition, zircons with metamorphic rims have a similar

  18. Consequences of an Immense Hadean-Archean Heat Flux that Results from Virial Theorem Constraints on the Earth's Initial Axial Spin (United States)

    Hofmeister, A. M.; Criss, R. E.


    x present levels in the Archean permitted formation of a thin lithosphere and stabilized an ocean and atmosphere. Frictional heat from spin loss helps explain why oceanic heat flux today resembles that of continents which store all the chondritic U and Th. Topside frictional and radiogenic heat production prohibits lower mantle convection.

  19. Stable iron isotope fractionation between aqueous Fe(II) and model Archean ocean Fe-Si coprecipitates and implications for iron isotope variations in the ancient rock record (United States)

    Wu, Lingling; Percak-Dennett, Elizabeth M.; Beard, Brian L.; Roden, Eric E.; Johnson, Clark M.


    Iron isotope fractionation between aqueous Fe(II) (Fe(II)aq) and two amorphous Fe(III) oxide-Si coprecipitates was investigated in an aqueous medium that simulated Archean marine conditions, including saturated amorphous silica, low sulfate, and zero dissolved oxygen. The equilibrium isotope fractionation (in 56Fe/54Fe) between Fe(II)aq and Fe(III)-Si coprecipitates at circum-neutral pH, as inferred by the three-isotope method, was -3.51 ± 0.20 (2σ)‰ and -3.99 ± 0.17 (2σ)‰ for coprecipitates that had Fe:Si molar ratios of 1:2 and 1:3, respectively. These results, when combined with earlier work, indicate that the equilibrium isotope fractionation factor between Fe(II)aq and Fe(III)-Si coprecipitates changes as a function of Fe:Si ratio of the solid. Isotopic fractionation was least negative when Fe:Si = 1:1 and most negative when Fe:Si = 1:3. This change corresponds with changes in the local structure of iron, as revealed by prior spectroscopic studies. The kinetics of isotopic exchange was controlled by movement of Fe(II) and Si, where sorption of Fe(II) from aqueous to solid phase facilitated atom exchange, but sorption of Si hindered isotopic exchange through blockage of reactive surface sites. Although Fe(II)-Fe(III) isotopic exchange rates were a function of solid and solution compositions in the current study, in all cases they were much higher than that determined in previous studies of aqueous Fe(III) and ferrihydrite interaction, highlighting the importance of electron exchange in promoting Fe atom exchange. When compared to analogous microbial reduction experiments of overlapping Fe(II) to Fe(III) ratios, isotopic exchange rates were faster in the biological experiments, likely due to promotion of atom exchange by the solid-phase Fe(II) produced in the biological experiments. These results provide constraints for interpreting the relatively large range of Fe isotope compositions in Precambrian marine sedimentary rocks, and highlight important

  20. Interpretation of the relations between massive, pillowed and brecciated facies in an archean submarine andesite volcano — amulet andesite, rouyn-noranda, Canada (United States)

    Cousineau, Pierre; Dimroth, Erich


    The Amulet andesite formation in the Archean terrain of Rouyn-Noranda, P.Q., consists of 19 flows, distinguished by variations in phenocryst content and vesicularity and by the presence of concentric contraction fractures. Detailed mapping of flows revealed the presence of three main facies: (1) massive facies; (2) pillowed facies; and (3) foreset-bedded (brecciated) facies. The massive facies consists of > 50% massive lava overlain by pillow lava and/or pillow breccia. The pillowed facies consists of > 50% pillows. In some flows, the pillowed facies contains a thin sheet of massive lava at the base of the flow (facies 2a). Generally, massive lava fills braided channels 10-50 m wide (facies 2b). Facies 2c consists of pillows and large, irregular, megapillows. Determination of the flow direction shows that facies 1 is proximal, facies 2 distal. The foreset-bedded facies 3 consists of alternating thin (1-2 m) lobes of massive lava, pillow lava and broken-pillow breccia. It makes up flows 16-19 at the top of the sequence. Flow M, a unit entirely composed of massive lava, is ponded against flows 9 and 10. We interpret the growth of the Amulet andesite volcano in the light of new work on ocean-floor basalt and on the 1969-1973 Mauna Ulu eruption. The feeding fissure was located in the area of massive facies. At the beginning of eruptions lava spread laterally as a sheet-flood flow (massive base of facies 2a) but rapidly became channelized. The pillow lava and in particular the facies 2b, 2c and 3 are considered as the subaqueous equivalents of tube-fed pahoehoe. Flow M probably represents a lava lake. Shallowing-upward of the sequence during the built-up of the volcano is indicated by increasing vesicularity of the flows and by an upward increase of the proportion of broken pillow breccia. This increase is gradual from flow 1 to flow 15 but abrupt from flow 15 to 16-19.

  1. Abiologic silicon isotope fractionation between aqueous Si and Fe(III)-Si gel in simulated Archean seawater: Implications for Si isotope records in Precambrian sedimentary rocks (United States)

    Zheng, Xin-Yuan; Beard, Brian L.; Reddy, Thiruchelvi R.; Roden, Eric E.; Johnson, Clark M.


    Precambrian Si-rich sedimentary rocks, including cherts and banded iron formations (BIFs), record a >7‰ spread in 30Si/28Si ratios (δ30Si values), yet interpretation of this large variability has been hindered by the paucity of data on Si isotope exchange kinetics and equilibrium fractionation factors in systems that are pertinent to Precambrian marine conditions. Using the three-isotope method and an enriched 29Si tracer, a series of experiments were conducted to constrain Si isotope exchange kinetics and fractionation factors between amorphous Fe(III)-Si gel, a likely precursor to Precambrian jaspers and BIFs, and aqueous Si in artificial Archean seawater under anoxic conditions. Experiments were conducted at room temperature, and in the presence and absence of aqueous Fe(II) (Fe(II)aq). Results of this study demonstrate that Si solubility is significantly lower for Fe-Si gel than that of amorphous Si, indicating that seawater Si concentrations in the Precambrian may have been lower than previous estimates. The experiments reached ˜70-90% Si isotope exchange after a period of 53-126 days, and the highest extents of exchange were obtained where Fe(II)aq was present, suggesting that Fe(II)-Fe(III) electron-transfer and atom-exchange reactions catalyze Si isotope exchange through breakage of Fe-Si bonds. All experiments except one showed little change in the instantaneous solid-aqueous Si isotope fractionation factor with time, allowing extraction of equilibrium Si isotope fractionation factors through extrapolation to 100% isotope exchange. The equilibrium 30Si/28Si fractionation between Fe(III)-Si gel and aqueous Si (Δ30Sigel-aqueous) is -2.30 ± 0.25‰ (2σ) in the absence of Fe(II)aq. In the case where Fe(II)aq was present, which resulted in addition of ˜10% Fe(II) in the final solid, creating a mixed Fe(II)-Fe(III) Si gel, the equilibrium fractionation between Fe(II)-Fe(III)-Si gel and aqueous Si (Δ30Sigel-aqueous) is -3.23 ± 0.37‰ (2σ). Equilibrium

  2. Phlogopite compositions as an indicator of both the geodynamic context of granitoids and the metallogeny aspect in Memve'ele Archean area, northwestern Congo craton (United States)

    Ntomba, Sylvestre M.; Bidzang, François Ndong; Ottou, José Eric Messi; Goussi Ngalamo, François Jeannot; Bisso, Dieudonné; Magnekou Takamte, Christelle Rufine; Ondoa, Joseph Mvondo


    A barium bearing phlogopite (celsian) has been found for the first time within the charnockitic and tonalitic suites that compose Archean mineral belt in Cameroon. Electron microprobe analyses of these phlogopites are reported and contain moderate contents of BaO (0.42-1.26 wt. %) and up to 5.95 wt. % TiO2. Micas are Mg-rich and their compositions indicate phlogopites rich-meroxenes. Phlogopites from Memve'ele are characterized by a nearly horizontal trend of increasing total aluminium (2.494-2.931 a.p.f.u.) and relatively constant Fe/(Fe + Mg) suggesting contributions of aluminous supracrustal material to the magmas by anatexis or assimilation. Compositions of the barium titanium bearing phlogopite vary systematically according to rock types. It seems that the substitution scheme include Ba + Al + VI (Mg, Fe)2+ + 2 IVSi = K + Si + VITi + 2IVAl was dominant in the Memve'ele area thus, this scheme has made easy incorporation of Ba into phlogopite structure. The binary diagram of aluminium vs. titanium shows that phlogopites from the Memve'ele area have been formed by the same metasomatic mechanism as phlogopites from Canary Island xenoliths and Mezitler andesites but Ba enrichment of phlogopites from the Memve'ele area implies an early Ba-metasomatism contrary to those from Mezitler. The estimated temperature of the studied phlogopites indicated mainly two groups: (1) temperature range from 662 to 688 °C (average 676 °C) for phlogopite grains with High Mg# in the trondhjemite sample and (2) temperatures with interval limits from 757 to 800 °C (average 777.07 °C) for remnant phlogopites; reflecting primary and late crystallization respectively from slightly to highly oxidized magma (-17.30 to -13.87 Kbars). The geothermal gradient with average temperatures are 35.57-53.360 °C/Km and 30.95-46.42 °C/Km corresponding to 14.56-21.84 Km and 14.56-30.58 Km depth of below crust respectively. The crystallizing melt is enriched in Ba emanated from sea water at medium

  3. Multiple sulfur isotope characteristics of 3.46-2.7 Ga sedimentary rocks from drill cores of the Archean Biosphere Drilling Project (Invited) (United States)

    Watanabe, Y.; Ohmoto, H.


    As part of the Archean Biosphere Drilling Project (ABDP), we have determined the multiple sulfur isotope ratios and examined the mineralogical and geochemical characteristics of the sulfur-bearing minerals (e.g., pyrite, sphalerite, barite) and the host rocks (e.g., major and trace element chemistry; Corg, Ccarb and S contents; δ13Corg and δ13Ccarb) of >100 samples of sedimentary rocks from five ABDP drill cores in the Pilbara Craton, Western Australia. The total ranges of Δ33S and δ34S values of the studied samples are -0.9 to +1.2‰ and -4 to +8‰, respectively. We have found that the Δ33S and δ34S relationships show unique values depending on their depositional environment: (1) Pyrites in the 3.46 Ga Marble Bar Chert Member (ABDP #1), which were formed by submarine hydrothermal fluids, show no AIF-S (anomalously fractionated sulfur isotope) signatures: Δ33S = -0.08 to +0.08‰ and δ34S = -3.3 to +0.6‰ (n = 5). This indicates that the H2S presented in the submarine hydrothermal fluid, which was partly generated through seawater sulfate reduction by Fe2+, did not possess AIF-S signatures. (2) Pyrites in organic C-poor lacustrine shales of the 2.76 Ga Hardey Formation (ABDP #3) also show no or very little AIF-S signatures: Δ33S = -0.38 to +0.25‰ and δ34S = -2.7 to +1.9‰ (n = 18). (3) Pyrites in organic C-poor marine shales of the 2.92 Ga Mosquito Creek Formation (ABDP#5) show no or small negative AIF-S signatures: Δ33S = -0.59 to 0.19 ‰ and all positive δ34S = +1.4 to +7.7‰ (n = 24). (4) Pyrites in organic C-rich (> 1 wt%) and hydrothermally altered marine shales in the 3.46 Ga Panorama Formation (ABDP #2) show constant and small positive AIF-S signatures (+0.44 to +0.61‰) and the smallest variation in δ34S (-1.1 to +1.6‰) (n = 35). In contrast, pyrites in organic C-rich shales in the 2.72 Ga Mt. Roe Basalt show negative Δ33S = -0.50 to -0.10‰ and δ34S = -3.7 to 1.8‰ (n = 10). (5) Pyrites in stromatolitic carbonates of the 2.7 Ga

  4. Geodynamic evolution of the West Africa between 2.2 and 2 Ga: the Archaean style of the Birimian greenstone belts and the sedimentary basins in northeastern Ivory-Coast; Evolution de l`Afrique de l`Ouest entre 2,2 Ga et 2 Ga: le style archeen des ceintures vertes et des ensembles sedimentaires birimiens du nord-est de la Cote-d`Ivoire

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vidal, M.; Pouclet, A. [Orleans Univ., 45 (France); Delor, C. [Bureau de Recherches Geologiques et Minieres (BRGM), 45 - Orleans (France); Simeon, Y. [ANTEA, 45 - Orleans (France); Alric, G. [Etablissements Binou, 27 - Le Mesnil-Fuguet (France)


    The litho-structural features of Palaeo-proterozoic terrains of northeastern Ivory-Coast, greenstones belts and then sedimentary (basin Birimian), are similar to those of Archaean terrains. Their early deformation is only voluminal deformation due to granitoid intrusions, mainly between 2.2 and 2.16 Ga. The shortening deformation (main deformation) is expressed by right folds and transcurrent shear zones ca 2.1 Ga. Neither thrust deformation nor high pressure metamorphic assemblages are known. This pattern of flexible and hot crust, at least between 2.2 and 2.16 Ga, is pole apart to a collisional pattern, proposed for West African Craton by some authors. The Archaean/Palaeo-proterozoic boundary would not represent a drastic change of the geodynamic evolution of the crust. (authors). 60 refs., 5 figs., 6 photos.

  5. Constraints on mantle evolution from 187Os/ 188Os isotopic compositions of Archean ultramafic rocks from southern West Greenland (3.8 Ga) and Western Australia (3.46 Ga) (United States)

    Bennett, Victoria C.; Nutman, Allen P.; Esat, Tezer M.


    Initial 187Os/ 188Os isotopic compositions for geochronologically and geologically well -constrained 3.8-Ga spinel peridotites from the Itsaq Gneiss Complex of southern West Greenland and chromite separates from 3.46-Ga komatiites from the Pilbara region of Western Australia have been determined to investigate the osmium isotopic evolution of the early terrestrial mantle. The measured compositions of 187Os/ 188Os(0) = 0.10262 ± 2, from an olivine separate, and 0.10329 ± 3, for a spinel separate from ˜3.8-Ga peridotite G93/42, are the lowest yet reported from any terrestrial sample. The corrections for in situ decay over 3.8 Ga for these low Re/Os phases are minimal and change the isotopic compositions by only 0.5 and 2.2% for the spinel and the olivine, respectively, resulting in 187Os/ 188Os (3.8 Ga) = 0.1021 ± 0.0002 and 0.1009 ± 0.0002, respectively. These data extend direct measurement of Os isotopic compositions to much earlier periods of Earth history than previously documented and provide the best constraints on the Os isotopic composition of the early Archean terrestrial mantle. Analyses of Pilbara chromites yield 3.46-Ga mantle compositions of 0.1042 ± 0.0002 and 0.1051 ± 0.0002. These new data, combined with published initial Os isotopic compositions from late Archean and early Proterozoic samples, are compatible with the mantle, or at least portions of it, evolving from a solar system initially defined by meteorites to a modern composition of 187Os/ 188Os(0) = 0.1296 ± 0.0008 as previously suggested from peridotite xenolith data ( Meisel et al., 2001); the associated 187Re/ 188Os(0) = 0.435 ± 0.005. Thus, chondritic 187Os/ 188Os compositions were a feature of the upper mantle for at least 3.8 billion years, requiring chondritic Re/Os ratios to have been a characteristic of the very early terrestrial mantle. In contrast, nonchondritic initial compositions of some Archean komatiites demonstrate that Os isotopic heterogeneity is an ancient feature

  6. Reactivation of the Archean-Proterozoic suture along the southern margin of Laurentia during the Mazatzal orogeny: Petrogenesis and tectonic implications of ca. 1.63 Ga granite in southeastern Wyoming (United States)

    Jones, Daniel S.; Barnes, Calvin G.; Premo, Wayne R.; Snoke, Arthur W.


    The presence of ca. 1.63 Ga monzogranite (the “white quartz monzonite”) in the southern Sierra Madre, southeastern Wyoming, is anomalous given its distance from the nearest documented plutons of similar age (central Colorado) and the nearest contemporaneous tectonic margin (New Mexico). It is located immediately south of the Cheyenne belt—a ca. 1.75 Ga Archean-Proterozoic tectonic suture. New geochronological, isotopic, and geochemical data suggest that emplacement of the white quartz monzonite occurred between ca. 1645 and 1628 Ma (main pulse ca. 1628 Ma) and that the white quartz monzonite originated primarily by partial melting of the Big Creek Gneiss, a modified arc complex. There is no evidence that mafic magmas were involved. Open folds of the ca. 1750 Ma regional foliation are cut by undeformed white quartz monzonite. On a regional scale, rocks intruded by the white quartz monzonite have experienced higher pressure and temperature conditions and are migmatitic as compared to the surrounding rocks, suggesting a genetic relationship between the white quartz monzonite and tectonic exhumation. We propose that regional shortening imbricated the Big Creek Gneiss, uplifting the now-exposed high-grade rocks of the Big Creek Gneiss (hanging wall of the thrust and wall rock to the white quartz monzonite) and burying correlative rocks, which partially melted to form the white quartz monzonite. This tectonism is attributed to the ca. 1.65 Ga Mazatzal orogeny, as foreland shortening spread progressively into the Yavapai Province. Mazatzal foreland effects have also been described in the Great Lakes region and have been inferred in the Black Hills of South Dakota. We suggest that the crustal-scale rheologic contrast across the Archean-Proterozoic suture, originally developed along the southern margin of Laurentia, and including the Cheyenne belt, facilitated widespread reactivation of that boundary during the Mazatzal orogeny. This finding emphasizes the degree to

  7. Paleoarchean trace fossils in altered volcanic glass (United States)

    Staudigel, Hubert; Furnes, Harald; DeWit, Maarten


    Microbial corrosion textures in volcanic glass from Cenozoic seafloor basalts and the corresponding titanite replacement microtextures in metamorphosed Paleoarchean pillow lavas have been interpreted as evidence for a deep biosphere dating back in time through the earliest periods of preserved life on earth. This interpretation has been recently challenged for Paleoarchean titanite replacement textures based on textural and geochronological data from pillow lavas in the Hooggenoeg Complex of the Barberton Greenstone Belt in South Africa. We use this controversy to explore the strengths and weaknesses of arguments made in support or rejection of the biogenicity interpretation of bioalteration trace fossils in Cenozoic basalt glasses and their putative equivalents in Paleoarchean greenstones. Our analysis suggests that biogenicity cannot be taken for granted for all titanite-based textures in metamorphosed basalt glass, but a cautious and critical evaluation of evidence suggests that biogenicity remains the most likely interpretation for previously described titanite microtextures in Paleoarchean pillow lavas. PMID:26038543

  8. Paleoarchean trace fossils in altered volcanic glass. (United States)

    Staudigel, Hubert; Furnes, Harald; DeWit, Maarten


    Microbial corrosion textures in volcanic glass from Cenozoic seafloor basalts and the corresponding titanite replacement microtextures in metamorphosed Paleoarchean pillow lavas have been interpreted as evidence for a deep biosphere dating back in time through the earliest periods of preserved life on earth. This interpretation has been recently challenged for Paleoarchean titanite replacement textures based on textural and geochronological data from pillow lavas in the Hooggenoeg Complex of the Barberton Greenstone Belt in South Africa. We use this controversy to explore the strengths and weaknesses of arguments made in support or rejection of the biogenicity interpretation of bioalteration trace fossils in Cenozoic basalt glasses and their putative equivalents in Paleoarchean greenstones. Our analysis suggests that biogenicity cannot be taken for granted for all titanite-based textures in metamorphosed basalt glass, but a cautious and critical evaluation of evidence suggests that biogenicity remains the most likely interpretation for previously described titanite microtextures in Paleoarchean pillow lavas.

  9. Blocks of Archean material in the structure of the Uralian Platinum Belt: insights from in situ U-Pb (SHRIMP-II) data on zircon from the Nizhny Tagil clinopyroxenite-dunite complex (United States)

    Malitch, K. N.; Efimov, A. A.; Ronkin, Yu. L.


    The Nizhny Tagil massif forms part of the 900-km-long Uralian Platinum Belt (UPB) and represents an undisputable example of a zoned Uralian-type clinopyroxenite-dunite complex (Efimov 1998; Auge et al. 2005). The 47 km2 Nizhny Tagil massif is almond-shape, shear bounded and enclosed by Riphean and Devonian metasediments to the west and late Paleozoic to Mesozoic predominantly mafic igneous rocks to the east. It consists of a platiniferrous dunite core (Fo92-90), surrounded by a clinopyroxenite rim. Recently obtained U-Pb and Sm-Nd isotope ages defined the range for UPB complexes between 540 and 425 Ma. Geochronological data for dunite remains scarce being restricted to the Kytlym dunite block (Bea et al. 2001). To fill this gap, we present the first results of uranium-lead ages for 10 grains of zircon, which were extracted by conventional techniques from course-grained dunite sampled at Alexandrovsky Log in the central part of the Nizhny Tagil massif. Most of zircons are subeuhedral, prismatic (80-170 microns long), with an elongation between 1.3 and 1.6, and oscillatory zoning characteristic of igneous rocks. Majority of zircons yield secondary inclusions; some grains show tracers of subdivision and recrystallization, whereas several grains are characterized by curved external counters pointing to specific condition of their evolution. U-Pb analyses were performed with secondary ion mass spectrometer SHRIMP II at VSEGEI, following the procedure described by Williams (1998). Concentrations of U vary from 34 to 520 ppm, Th from 18 to 358 ppm. Three age clusters have been determined. Two subordinate groups are characterized by concordant ages of 585±29 Ma (MSWD=1.07, probability (P) =0.30) and 1608±56 Ma (MSWD=0.07, P=0.79), whereas the main data set cluster around 2781±56 Ma. We assume, therefore, that the Late Archean age testifies the timing of dunite generation in subcontinental mantle, whereas the "youngest" U-Pb age might be linked with timing of formation

  10. Reconciling atmospheric temperatures in the early Archean

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pope, Emily Catherine; Bird, Dennis K.; Rosing, Minik Thorleif

    the oxygen isotope record of chemical sediments and ancient ocean crust, chemical equilibria amongst primary phases in banded iron formations (BIFs), sedimentary features indicative of temperate or glacial environments, and paleosol indicators of atmospheric CO2. Further, we explore the extent to which...

  11. What Everyone Should Know about Archeans (United States)

    Freeland, Peter


    For many years biologists supposed that one group of microorganisms, which they called archaebacteria, were an ancient and primitive type of bacteria. Following biochemical analysis of their RNA and other cell components, it soon became clear that their distinct features merited classification in a separate domain, the archea. From an evolutionary…

  12. Xenon Fractionation and Archean Hydrogen Escape (United States)

    Zahnle, K. J.


    Xenon is the heaviest gas found in significant quantities in natural planetary atmospheres. It would seem the least likely to escape. Yet there is more evidence for xenon escape from Earth than for any element other than helium and perhaps neon. The most straightforward evidence is that most of the radiogenic Xe from the decay of (129)I (half-life 15.7 Myr) and (244)Pu (half-life 81 Myr) that is Earth's birthright is missing. The missing xenon is often attributed to the impact erosion of early atmospheres of Earth and its ancestors. It is obvious that if most of the radiogenic xenon were driven off by impacts, most of the rest of the atmophiles fared the same fate. The other line of evidence is in the nonradiogenic isotopes of xenon and its silent partner, krypton. Atmospheric xenon is strongly mass fractionated (at about 4% per amu) compared to any known solar system source (Figure 1). This is in stark contrast to krypton, which may not be fractionated at all: atmospheric Kr is slightly heavier than solar Kr (at about 0.5% per amu), but it is the same as in carbonaceous chondrites. Nonradiogenic xenon is also under abundant relative to krypton (the so-called "missing xenon" problem). Together these observations imply that xenon has been subject to fractionating escape and krypton not.

  13. Cristallochimie du pyroxène dans les komatiites et basaltes lunaires


    Bouquain, Sébastien


    RAS; Zoned pyroxene crystals with pigeonite cores and augite mantles crystallize in komatiites and lunar basalts. To understand the origin and conditions of crystallization of these unusual pyroxenes, we chosed both experimental and analytical sudies. Our experiments in the CMAS system were able to reproduce the zoned acicular pigeonite-augite crystals characteristic of komatiites and lunar basalts. We studied a series of samples of komatiites from the Archean (2.7 Ga) Abitibi greenstone belt...

  14. A Geological Model for the Evolution of Early Continents (Invited) (United States)

    Rey, P. F.; Coltice, N.; Flament, N. E.; Thébaud, N.


    Geochemical probing of ancient sediments (REE in black shales, strontium composition of carbonates, oxygen isotopes in zircons...) suggests that continents were a late Archean addition at Earth's surface. Yet, geochemical probing of ancient basalts reveals that they were extracted from a mantle depleted of its crustal elements early in the Archean. Considerations on surface geology, the early Earth hypsometry and the rheology and density structure of Archean continents can help solve this paradox. Surface geology: The surface geology of Archean cratons is characterized by thick continental flood basalts (CFBs, including greenstones) emplaced on felsic crusts dominated by Trondhjemite-Tonalite-Granodiorite (TTG) granitoids. This simple geology is peculiar because i/ most CFBs were emplaced below sea level, ii/ after their emplacement, CFBs were deformed into relatively narrow, curviplanar belts (greenstone basins) wrapping around migmatitic TTG domes, and iii/ Archean greenstone belts are richly endowed with gold and other metals deposits. Flat Earth hypothesis: From considerations on early Earth continental geotherm and density structure, Rey and Coltice (2008) propose that, because of the increased ability of the lithosphere to flow laterally, orogenic processes in the Archean produced only subdued topography (atmosphere and mantle systems, and did not contribute significantly to the sedimentary records. 2/ These continents evolved under the possibly episodic drive of plate tectonic processes, and certainly also under the drive of the density inversion imposed by the greenstone/TTG stratigraphy. Thébaud and Rey (2013) emphasized that sagduction was able to drive crustal-scale deformation in the interior of continents, away from plate margins. Since this process occurred on flooded continents, an infinite fluid reservoir was available to feed crustal-scale hydrothermal circulations promoting the formation of craton-wide metal deposits in the interior of continents

  15. Origins of chromite and magnetite in sedimentary rocks deposited in a shallow water environment in the 3.2 Ga Moodies Group, South Africa (United States)

    Otake, T.; Sakamoto, Y.; Itoh, S.; Yurimoto, H.; Kakegawa, T.


    *Otake, T. Div. of Sustainable Resources Engineering, Hokkaido Univ., Sapporo, Japan Sakamoto, Y. Dep. of Earth Science, Tohoku Univ., Sendai, Japan Itoh, S. Dep. of Natural History Sciences, Hokkaido Univ., Sapporo, Japan Yurimoto. H. Dep. of Natural History Sciences, Hokkaido Univ., Sapporo, Japan Kakegawa, T. Dep. of Earth Science, Tohoku Univ., Sendai, Japan Geochemical data from ferruginous chemical sedimentary rocks (e.g., Banded Iron Formation: BIF) have been used to reconstruct the surface environments of early Earth. However, only a few studies have investigated the geochemical characteristics of BIFs deposited in a shallow water environment during the Archean, which may have differed from those deposited in a deep water environment. Therefore, we investigated geological, petrographic and geochemical characteristics of ferruginous rocks deposited in a shallow water environment in the Moodies group, in the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa. We obtained ferruginous rock samples in the Moodies group from both an outcrop and underground gold mine, and compared the characteristics of these samples. The 70 sedimentary rock samples were divided into groups based on the dominant Fe minerals they contain: Hematite-rich jaspilite (HM group), Magnetite-rich iron formation/shale/sandstone (MT group), and Siderite-rich sandstone (SD group). Samples in the HM group are predominantly composed of fine-grained quartz (< 20 μm) and hematite (< 5 μm), which are interpreted to be chemical precipitates. Samples in the MT group contain quartz, magnetite, siderite, ankerite, chlorite, biotite and chromite. The grain size of magnetite is much larger (20-150 μm) than that of hematite in the HM group. The magnetite is interpreted as a secondary mineral transformed from hematite during early diagenesis. Results of in situ oxygen isotope analysis by

  16. Application of lithogeochemistry in the assessment of nickel-sulphide potential in komatiite belts from northern Finland and Norway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G.J. Heggie


    Full Text Available This study tests the application of chalcophile elements such as nickel, copper and the platinum-group elements as indicators of nickel-sulphide prospectivity in komatiites from terranes of the Karelian Craton in northern Finland and Norway. Major element abundances reflect volcanic processes associated with the emplacement dynamics of ultramafic lavas, whereas the variable chalcophile element concentrations record the ore-forming process, mainly as an anomalous metal depletion and enrichment relative to the calculated background. Geochemical data from this study indicate that Paleoproterozoic komatiites in the Pulju Greenstone Belts and Archean komatiites in the Enontekiö area are prospective for nickel-sulphide mineralisation. Conversely, on the basis of the present dataset, ultramafic rocks from the Palaeoproterozoic Karasjok Greenstone Belt display lower prospectivity for nickel-sulphides, although potential exists if high-volume flow conduits and channels within the large volcanic flow field could be identified.

  17. Mineral potential for incompatible element deposits hosted in pegmatites, alkaline rocks, and carbonatites in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania (phase V, deliverable 87): Chapter Q in Second projet de renforcement institutionnel du secteur minier de la République Islamique de Mauritanie (PRISM-II) (United States)

    Taylor, Cliff D.; Giles, Stuart A.


    Review of PRISM-I documents and the National inventory of mineral occurrences suggests that resources of U, Th, Nb, Ta, Be, rare earth elements (REEs) and fluorite are known in Mauritania and have been exploited in the past at the Bou Naga alkaline complex. Several different deposit types are indicated by the available data. Pegmatitic veins are recorded in several areas of the Archean and Paleoproterozoic portions of the Rgueïbat Shield and are prospective for resources of Li, Be, Nb, Ta, U, Th, and REEs. Over 150 beryl pegmatites are known in the Khnefissat and Inkebden areas of the Chami greenstone belt, and additional concentrations of pegmatites are known in the Guelb Nich Sud area of the Sebkhet Nich greenstone belt and in the northeastern part of the Amsaga Complex. Due to the small size of these deposits, they are unlikely to be economic unless additional value can be gained by processing contained minerals for their industrial uses.

  18. Four billion years of ophiolites reveal secular trends in oceanic crust formation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Harald Furnes; Maarten de Wit; Yildirim Dilek


    We combine a geological, geochemical and tectonic dataset from 118 ophiolite complexes of the major global Phanerozoic orogenic belts with similar datasets of ophiolites from 111 Precambrian greenstone belts to construct an overview of oceanic crust generation over 4 billion years. Geochemical discrimi-nation systematics built on immobile trace elements reveal that the basaltic units of the Phanerozoic ophiolites are dominantly subduction-related (75%), linked to backarc processes and characterized by a strong MORB component, similar to ophiolites in Precambrian greenstone sequences (85%). The remaining 25%Phanerozoic subduction-unrelated ophiolites are mainly (74%) of Mid-Ocean-Ridge type (MORB type), in contrast to the equal proportion of Rift/Continental Margin, Plume, and MORB type ophiolites in the Precambrian greenstone belts. Throughout the Phanerozoic there are large geochemical variations in major and trace elements, but for average element values calculated in 5 bins of 100 million year intervals there are no obvious secular trends. By contrast, basaltic units in the ophiolites of the Precambrian greenstones (calculated in 12 bins of 250 million years intervals), starting in late Paleo-to early Mesoproterozoic (ca. 2.0e1.8 Ga), exhibit an apparent decrease in the average values of incom-patible elements such as Ti, P, Zr, Y and Nb, and an increase in the compatible elements Ni and Cr with deeper time to the end of the Archean and into the Hadean. These changes can be attributed to decreasing degrees of partial melting of the upper mantle from Hadean/Archean to Present. The onset of geochemical changes coincide with the timing of detectible changes in the structural architecture of the ophiolites such as greater volumes of gabbro and more common sheeted dyke complexes, and lesser occurrences of ocelli (varioles) in the pillow lavas in ophiolites younger than 2 Ga. The global data from the Precambrian ophiolites, representative of nearly 50% of all known

  19. Four billion years of ophiolites reveal secular trends in oceanic crust formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harald Furnes


    Full Text Available We combine a geological, geochemical and tectonic dataset from 118 ophiolite complexes of the major global Phanerozoic orogenic belts with similar datasets of ophiolites from 111 Precambrian greenstone belts to construct an overview of oceanic crust generation over 4 billion years. Geochemical discrimination systematics built on immobile trace elements reveal that the basaltic units of the Phanerozoic ophiolites are dominantly subduction-related (75%, linked to backarc processes and characterized by a strong MORB component, similar to ophiolites in Precambrian greenstone sequences (85%. The remaining 25% Phanerozoic subduction-unrelated ophiolites are mainly (74% of Mid-Ocean-Ridge type (MORB type, in contrast to the equal proportion of Rift/Continental Margin, Plume, and MORB type ophiolites in the Precambrian greenstone belts. Throughout the Phanerozoic there are large geochemical variations in major and trace elements, but for average element values calculated in 5 bins of 100 million year intervals there are no obvious secular trends. By contrast, basaltic units in the ophiolites of the Precambrian greenstones (calculated in 12 bins of 250 million years intervals, starting in late Paleo- to early Mesoproterozoic (ca. 2.0–1.8 Ga, exhibit an apparent decrease in the average values of incompatible elements such as Ti, P, Zr, Y and Nb, and an increase in the compatible elements Ni and Cr with deeper time to the end of the Archean and into the Hadean. These changes can be attributed to decreasing degrees of partial melting of the upper mantle from Hadean/Archean to Present. The onset of geochemical changes coincide with the timing of detectible changes in the structural architecture of the ophiolites such as greater volumes of gabbro and more common sheeted dyke complexes, and lesser occurrences of ocelli (varioles in the pillow lavas in ophiolites younger than 2 Ga. The global data from the Precambrian ophiolites, representative of nearly 50

  20. Reconstruction of seawater chemistry from deeply subducted oceanic crust; hydrogen and oxygen isotope of lawsonite eclogites preserving pillow structure (United States)

    Hamabata, D., VI; Masuyama, Y.; Tomiyasu, F.; Ueno, Y.; Yui, T. F.; Okamoto, K.


    In order to understand evolution of life, change of seawater chemistry from Hadean, Archean to present is significant. Pillow structure is well-preserved in the Archean greenstone belt (e.g. Komiya et al., 1999). Oxygen and hydrogen isotope of rims in the pillow is useful conventional tool to decipher chemistry of Paleao-seawater from Archean to Present. However, Archean greenstone belt suffered regional metamorphism from greenschist to Amphibolite facies conditions. Therefore, it is necessary to testify the validity of pillow chemistry from recent (Phanerozoic) metamorphosed greenstone. We have systematically collected pillowed greenstone from blueschist and eclogites. Two eclogite exhibiting pillow structures were chosen for oxygen and hydrogen isotope analysis. One is from Corsica (lawsonite eclogite collected with Dr. Alberto Vidale Barbarone) and another is from Cazadero, Franciscan belt (collected by Dr. Tatsuki Tsujimori). The both are ascribed as MORB from major and trace bulk chemistry and Ca is rich in the core and Na is poor in the rims. The former exhibits garnet, omphacite, lawsonite, and glacophane. Phengite is in core of the pillow and chlorite is in the rims. In the latter, besides garnet, omphacite, epdiote and glaucophane, chlorite is recognized with phengite in the core. Glaucophane is richer in the rims from the both samples, therefore istope analysis of glaucophane was done. Mineral separation was carefully done using micro-mill, heavy liquid and isodynamic separator. 20 mg specimens were used for oxygen isotope analysis and 2mg were for hydrogen analysis. δ18O of the all analysis (7.7 to 8.3) is within the range of unaltered igneous oceanic crust and high temperature hydrothermal alteration although rims (8.3 for Franciscan and 8.0 for Corsica) are higher than cores (7.7 for Franciscan and Corsica). δD data is also consistent with hydrothermal alteration. It is relative higher in core from the Corsica and Franciscan (-45 and -56) than of the

  1. Geochemistry of Precambrian carbonates. I - Archean hydrothermal systems (United States)

    Veizer, Jan; Hoefs, Jochen; Ridler, R. H.; Jensen, L. S.; Lowe, D. R.


    Carbonate rocks from the Superior Province and the Slave Province of Canada, Kaapvaal Craton of South Africa, and the Pilbara Block of Australia were characterized mineralogically, isotopically, and chemically. Result on the bulk chemical composition suggest that the carbonate rocks originated by massive carbonatization, silicification, and sericitization via replacement and/or filling of void spaces of intermediate to ultramafic protoliths. Trace element chemistry of carbonates was found to be consistent with their precipitation from relatively low-salinity solutions and with the derivation of solutes from the contemporaneous volcano-sedimentary piles. On the basis of mineralogy and the chemical and isotopic findings, it is suggested that the carbonate component defines two partially overlapping populations, a ferroan dolomite-breunnerite series restricted mostly to extensive faults and shear zones, and a calcite-ferroan dolomite-siderite population associated with alteration halos of a larger regional extent.

  2. Late Archean mineralised cyanobacterial mats and their modern analogs (United States)

    Kazmierczak, J.; Altermann, W.; Kremer, B.; Kempe, S.; Eriksson, P. G.


    Abstract Reported are findings of Neoarchean benthic colonial coccoid cyanobacteria preserved as abundant remnants of mineralized capsules and sheaths visible in SEM images as characteristic patterns after etching highly polished carbonate rock platelets. The samples described herein were collected from the Nauga Formation at Prieska (Kaapvaal craton, South Africa). The stratigraphic position of the sampling horizon (Fig. 1) is bracketed by single zircon ages from intercalated tuffs, of 2588±6 Ma and 2549±7Ma [1]. The cyanobacteria-bearing samples are located within sedimentary sequence which begins with Peritidal Member displaying increasingly transgressive character, passing upward into the Chert Member and followed by the Proto-BIF Member and by the Naute Shale Member of the Nauga Formation successively. All three latter members were deposited below the fair weather wave base. As in our previous report [2], the samples are taken from lenses of massive micritic flat pebble conglomerate occurring in otherwise finely laminated siliceous shales intercalating with thin bedded platy limestone. This part of the Nauga Formation is about 30 m thick. The calcareous, cyanobacteria-bearing flat pebble conglomerate and thin intercalations of fine-grained detrital limestones embedded in the clayey sapropel-rich deposits are interpreted as carbonate sediments winnowed during stormy weather from the nearby located peritidal carbonate platform. The mass occurrence and exceptional preservation of mineralised cyanobacterial remains in the micritic carbonate (Mg-calcite) of the redeposited flat pebbles can be explained by their sudden burial in deeper, probably anoxic clay- and sapropel-rich sediments. When examined with standard petrographic optical microscopic technique, the micritic carbonates show rather obscure structure (Fig. 2a), whereas under the SEM, polished and slightly etched platelets of the same samples reveal surprisingly well preserved patterns (Fig. 2b,c) reminiscent of common sheaths (glycocalix), typical for coccoidal colonial (pseudoparenchymatous) entophysalidacean or pleurocapsalean cyanobacteria (Fig. 2d-f). The remains of the coccoid sheaths and capsules are visible as a system of rimmed subglobular or irregularly polygonal pits separated from adjacent pits by 2-3 μm thick walls. Microprobe analyses show that the interiors of the pits are composed of almost pure calcium carbonate whereas the rims and walls of calcium carbonate with high admixture of silicates (mostly Al-Fe clay-like silicates) and dolomite. High magnification images of rims and walls confirm the microprobe data indicating authigenic character of the minerals forming both the carbonate infilling the pits interiors (CaCO3) and their rims and walls (CaCO3 + Al-Fe silicates + dolomite). EPSC Abstracts, Vol. 3, EPSC2008-A-00493, 2008 European Planetary Science Congress, Author(s) 2008 It seems that carbonates were the first mineral phase filling the spaces remained after the plasmolysis of the cyanobacterial cell contents, whereas the formation of silicates within the exopolysaccharides forming the bulk of the sheaths and capsules was a later diagenetic process. Microprobe analyses of mineralised modern coccoid cyanobacterial mats forming tower-like structures in the highly alkaline Lake Van, Turkey [3,4] display a set of elements indicative for the presence of authigenic carbonate and silicate minerals which are almost identical with that occurring in the studied Neoarchean samples. Also the optical and SEM images of polished and etched platelets of permineralised Lake Van microbialites are strikingly similar (Fig. 2d-f). Similarly as in modern cyanobacterial and other microbial mats, the process of early post mortem mineralisation, in the case of the Nauga Formation, was most probably associated with the action of heterotrophic bacteria upon the dead cyanobacterial biomass. Heterotrophic bacteria occupying EPS layers of living and dead cyanobacterial cells have the ability to bind various ions and may serve as nucleation centres for a variety of minerals [5, 6]. These, often amorphous precursor mineral phases can be transformed, during later diagenesis, into authigenic carbonates, feldspar and phyllosilicates, as observed in the case of both Nauga Formation and Lake Van cyanobacterial sheaths and capsules. The early massive appearance of benthic coccoid cyanobacteria, as evidenced by the mineralised mats in the Neoarchean Nauga Formation, and their ability to produce fine-grained limestones, confirms the significant role of these micro organisms in the formation of vast deposits of marine micritic limestones, as suggested also for younger geologic ages [7, 8]. References [1] Altermann, W. and Nelson, D. R. (1998) Sed. Geol. 120, 225-256. [2] Kazmierczak, J. and Altermann, W. (2002) Science 298, 2351. [3] Kempe, S. et al. (1991) Nature 394, 605-608. [4] Kazmierczak, J. and Altermann, W. (2002) 16th Intern. Sed. Congr. Abstract Vol., 191. [5] Douglas, S. and Beveridge, T. J. (1998) FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 26, 79-88. [6] Barker, W. W. and Banfield, J. F. (1998) Geomicrobiol. J. 15, 223-244. [7] Kazmierczak, J. et al. (1996) Acta Palaeont. Polonica 41, 319-338. [8] Altermann, W. et al. (2006) Geobiology 4, 147- 166.

  3. 鄂东南地区存在古元古代-太古宙基底--来自铜鼓山岩体锆石U-Pb-Hf同位素的证据%Paleoproterozoic-Archean Basement Beneath Southeast Hubei Province:Evidence from U-Pb-Hf Isotopes in Zircons from the Tonggushan Pluton

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    夏金龙; 黄圭成; 丁丽雪; 吴昌雄; 祝敬明; 金尚刚


    This paper has reported the integrated study of zircon U-Pb age and Lu-Hf isotope composition in zircons from the Tonggushan pluton, southeast Hubei Province. Tonggushan pluton is composed of quartz diorite porphyry. The 206Pb/238U mean age of magmatic zircon is (147±2.6) Ma, indicating that Tonggushan pluton was formed in the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous, which is consistent with the formation time of other plutons in this area. A large number of inherited zircons, formed in 1798~2888 Ma, exist in Tonggushan pluton. The Paleoproterozoic zircons are of magmatic origin and have similar 176Hf/177Hf and 176Lu/177Hf ratios, suggesting that they were probably derived from the same igneous basement rock. The Paleoproterozoic zircons have low Hf-isotope compositions and characteristics of crustal source. Hf model ages of these zircons and the presence of older inherited cores within them suggest that the source of Paleoproterozoic magma was Neoarchaean crust, implying the existence of an unexposed old basement beneath southeast Hubei Province and the whole Yangtze block. These data supply new clue to the study of the Precambrian basement evolution of Yangtze block. The Paleoproterozoic-Archean basement of the Yangtze Block most likely spreads from the Sichuan Basin through western Huebei Province to southeastern Hubei Province.%对鄂东南地区位于毛铺-两剑桥断裂带上的铜鼓山岩体进行了野外地质及镜下显微研究及岩石化学分析,重点分析了其中锆石U-Pb年龄和Hf同位素组成。结果表明铜鼓山岩体为石英闪长玢岩,岩体形成于(147±2.6) Ma,属晚侏罗世-早白垩世,与鄂东南地区其它岩体年龄具有一致性。铜鼓山岩体中存在的大量继承锆石。分析的4个继承锆石形成于古元古代晚期1798~1888 Ma。继承锆石具有高的Th/U比值和极其相似的Lu-Hf同位素组成,表明它们捕获于同一火成岩。这表明鄂东南地区存在古元古代基底。这些古元古代

  4. A study on the Open Source Digital Library Software's: Special Reference to DSpace, EPrints and Greenstone (United States)

    Tramboo, Shahkar; Humma, Humma; M Shafi, S.; Gul, Sumeer


    The richness in knowledge has changed access methods for all stake holders in retrieving key knowledge and relevant information. This paper presents a study of three open source digital library management software used to assimilate and disseminate information to world audience. The methodology followed involves online survey and study of related software documentation and associated technical manuals.

  5. Multi-stage crustal growth and cratonization of the North China Craton

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingguo Zhai


    The ∼2.5 Ga metamorphic-magmatic event is stronger than in most other cratons in the world. How to understand the geological significance of the 2.5 Ga event? The following points are emphasized: (1 nearly all old rocks >2.5 Ga underwent metamorphism at ∼2.52–2.5 Ga; (2 Archean basement rocks in the NCC experienced strong partial melting and migmatization; (3 granitoid rocks derived from partial melting include potassium granites, TTG granites and monzonites. These granitoids rocks intruded both the Archean greenstone belts and micro-blocks; (4 ∼2.5 Ga mafic dikes (amphibolites, granitic dikes (veins and syenitic-ultramafic dykes are also developed. Therefore, we suggest an assembly model that all micro-blocks in the NCC were welded together by late Archean greenstone belts at the end of the late Neoarchean. We also propose that the various micro-blocks were surrounded by small ocean basins, and the old continental crust and the oceanic crust were hotter than today. Subduction and collision were on much smaller scales as compared to the Phanerozoic plate tectonic regime, although the tectonic style and mechanisms were more or less similar. The formation of crustal melt granites is one of the processes of cratonization, inducing generation of stable upper and lower crustal layers. This process also generated an upper crust of more felsic composition and a lower crust of more mafic composition, due to molten residual materials and some underplated gabbros.

  6. Tectonic setting of the Helong Block: Implications for the northern boundary of the eastern North China Craton

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Yanbin; WU Fuyuan; ZHAI Mingguo; LU Xiaoping


    LA-ICP-MS zircon U-Pb dating indicates that the Bailiping granitic pluton was emplaced during Late Paleozoic to Early Cretaceous (285―116 Ma) by four distinct magmatic episodes, arguing against the previous thought that the Bailiping granites were emplaced during Archean, Proterozoic or Early Paleozoic. It is suggested that the so-called Archean Jinchengdong granite-greenstone belt, mainly composed of Bailiping granites, should be broken down. Sr-Nd isotopic compositions of the Bailiping granites are similar to those of the Phanerozoic granites in the Xing'an-Mongolian orogenic belt, suggesting that their parental magmas were mainly derived from a juvenile crust with some contamination of ancient crustal materials during magma rising and/or emplacement. Therefore, the basement of the Helong Block is similar to that in the northern Xing'an-Mongolian Orogenic Belt, but different from that of the North China Craton. It is proposed that the Archean Jinchengdong complex in this area is probably an exotic slice from the North China Craton, which indicates that the Fu'erhe-Gudonghe Fault, located in northern part of the Helong area, is not the boundary between the North China Craton and the Xing'an-Mongolian Orogenic Belt. The possible boundary should be located further southward more than 50 km and near the Baitoushan volcano.

  7. Petrology of Teofilândia granitoids: An example of 2.1 Ga crustal accretion in the São Francisco Craton (Bahia, Brazil) (United States)

    Nascimento, H. S.; Nédélec, Anne; Bouchez, Jean-Luc


    Teofilândia granitoids are representative of the Paleoproterozoic plutonic rocks, which intruded the Serrinha block, an Archean crustal fragment of the Sao Francisco Craton (Bahia, Brazil). Three plutons were emplaced, the Teofilândia granodiorite, the Barrocas trondhjemite and the Santa Rosa granite, respectively dated at 2130, 2127 and 2073 Ma. The two first plutons are calc-alkaline rocks following a trondhjemitic trend. They resemble Archean TTGs (tonalites-trondhjemites-granodiorites) by their major and trace element compositions and especially by their fractionated REE patterns, with very low HREE contents. These juvenile magmas resulted from partial melting of a young mafic protolith, likely represented by the nearby Rio Itapicuru greenstone belt. Barrocas trondhjemite and Teofilândia granodiorite derive from similar sources, possibly at different depths and with a different degree of melting. The rocks were deformed at high temperature during the Trans-Amazonian collision and are therefore pre-collisional and ascribed to a subduction stage. The younger Santa Rosa pluton is a small, syn-to post-collisional granite that derived from anatexis of the Archean crust. It is representative of a second, volumetrically minor, plutonic episode of potassic, shoshonitic or alkaline affinities. The large amount of 2.1 Ga granitoids emplaced in Brazil as well as in the West African craton, suggests that, at that time, a global event of possible mantle origin was responsible for the intense magmatic activity that involved both crustal accretion and crustal reworking in many places of the world.

  8. Raising the continental crust (United States)

    Campbell, Ian H.; Davies, D. Rhodri


    The changes that occur at the boundary between the Archean and Proterozoic eons are arguably the most fundamental to affect the evolution of Earth's continental crust. The principal component of Archean continental crust is Granite-Greenstone Terranes (GGTs), with granites always dominant. The greenstones consist of a lower sequence of submarine komatiites and basalts, which erupted onto a pre-existing Tonalite-Trondhjemite-Granodiorite (TTG) crust. These basaltic rocks pass upwards initially into evolved volcanic rocks, such as andesites and dacites and, subsequently, into reworked felsic pyroclastic material and immature sediments. This transition coincides with widespread emplacement of granitoids, which stabilised (cratonised) the continental crust. Proterozoic supra-crustal rocks, on the other hand, are dominated by extensive flat-lying platform sequences of mature sediments, which were deposited on stable cratonic basements, with basaltic rocks appreciably less abundant. The siliceous TTGs cannot be produced by direct melting of the mantle, with most hypotheses for their origin requiring them to be underlain by a complimentary dense amphibole-garnet-pyroxenite root, which we suggest acted as ballast to the early continents. Ubiquitous continental pillow basalts in Archean lower greenstone sequences require the early continental crust to have been sub-marine, whereas the appearance of abundant clastic sediments, at higher stratigraphic levels, shows that it had emerged above sea level by the time of sedimentation. We hypothesise that the production of komatiites and associated basalts, the rise of the continental crust, widespread melting of the continental crust, the onset of sedimentation and subsequent cratonisation form a continuum that is the direct result of removal of the continent's dense amphibole-garnet-pyroxenite roots, triggered at a regional scale by the arrival of a mantle plume at the base of the lithosphere. Our idealised calculations suggest

  9. Supercontinent cyclicity and the rise and fall of atmospheric oxygen (Invited) (United States)

    Van Kranendonk, M. J.; Kirkland, C. L.


    Recent work on Hf isotopes in zircon has suggested that the apparent peaks and troughs in continental crust formation through the Precambrian, identified by zircon U-Pb age data and interpreted as reflecting the supercontinent cycle, may be a preservational artefact. However, an evaluation of time constrained analyses of oxygen and Hf isotopes in zircon grains and incompatible element (Zr, Th) concentrations in magmatic rocks to test for variations in the degree of crustal recycling through geological time, shows that the supercontinent cycle was operative throughout the Precambrian, from the onset of modern-style subduction at c. 3.2 Ga. This finding is highly significant for better understanding the changes in composition of the atmosphere/hydrosphere through time - in particular the rise of atmospheric oxygen - and also to the evolution of the biosphere. When placed in context with geological and geobiological events across the extended Archean-Proterozoic transition, the rise of atmospheric oxygen (at 2.42-2.22 Ga) is seen to result from a combination of: a) the near-complete cessation of plate tectonics and associated volcanic-derived gassing (CO2, H2S, SO2) of the atmosphere during this interval; b) drawdown of the earlier greenhouse atmosphere by weathering of extensive greenstones newly erupted during the Late Archean Superevent (2.8-2.63 Ga formation of Supercontinent(s) Superia/Sclavia) and newly exposed during continental emergence at the close of the Archean. This combination of events led to atmospheric cooling, resulting in widespread (global?) glaciations. The buildup of atmospheric oxygen led to development/flourishing of eukaryotes. Restarting of the global magmatic system at 2.22-1.8 Ga during the leadup to Supercontinent Nuna, saw the return of nearly Archean-like conditions, with a high-pCO2 atmosphere, recurrence of granite-greenstone type crust, and the reappearance of iron-formations. Widespread subduction during supercontinent formation

  10. Diapirism on Venus and the Early Earth and The thermal effect of fluid flows in AECL's Tunnel Sealing Experiment (United States)

    Robin, Catherine M. I.


    Flow instabilities occur at all scales in planetary systems. In this thesis we examine three cases of such instabilities, on three very different length scales. In the first part, we test the idea that Archean granite-greenstone belts (GGBs) form by crustal diapirism, or Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities. GGBs are characterized by large granitic domes (50-100 km in diameter) embedded in narrow keel-shaped greenstones. They are ubiquitous in Archean (> 2.5 Ga) terrains, but rare thereafter. We performed finite element calculations for a visco-elastic, temperature-dependent, non-Newtonian crust under conditions appropriate for the Archean, which show that dense low-viscosity volcanics overlying a felsic basement will overturn diapirically in as little as 10 Ma, displacing as much as 60 % of the volcanics to the lower crust. This surprisingly fast overturn rate suggests that diapiric overturn dominated crustal tectonics in the hot conditions of the Early Earth, becoming less important as the Earth cooled. Moreover, the deposition of large volumes of wet basaltic volcanics to the lower crust may provide the source for the formation of the distinctly Archean granitic rocks which dominate Earth's oldest continents. The second part examines the origin of Venusian coronae, circular volcanic features unique to Venus. Coronae are thought to result from small instabilities (diapirs) from the core-mantle boundary, which are typical of stagnant-lid convection. However, most young coronae are located in a region surrounded by long-lived hotspots, typical of a more active style of mantle convection. Using analogue experiments in corn syrup heated from below, we show that the co-existence of diapirs and long-lived mantle plumes are a direct consequence of the catastrophic overturn of the cold Venusian lithosphere thought to have occurred ˜ 700 Ma ago. In the last part we analyze the thermal effect of fluid flow through a full-scale experiment testing clay and concrete tunnel seals in

  11. Iron oxide copper-gold deposits in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania (phase V, deliverable 79): Chapter M in Second projet de renforcement institutionnel du secteur minier de la République Islamique de Mauritanie (PRISM-II) (United States)

    Fernette, Gregory


    Mauritania hosts one significant copper-gold deposit, Guelb Moghrein and several occurrences, which have been categorized as iron oxide copper-gold (IOCG) deposits but which are atypical in some important respects. Nonetheless, Guelb Moghrein is an economically significant mineral deposit and an attractive exploration target. The deposit is of Archean age and is hosted by a distinctive metacarbonate rock which is part of a greenstone-banded iron formation (BIF) package within a thrust stack in the northern part of the Mauritanide Belt. The surrounding area hosts a number of similar copper-gold occurrences. Based on the characteristics of the Guelb Moghrein deposit and its geologic environment, five tracts which are considered permissive for IOCG type mineralization similar to Guelb Moghrein have been delineated.

  12. The Forming Conditions of and Ore- searching Direction for B, Mg, Pb, Zn and Au Deposits in the Liaoji Proterozoic Rift

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhu Yongzheng; Yao Fengliang


    The Liaoji Proterozoic rift is an inter- intracontinenatl rift developed from Archean granite- greenstone tectonic regime and contains many important mineral deposits of U, B, magnesite, Pb - Zn, Au, Ag, Co and P. These deposits were formed as the result of late mobilization, transportation and concentration of the previously enriched ore - forming materials in several ore- bearing formations formed during the rift stage. So the metallogeny of these deposits in the rift shows both inheritance and new generation of the ore - forming materials. In future ore - searching practice, attentions should be paid on the studies of the ore - bearing formations in the rift, on the multiple stages of metallogeny and and on multiple derivations of the ore - forming materials.

  13. Seismic image of the Ivanhoe Lake Fault Zone in the Kapuskasing Uplift of the Canadian Shield (United States)

    Wu, Jianjun; Mereu, Robert F.; Percival, John A.


    The Kapuskasing uplift, located in the central Canadian shield, represents an oblique exposure of the Archean middle to lower crust. The Ivanhoe Lake fault zone, believed to be the basal thrust carrying the high-grade rocks of the Kapuskasing zone over the low-grade Abitibi greenstone belt, holds the key to understanding the nature and evolution of the Kapuskasing uplift. Despite numerous geological and geophysical studies, including LITHOPROBE deep seismic reflection profiles, and because of very limited bedrock exposure in the area, the shallow structure of the Ivanhoe Lake fault zone remains obscure. Here we present results obtained by reprocessing data from a LITHOPROBE seismic reflection profile across the fault zone. For the first time, the Ivanhoe Lake fault zone is clearly imaged on the seismic section as a series of west-dipping reflectors with an average dip of 20°, which can be traced to the surface. The results support the conclusion that fault zones form good reflectors.

  14. The carving of the wood: an exhibition of work by David Pye, Nick Barberton, Matthew Burt, Gaynor Dowling, Eleanor Lakelin, Malcolm Martin and Keith Rand


    Pulley, Bob; Glasgow, Andrew; Olding, Simon; Ratuszniak, Annette


    This catalogue was published and distributed by the Crafts Study Centre for the 2014 exhibition, The Carving of the Wood. The exhibition was curated and the accompanying catalogue was edited by Professor Simon Olding. The Crafts Study Centre holds important collections of wooden bowls and platters by David Pye, the celebrated Professor of Furniture Design at the Royal College of Art 1964-74. These works are presented at the heart of an exhibition which looks at the way that a group of ma...

  15. Mineral chemistry and magnetic petrology of the Archean Planalto Suite, Carajás Province - Amazonian Craton: Implications for the evolution of ferroan Archean granites (United States)

    Cunha, Ingrid Roberta Viana da; Dall'Agnol, Roberto; Feio, Gilmara Regina Lima


    The Planalto Suite is located in the Canaã dos Carajás subdomain of the Carajás Province in the southeastern part of the Amazonian Craton. The suite is of Neoarchean age (∼2.73 Ga), ferroan character, and A-type affinity. Magnetic petrology studies allowed for the distinction of two groups: (1) ilmenite granites showing low magnetic susceptibility (MS) values between 0.6247×10-3 and 0.0102 × 10-3 SI and (2) magnetite-ilmenite-bearing granites with comparatively higher but still moderate MS values between 15.700×10-3 and 0.8036 × 10-3 SI. Textural evidence indicates that amphibole, ilmenite, titanite, and, in the rocks of Group 2, magnetite also formed during magmatic crystallization. However, compositional zoning suggests that titanite was partially re-equilibrated by subsolidus processes. The amphibole varies from potassian-hastingsite to chloro-potassian-hastingsite and shows Fe/(Fe + Mg) > 0.8. Biotite also shows high Fe/(Fe + Mg) ratios and is classified as annite. Plagioclase porphyroclasts are oligoclase (An25-10), and the grains of the recrystallized matrix show a similar composition or are albitic (An9-2). The dominant Group 1 granites of the Planalto Suite were formed under reduced conditions below the FMQ buffer. The Group 2 granites crystallized under more oxidizing conditions on or slightly above the FMQ buffer. Pressures of 900-700 MPa for the origin and of 500-300 MPa for the emplacement were estimated for the Planalto magmas. Geothermometers suggest initial crystallization temperatures between 900 °C and 830 °C, and the water content in the magma is estimated to be higher than 4 wt%. The Neoarchean Planalto Suite and the Estrela Granite of the Carajás Province reveal strong mineralogical analogies, and their amphibole and biotite compositions have high total Al contents. The latter characteristic is also observed in the same minerals of the Neoarchean Matok Pluton of the Limpopo Belt but not in those of the Proterozoic rapakivi A-type granites. On the other hand, in terms of the degree of magma oxidation, the Planalto and Estrela granites approach the reduced Mesoproterozoic rapakivi granites and the reduced to moderately oxidized Paleoproterozoic granites of the Velho Guilherme and Serra dos Carajás Suites, respectively, and differ from the oxidized granites (Jamon Suite) of the Carajás Province as well as those of Matok pluton. The high total Al content of amphibole and mica could be caused by crystallization at high pressures that, in turn, can be a reflex of the association of the studied granites and Matok with charnockitic rocks.

  16. Potential of thermal emissivity for mapping of greenstone rocks and associated granitoids of Hutti Maski Schist belt, Karnataka


    Guha, A.; K.Vinod Kumar


    In the present study, different temperature-emissivity separation algorithms were used to derive emissivity images based on processing of ASTER( Advanced spaceborne thermal emission and reflection radiometer) thermal bands. These emissivity images have been compared with each other in terms of geological information for mapping of major rock types in Hutti Maski schist Belt and its associated granitoids. Thermal emissivity images are analyzed conjugately with thermal radiance image, ...

  17. Open-Source Tools for Enhancing Full-Text Searching of OPACs: Use of Koha, Greenstone and Fedora (United States)

    Anuradha, K. T.; Sivakaminathan, R.; Kumar, P. Arun


    Purpose: There are many library automation packages available as open-source software, comprising two modules: staff-client module and online public access catalogue (OPAC). Although the OPAC of these library automation packages provides advanced features of searching and retrieval of bibliographic records, none of them facilitate full-text…

  18. Paleoproterozoic Greenstone-Granite Belts in Northern Brazil and the Former Guyana Shield - West African Craton Province

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ian McReath


    Full Text Available The mainly meta-volcano-sedimentary Vila Nova Group and associated granites constitute separate belts, which formpart of a large paleoproterozoic (mainly rhyacian province in the Guyana Shield of which northern Brazil forms a part, andthe West African Craton. In Brazil the southwestern Serra do Ipitinga and Serra Tumucumaque-Serra do Navio belts have noobvious geometrical extensions in the Guyanas or Venezuela, and may represent deposits formed at penecontemporaneouspassive continental margins and ocean floor spreading centres. To the Northeast the Serra Lombarda-Tartarugalzinho andOiapoque belts are continuations of Guianese belts. In the former the igneous rocks have geochemical characteristics ofsuprasubduction environments. Belts in the Guyana Shield and West African Craton have many similar features. Themegaprovince evolved in a number of stages, which may have started at about 2.3 Ga, and continued with diminished activityafter 2.11 Ga. Both major juvenile additions and (possibly minor reworking of earlier crust contributed to the growth of theprovince. The major transcurrent deformation, responsible for the present structure of the belts, probably occurred duringthe later stages of evolution of the province, but metamorphism and deformation are registered even in the oldest rocks.

  19. Garnet-filled trails associated with carbonaceous matter mimicking microbial filaments in Archean basalt. (United States)

    Lepot, K; Philippot, P; Benzerara, K; Wang, G-Y


    The study of the earliest traces of life on Earth can be complicated by abiotically formed biomorphs. We report here the finding of clustered micrometer-sized filaments of iron- and calcium-rich garnets associated with carbonaceous matter in an agate amygdale from a 2.7-billion-year-old basalt of the Maddina Formation, Western Australia. The distribution of carbonaceous matter and the mineral phases composing the filaments were analyzed using a combination of confocal laser scanning microscopy, laser-Raman micro-spectroscopy, focused ion beam sectioning and transmission electron microscopy. The results allow consideration of possible biogenic and abiotic processes that produced the filamentous structures. The filaments have a range of sizes, morphologies and distributions similar to those of certain modern iron-mineralized filamentous bacteria and some ancient filamentous structures interpreted as microfossils. They also share a high morphological similarity with tubular structures produced by microbial boring activity. However, the microstructures and the distribution of carbonaceous matter are more suggestive of an abiotic origin for the filaments. They are characteristic features of trails produced by the displacement of inclusions associated with local dissolution of their silica matrix. Organic compounds found in kerogen or bitumen inclusions may have contributed significantly to the dissolution of the quartz (or silica gel) matrix driving filamentous growth. Discriminating the products of such abiotic organic-mediated processes from filamentous microfossils or microbial borings is important to the interpretation of the scarce Precambrian fossil record and requires investigation down to the nanoscale.

  20. Chloroflexus aurantiacus and ultraviolet radiation: Implications for archean shallow-water stromatolites (United States)

    Pierson, Beverly K.; Mitchell, Heather K.; Ruff-Roberts, Alyson L.


    The phototrophic growth ofChloroflexus aurantiacus under anoxic conditions was determined as a function of continuous UV irradiance. Cultures grown under an irradiance of 0.01 Wm-2 exhibited a slightly depressed yield over the nonirradiated control. Yields decreased further with increasing irradiance. Inhibition was severe at an irradiance of 0.66 Wm-2. Growth ofE. coli cultures was severely depressed at UV-C irradiances that permitted good growth ofC. aurantiacus. Low levels of Fe3+ provided a very effective UV absorbing screen. The apparent UV resistance ofChloroflexus and the effectiveness of iron as a UV-absorbing screen in sediments and microbial mats are suggested to be likely mechanisms of survival of early phototrophs in the Precambrian in the absence of an ozone shield.

  1. Geology of the Nain Complex, Labrador, Canada: Occurrence of the Early Archean Supracrustals


    小宮, 剛; Komiya, Tsuyoshi; 山本, 伸次; Yamamoto, Shinji; 澤木, 佑介; 青木, 一勝; Aoki, Kazumasa


    The Hadean is the most mysterious period because no rocks andgeologic bodies are preserved except for only the zircons inWestern Australia, Canada, China and Greenland [1]. But, it is themost important period because the early evolution possibly clinchedthe earth’s history. We try to find the earliest supracrustal rocks inthe world to investigate the Hadean tectonics. As far, the oldestsupracrustal rocks are found in Akilia association in WestGreenland, Nuvvuagittuq in Quebec, and Nain Comple...

  2. The Upside-Down Biosphere: Evidence for the Partially Oxygenated Oceans During the Archean Eon (United States)

    Domagal-Goldman, Shawn


    This is a commentary on the preceding chapter by Ohmoto et al., in which it is suggested that oxygen concentrations have been high throughout Earth history. This is a contentious suggestion at odds with the prevailing view in the field, which contends that atmospheric oxygen concentrations rose from trace levels to a few percent of modern-day levels around 2.5 b.y. ago. This comment notes that many of the data sets cited by Ohmoto et al. as evidence for a relatively oxidized environment come from deep-ocean settings. This presents a possibility to reconcile some of these data and suggestions with the overwhelming evidence for an atmosphere free of oxygen at that time. Specifically, it is possible that deep-ocean waters were relatively oxidized with respect to certain redox pairs. These deep-ocean waters would have been more oxidized than surface waters, thus representing an "upside-down biosphere," as originally proposed 25 years ago by Jim Walker.

  3. Chondrule-like particles provide evidence of early Archean meteorite impacts, South Africa and western Australia (United States)

    Lowe, D. R.; Byerly, G. R.


    The evolution of the Earth and the Earth crust was studied. Two layers, that contain abundant unusual spherical particles which closely resemble chondroules were identified. Chondrules occur on small quantities in lunar soil, however, they are rare in terrestrial settings. Some chondrules in meteorites were formed on the surfaces of planet sized bodies during impact events. Similar chondrule like objects are extremely rare in the younger geologic record and these abundances are unknown in ancient deposits, except in meteorites. It is suggested that a part of the Earth's terminal bombardment history, and conditions favoring chondrule formation existed on the early Earth.

  4. Using Archean and Paleoproterozoic Shales and Tillites as a Window into Crustal Evolution and Surface Conditions (United States)

    Bindeman, I. N.; Bekker, A.; Zakharov, D. O.


    Precambrian shales and tillites have been insufficiently studied so far. We present oxygen and hydrogen isotope data for 103 bulk shale and tillites that were collected from drillholes on all continents from 3.2 to 1.4Ga. These samples have also been analyzed for total organic and inorganic carbon, total sulfur, δ13Corg values and by XRF for major and trace elements to calculate chemical index of alteration (CIA). Having uncompromised fresh samples from drillcores is a must for this kind of investigation. We have a particularly good coverage for the ca. 2.7-2.2 Ga time interval when Earth experienced 3-4 Snowball Earth glaciations associated with the rapid rise in atmospheric O2 and fluctuations in CO2, thus affecting weathering cycle and attainment of isotopic fractionation. All units have similar to Phanerozoic ranges in δ13Corg values (-23 to -33‰ PDB) and Corg content (0.1 to 10 wt. %). Compared to Phanerozoic shales, Precambrian shales have comparable ranges in δ18O values (+7 to +20‰), with slightly decreasing means with increasing age, and identical δ17O-δ18O slope (0.528). Shales in some drill holes display wide δ18O ranges over short stratigraphic intervals suggesting significant variability in the provenance. We however observe a significant, several permil downward shift and decrease in the range of δ18O values (7-9‰) in 2.2-2.5 Ga shales from several continents that are associated with the Paleoproterozoic glaciations. Scattered negative correlation of CIA with δ18O, for some of these shales broadly associated with the Paleoproterozoic glaciations suggest contact with glacial meltwater having ultra-low-δ18O values during deposition or diagenesis of these shales. The δD values of shales range from -50 to -75‰, and are comparable to Phanerozoic values, with the exception of the ~2.5-2.2 Ga shales that reach to -100‰. We also compare O isotope values of ultra-low-δ18O, +8 to -27‰ SMOW subglacial hydrothermal rocks recently discovered in Karelia (Russia), quartz amygdules in mafics and their relations to our global shale dataset. The overall conclusion is that despite first-order changes in areal mass, exposed surface conditions, pCO2, pO2 affecting chemical/physical weathering cycle, it was not dramatically different before and after the rise of atmospheric oxygen at ~2.3-2.4 Ga.

  5. Molybdenum Isotopic Composition of the Archean Mantle As Inferred from Studies of Komatiites (United States)

    Greber, N. D.; Puchtel, I. S.; Nagler, T. F.; Mezger, K.


    Molybdenum isotopic composition has been shown to be a powerful tool in studies of planetary processes, e.g. estimating core formation temperatures [1,2]. However, Mo isotope compositions of terrestrial reservoirs are not well constrained. In order to better constrain the Mo isotopic composition of the early Earth's mantle, komatiites from four locations were analyzed for their Mo concentrations and isotopic compositions. Komatiites are particularly appropriate for this type of study because they formed by high degrees of partial melting of the mantle leading to a complete base metal sulfide removal from the residual mantle and the production of sulfur-undersaturated melts and thus a quantitative removal of Mo from the source into the melt. All samples, except for two strongly altered specimens specifically chosen to study the effects of secondary alteration, are very fresh having preserved most of their primary mineralogy. The Mo concentrations in komatiites range from 10 to 120 ng/g. Fresh komatiites have lighter δ98Mo (NIST SRM 3134 = 0.25‰, [3]) than altered samples. The estimated primary Mo isotope compositions of the studied komatiite melts range from 0.02 ± 0.16‰ to 0.19 ± 0.14‰ and are therefore indistinguishable within analytical uncertainty (2SD) from published values for chondritic meteorites (0.09 ± 0.04 ‰; 2SD; [2]) and lighter than the proposed average for Earth's continental crust (0.3 to 0.4‰ [4]). All data combined, although overlapping in errors, show a consistent trend of lighter δ98Mo and lower Mo concentrations in more melt-depleted mantle sources, indicating incompatible behaviour of Mo and preferential mobilization of heavy Mo isotopes during mantle melting. [1] Hin et al. (2013) EPSL, 379 [2] Burkhardt et al. (2014) EPSL, 391 [3] Nägler, et al. (2014) GGR, 38. [4] Voegelin et al. (2014) Lithos, 190-191.

  6. Silicon isotopes and trace elements in chert record early Archean basin evolution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geilert, Sonja; Vroon, Pieter Z.; van Bergen, Manfred J.


    Silicon isotopes of chemical sediments have received growing attention, given their applicability in the search for properties of ancient seawater. An important target is the reconstruction of secular changes in surface temperature of the Precambrian Earth, but interpretations are problematic since

  7. Early mantle dynamics inferred from Nd-142 variations in Archean rocks from southwest Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rizo, Hanika; Boyet, Maud; Blichert-Toft, Janne


    The composition and evolution of the silicate Earth during Hadean/Eoarchean times are widely debated and largely unknown due to the sparse geological record preserved from Earth's infancy. The short-lived Sm-146-Nd-142 chronometer applied to 3.8-3.7 Ga old mantle-derived amphibolites from the Isu...... into the compositional evolution and dynamic workings of Earth's primordial mantle. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.......The composition and evolution of the silicate Earth during Hadean/Eoarchean times are widely debated and largely unknown due to the sparse geological record preserved from Earth's infancy. The short-lived Sm-146-Nd-142 chronometer applied to 3.8-3.7 Ga old mantle-derived amphibolites from the Isua...... of the Greenland samples from a source formed in the Hadean. This mantle source is the oldest yet identified on Earth and therefore provides key information about the nature and evolution of early-differentiated reservoirs. In contrast, modern mantle-derived rocks from around the world do not have Nd-142 anomalies...

  8. Magnetic Petrology of Archean High-Grade Terrains: Window into Deep Crustal Structure and Geodynamic Processes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    The major results about magnetic petrology of Archearn high-grade terrains in the world are reviewed in this article, focusing on the relationship between rock magnetism and deformation, and metamorphism and intensity of magnetization of the lower continental crust. The important problems about the magnetic study of rocks for high-grade terrains are advanced.

  9. Implications for the evolution of continental crust from Hf isotope systematics of Archean detrital zircons (United States)

    Stevenson, Ross K.; Patchett, P. Jonathan


    Results from the fractionation of zircon by sedimentary processes into continental margin sandstone yield information on the preservation of preexisting continental crust in the form of zircon, making it possible to distinguish between the contrasting theories of gradual growth versus constant volume of continental crust over geologic time. In this work, Hf-176/Hf-177 ratios were determined for detrital zircon fractions from 2.0-2.5, 2.6-3.0, and pre-3.0 Gyr old sandstones from the Canadian-Shield, the North-Atlantic, the Wyoming, and the Kaapvaal Cratons. Results pointed to small amounts of continental crust prior to 3.0 Gyr ago and a rapid addition of continental crust between 2.5 and 3.0 Gyr ago, consistent with the gradual growth of continental crust, and giving evidence against no-growth histories.

  10. Thermal history of the Earth and its petrological expression (United States)

    Herzberg, Claude; Condie, Kent; Korenaga, Jun


    Non-arc basalts of Archean and Proterozoic age have model primary magmas that exhibit mantle potential temperatures TP that increase from 1350 °C at the present to a maximum of ˜ 1500-1600 °C at 2.5-3.0 Ga. The overall trend of these temperatures converges smoothly to that of the present-day MORB source, supporting the interpretation that the non-arc basalts formed by the melting of hot ambient mantle, not mantle plumes, and that they can constrain the thermal history of the Earth. These petrological results are very similar to those predicted by thermal models characterized by a low Urey ratio and more sluggish mantle convection in the past. We infer that the mantle was warming in deep Archean-Hadean time because internal heating exceeded surface heat loss, and it has been cooling from 2.5 to 3.0 Ga to the present. Non-arc Precambrian basalts are likely to be similar to those that formed oceanic crust and erupted on continents. It is estimated that ˜ 25-35 km of oceanic crust formed in the ancient Earth by about 30% melting of hot ambient mantle. In contrast, komatiite parental magmas reveal TP that are higher than those of non-arc basalts, consistent with the hot plume model. However, the associated excess magmatism was minor and oceanic plateaus, if they existed, would have had subtle bathymetric variations, unlike those of Phanerozoic oceanic plateaus. Primary magmas of Precambrian ambient mantle had 18-24% MgO, and they left behind residues of harzburgite that are now found as xenoliths of cratonic mantle. We infer that primary basaltic partial melts having 10-13% MgO are a feature of Phanerozoic magmatism, not of the early Earth, which may be why modern-day analogs of oceanic crust have not been reported in Archean greenstone belts.

  11. Early Earth tectonics: A high-resolution 3D numerical modelling approach (United States)

    Fischer, R.; Gerya, T.


    Early Earth had a higher amount of remaining radiogenic elements as well as a higher amount of leftover primordial heat. Both contributed to the increased temperature in the Earth's interior and it is mainly this increased mantle potential temperature ΔTp that controls the dynamics of the crust and upper mantle and the style of Early Earth tectonics. For a minor increase in temperature ΔTp buckling, delamination and Rayleigh-Taylor style dripping of the plate is observed in addition. For higher temperatures ΔTp > 250 K no subduction can be observed anymore and tectonics is dominated by delamination and Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities. We conduct 3D petrological-thermomechanical numerical modelling experiments of the crust and upper mantle under Early Earth conditions and a plume tectonics model setup. For varying crustal structures and an increased mantle potential temperature ΔTp, a thermal anomaly in the bottom temperature boundary introduces a plume. The model is able to self-sufficiently form depleted mantle lithosphere after repeated melt removal. New crust can be produced in the form of volcanics or plutonics. To simulate differentiation the newly formed crust can have a range in composition from basaltic over dacitic to granitic depending on its source rock. Models show large amounts of subcrustal decompression melting and consequently large amounts of new formed crust which in turn influences the dynamics. Mantle and crust are convecting separately. Dome-shaped plutons of mafic or felsic composition can be observed in the crust. Between these domes elongated belts of upper crust, volcanics and sediments are formed. These structures look similar to, for example, the Kaapvaal craton in South Africa where the elongated shape of the Barberton Greenstone Belt is surrounded by multiple plutons.

  12. Phosphate oxygen isotopic evidence for a temperate and biologically active Archaean ocean. (United States)

    Blake, Ruth E; Chang, Sae Jung; Lepland, Aivo


    Oxygen and silicon isotope compositions of cherts and studies of protein evolution have been interpreted to reflect ocean temperatures of 55-85 degrees C during the early Palaeoarchaean era ( approximately 3.5 billion years ago). A recent study combining oxygen and hydrogen isotope compositions of cherts, however, makes a case for Archaean ocean temperatures being no greater than 40 degrees C (ref. 5). Ocean temperature can also be assessed using the oxygen isotope composition of phosphate. Recent studies show that (18)O:(16)O ratios of dissolved inorganic phosphate (delta(18)O(P)) reflect ambient seawater temperature as well as biological processing that dominates marine phosphorus cycling at low temperature. All forms of life require and concentrate phosphorus, and as a result of biological processing, modern marine phosphates have delta(18)O(P) values typically between 19-26 per thousand (VSMOW), highly evolved from presumed source values of approximately 6-8 per thousand that are characteristic of apatite in igneous rocks and meteorites. Here we report oxygen isotope compositions of phosphates in sediments from the 3.2-3.5-billion-year-old Barberton Greenstone Belt in South Africa. We find that delta(18)O(P) values range from 9.3 per thousand to 19.9 per thousand and include the highest values reported for Archaean rocks. The temperatures calculated from our highest delta(18)O(P) values and assuming equilibrium with sea water with delta(18)O = 0 per thousand (ref. 12) range from 26 degrees C to 35 degrees C. The higher delta(18)O(P) values are similar to those of modern marine phosphate and suggest a well-developed phosphorus cycle and evolved biologic activity on the Archaean Earth.

  13. Identifying early Earth microfossils in unsilicified sediments (United States)

    Javaux, Emmanuelle J.; Asael, Dan; Bekker, Andrey; Debaille, Vinciane; Derenne, Sylvie; Hofmann, Axel; Mattielli, Nadine; Poulton, Simon


    Renaut, 2007) or inside gaz bubbles (Brasier et al, 2009; Bengston et al., 2010); or as mobile hydrocarbon microspheres (Wanger et al, 2012). However, these processes cannot explain the formation of large recalcitrant (acid-resistant) hollow vesicles flattened in 2D parallel to bedding, with structurally preserved organic walls, and occurring in shallow-water shales. They do not occur in the right geological conditions, or do not produce the right taphonomy nor structurally preserved morphology; or the right chemistry (acid resistant kerogen, not bitumen); or the right size range and unimodal size distribution. Therefore the carbonaceous microstructures are interpreted as organic-walled microfossils of unknown biological origin (the definition of acritarchs, which may of prokaryotic or eukaryotic origin). In our study, ultrastructural analyzes by transmission electron microscopy provided a crucial test to evidence that large organic-walled vesicles from the 3.2 Ga Moodies Group were true microfossils and not just large kerogen particles (Javaux et al, 2010). This discovery showed that fine-grained siliciclastic window is an interesting target, not only for the proterozoic record, but also for archean paleobiology. Such study also suggests that aqueous fine-grained silicilastic or clay deposits from the Noachian on Mars should be high priority astrobiological targets. To improve the Archean record, siliciclastic sedimentary rocks from new cores recovered through the ICDP Barberton "peering into the cradle of life" will be investigated for discovering and characterizing traces of life (organics, microfossils, microbial mat structures) and their paleohabitat and preservation conditions. Analytical approaches will include in situ study by petrography, organics extraction, optical and electronic microscopy, Raman and FTIR microspectroscopy, pyrolysis, datings, stable isotope analyzes, and a range of redox proxies, in collaboration with partners from the ICDP Barberton project

  14. Liquidus temperatures of komatiites and the effect of cooling rate on element partitioning between olivine and komatiitic melt (United States)

    Sossi, Paolo A.; O'Neill, Hugh St. C.


    Archean komatiites are the hottest magmas preserved on Earth and are thus unique probes of its thermal evolution. Estimating their eruption temperatures remains problematic, however, because the uppermost (A1, A2) zones of komatiite flows contain randomly oriented spinifex-textured olivines, indicative of rapid cooling and growth. Fe-Mg partitioning between olivine and assumed komatiitic liquid typically shows departures from equilibrium, extending towards higher K_{{D}}^{{{{Fe}}^{2 + } - {{Mg}}}}. If these higher values are a disequilibrium effect, using them to calculate parental magma composition would lead to errors in estimated liquidus temperatures. In order to investigate this possibility, we have performed experiments on two komatiite compositions, the classic Barberton Aluminium Undepleted Komatiite (AUK) sample 49J (32.2 % MgO) and Munro AUK sample 422/95 (23 % MgO). Isothermal experiments to constrain phase equilibria on 49J at atmospheric pressure, between 1360 and 1600 °C at 1.7 log units below and 1.1 above the fayalite-magnetite-quartz (FMQ) buffer reveal a liquidus temperature ( T liq) of 1616 °C, 40 °C lower than a previous estimate. The K_{{D}}^{{Σ {{Fe}}{-}{{Mg}}}} ranges between 0.320 and 0.295 at FMQ - 1.7, with a slight negative dependence on temperature. To replicate the conditions that prevailed during the quenching of komatiites in their upper chill zones, experiments with a constant cooling rate at FMQ - 1.7 were performed on 422/95 ( T liq = 1450 °C) at 0.5, 1.5, 2.5, 6.5 and 16 °C/min. Olivine morphology changes from euhedral to tabular at low cooling rates, hopper at intermediate, and skeletal and chain structures at high rates. Concurrently, the K_{{D}}^{{Σ {{Fe}}{-}{{Mg}}}} increases monotonically from an equilibrium value of 0.305 to 0.376 at 16 °C/min, reflecting the inability of unwanted cations to diffuse away from the growing olivine. The high K_{{D}}^{{Σ {{Fe}}{-}{{Mg}}}} between olivine and komatiitic liquid caused by

  15. SHRIMP single zircon U-Pb dating of the Kongling high-grade metamorphic terrain: Evidence for >3.2 Ga old continental crust in the Yangtze craton

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GAO; Shan; (


    [1]Liu, G. L., New progress in the geochronology of the Kongling terrain, Regional Geology of China, 1987, 1: 95.[2]Zheng, W. Z., Liu, G. L., Wang, X. W., Geochronology of the Archean Kongling terrain, Bull. Yichang Inst. Geol. Miner. Resour. (in Chinese), 1991, 16: 97-105.[3]Yuan, H. H., Zhang, Z. L., Liu, W. et al., Dating of zircons by evaporation method and its application, Mineral. Petrol. (in Chinese), 1991, 11: 72.-79[4]Ling, W. L., Gao, S., Zheng, H. F. et al., Sm-Nd isotopic dating of Kongling terrain, Chinese. Sci. Bull., 1998, 43(1): 86-89.[5]Gao, S., Ling, W. L., Qiu, Y. et al., Contrasting geochemical and Sm-Nd isotopic compositions of Archean metasediments from the Kongling high-grade terrain of the Yangtze craton: evidence for cratonic evolution and redistribution of REE during crustal anatexis, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 1999, 63: 2071-2088.[6]Gao, S., Zhang, B. R., The discovery of Archean TTG gneisses in northern Yangtze craton and their implications, Earth Sci. (in Chinese, with English abstract), 1990, 15: 675-679.[7]Dong, S. B., Metamorphism and Its Relation to the Crustal Evolution in China (in Chinese), Beijing: Geological Publishing House, 1986. [8]Composton, W., Williams, I. S., Meyer, C., U-Pb geochronology of zircons from lunar breccia 73217 using sensitive high mass-resolution ion microprobe, J. Geophys. Res., 1984, 89(B): 252-534.[9]Williams, I. S., Composton, W., Black, L. P et al., Unsupported radiogenic Pb in zircon: a case of anomalously high Pb-Pb, U-Pb and Th-Pb ages, Contrib. Mineral. Petrol., 1984, 88: 322-327.[10] Nelson, D. R., Evolution of the Archean granite-greenstone terrains of the Eastern Goldfileds, Western Australia: SHRIMP U-Pb zircon constraints, Precambrian Res., 1997, 83: 57-81.[11] Ling, W. L., Geochronology and crustal growth of the Paleoproterozoic basements along the northern margin of the Yangzte craton, Earth Sci., 1996, 21(5): 491—493.

  16. 晚期折返过程含石墨流体包裹体及其意义:以印度两个不同地体为例%Graphite bearing fluid inclusions and their implications to late-stage exhumation processes: Case studies from two disparate terrains in India

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    M.K.Panigrahi; S.Gupta


    Archean greenstone belts and Proterozoic granulite mobile belts are products of fundamentally different tectonic processes that culminated in different levels of crustal incision. The present study focuses on graphite-bearing fluid inclusions from two such terrains in India, the Angul domain of Eastern Ghats Mobile Belt and Hutti-Maski schist belt of the eastern Dharwar greenstone-granite belt. In both cases, a high population of such inclusions within the fluid inclusion assemblage rules out the possibility of graphite being a captive phase, and instead confirms that it was deposited by the fluid within the inclusion cavity. Graphite is usually observed to be occurring with either pure water or a pure carbonic ( CO2 only) liquid, or with a CH4 dominated carbonic liquid without vapor at room temperature. Graphite precipitation in inclusions is brought about by reaction of the CO2 and CH4 trapped as a homogeneous fluid to give rise to H2O and C (graphite). Molar volume calculations for the CO2-CH4 mixture assuming an appropriate PVTX relationship indicates that there is a substantial increase in volume with decreasing pressure at a given temperature. The reaction producing graphite and H2O from CH4 and CO2 involves substantial volume reduction, and hence would be favored when the rock undergoes rapid exhumation. Graphite-bearing inclusions in quartz in a late-stage leucosome from migmatites in the Angul domain of the EGMB are accompanied by other fluid inclusion evidence for isothermal decompression. In the Hutti-Maski schist belt of the eastern Dharwar Craton, graphite-bearing inclusions occur in structurally controlled quartz veins (often auriferous ) within metamorphosed mafic volcanics (schists and amphibolites). The Raman spectra indicate that graphites in fluid inclusions from the Hutti-Maski schist belt have both ordered (O) and the disordered (D) peaks, whereas those from the Angul area of EGMB lack the disordered (D) peaks, process. However, the Hutti

  17. Integration of Geophysical Data into Structural Geological Modelling through Bayesian Networks (United States)

    de la Varga, Miguel; Wellmann, Florian; Murdie, Ruth


    Structural geological models are widely used to represent the spatial distribution of relevant geological features. Several techniques exist to construct these models on the basis of different assumptions and different types of geological observations (e.g. Jessell et al., 2014). However, two problems are prevalent when constructing models: (i) observations and assumptions, and therefore also the constructed model, are subject to uncertainties, and (ii) additional information, such as geophysical data, is often available, but cannot be considered directly in the geological modelling step. In our work, we propose the integration of all available data into a Bayesian network including the generation of the implicit geological method by means of interpolation functions (Mallet, 1992; Lajaunie et al., 1997; Mallet, 2004; Carr et al., 2001; Hillier et al., 2014). As a result, we are able to increase the certainty of the resultant models as well as potentially learn features of our regional geology through data mining and information theory techniques. MCMC methods are used in order to optimize computational time and assure the validity of the results. Here, we apply the aforementioned concepts in a 3-D model of the Sandstone Greenstone Belt in the Archean Yilgarn Craton in Western Australia. The example given, defines the uncertainty in the thickness of greenstone as limited by Bouguer anomaly and the internal structure of the greenstone as limited by the magnetic signature of a banded iron formation. The incorporation of the additional data and specially the gravity provides an important reduction of the possible outcomes and therefore the overall uncertainty. References Carr, C. J., K. R. Beatson, B. J. Cherrie, J. T. Mitchell, R. W. Fright, C. B. McCallum, and R. T. Evans, 2001, Reconstruction and representation of 3D objects with radial basis functions: Proceedings of the 28th annual conference on Computer graphics and interactive techniques, 67-76. Jessell, M

  18. Field and geochemical characterisitics of the Mesoarchean (~3075 ma) Ivisaartoq greenstone belt, southern West Greenland: Evidence for seafloor hydrothermal alteration in a supra-subduction oceanic crust

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Polat, A.; Appel, P.W.U.; Frei, Robert


    assemblage is interpreted as relict epidosite. The stage II metasomatic assemblage occurs as concordant discontinuous layered calc-silicate bodies to discordant calc-silicate veins commonly associated with shear zones. The stage II metasomatic assemblage consists mainly of diopside...... + garnet + amphibole + plagioclase + quartz ± vesuvianite ± scapolite ± epidote ± titanite ± calcite ± scheelite. Given that the second stage of metasomatism is closely associated with shear zones and replaced rocks with an early metamorphic fabric, its origin is attributed to regional dynamothermal metamorphism. The least altered pillow basalts, picrites, gabbros, and diorites are characterized by LREE......-enriched, near-flat HREE, and HFSE (especially Nb)-depleted trace element patterns, indicating a subduction zone geochemical signature. Ultramafic pillows and cumulates display large positive initial eNd values of + 1.3 to + 5.0, consistent with a strongly depleted mantle source. Given the geological...

  19. Geochemical characteristics of gold bearing boninites and banded iron formations from Shimoga greenstone belt, India: Implications for gold genesis and hydrothermal processes in diverse tectonic settings

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Ganguly, S.; Manikyamba, C.; Saha, A.; Lingadevaru, M.; Santosh, M.; Rambabu, S.; Khelen, A.C.; Purushotham, D.; Linga, D.

    of these rocks, based on MgO, TiO2 Ni, Cr and Co contents, Al2O3/TiO2, (Gd/Yb)N and (La/Sm)N ratios, classify them as boninites and their relative LILE-HFSE abundance suggests magma generation...

  20. Oxidative weathering recorded by U-Th-Pb behavior in shales (United States)

    Krogstad, E. J.; Bekker, A.


    Pb-isotope data from eleven suites of sedimentary (shales) and metasedimentary rocks (metapelites), new data or from the literature, are studied for indications of their Th/U histories. Variations in 208Pb/204Pb versus 206Pb/204Pb can be interpreted as indicating syn-depositional and/or post-depositional variations in Th/U. REE data can be used to test if apparent Th/U variations resulted from placer concentration of REE-, U-, and Th-rich heavy minerals. Such placer Th- or U-enrichment has not been identified in any of the shale Pb-Pb v. REE data. The early and middle Archean metasedimentary suites described (Isua, Barberton, Buhwa) show no evidence for separation of Th/U, suggesting that surficial conditions were too poor in free oxygen for uranium to be substantially transformed into U6+. A 2.7 Ga graphitic metapelite suite, the Vermilion Lake Formation from NE Minnesota, shows some decrease in Th/U consistent with addition of U upon reduction of U6+to U4+ by the sediments. Younger suites from the Early Proterozoic (Black Hills, 1.8 Ga shelf sediments of the S.W. U.S.A., Belt Supergroup), to samples from the late Paleozoic of the Appalachians, show profound separation of Th from U, consistent with oxic weathering in the modern style. Studies that showed U-enrichment in organic-rich shales as the effect of the rise of atmospheric oxygen neglect the effect of oxidative U-loss in sediments; in this study U-loss in contemporary organic-poor shales is shown to be the necessary, complementary reservoir to account for oxidative U mobility. Both high Th/U in organic-poor shales, or low Th/U in organic-rich shales, therefore, show the effect of oxidation on U.

  1. Nd isotopic characteristics of post-Archean sediments from the Eastern Nanling Range: Evidence for crustal evolution

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SHEN Weizhou; YU Jinhai; ZHAO Lei; CHEN Zelin; LIN Hengcai


    A systematic Sm-Nd isotopic study was carried out for sediments and metasediments of different ages from Mesoproterozoic to early Mesozoic era in southwestern Fujian, Eastern Nanling Range. The results show that Nd model age (tDM) and εNd(t) value of most sediments are closely similar to those of Paleoproterozoic Mayuan Group, indicating that they may mainly be the recycling product of Paleoproterozoic crustal materials. However, the Nd model age significantly decreases with a corresponding increase in the εNd(t) value at Neoproterozoic (ca. 0.8-0.7 Ga) and Late Paleozoic (ca. 0.25 Ga), respectively. This is manifested by prominent vales and apexes on the diagrams of tDM vs. tStr. (stratum age) and εNd(t) vs. tStr.. The decrease in tDM and the increase in εNd(t) are explained as a result of the significant incorporation of juvenile crustal materials that originated from depleted mantle due to strong lithospheric extension during both periods. It appears that tectonic magmatism in the Neoproterozoic and the Late Paleozoic is of prominent importance in affecting the geochemical nature of sediments in South China.

  2. Regional variation in the Amitsoq gneisses related to crustal levels during late Archean granulite facies metamorphism: Southern west Greenland (United States)

    Nutman, A. P.; Bridgwater, D.; Mcgregor, V. R.


    The dominant lithology at Kangimut sangmissoq is described as nebulitic tonalitic gneiss containing highly distended plagioclase phyric amphibolites. The gneiss amphibolite complex was intruded by Nuk gneiss between 3.05 and 2.90 Ga and later (2.6 to 2.7 Ga) by post granulite facies granitoid sheets. The amphibolites are though to be Ameralik dikes and the older gray gneiss are then Amitsoq by definition. The problem arises when the isotopic data are considered, none of which indicate rocks older that about 3.0 Ga.

  3. P-T-t path for the Archean Pikwitonei Granulite Domain and Cross Lake Subprovince, Manitoba, Canada (United States)

    Mezger, K.; Bohlen, S. R.; Hanson, G. N.


    The rationale was outlined for constructing pressure-temperature-time (P-T-t) paths by using U-Pb dating of garnet produced in thermobarometrically sensitive reactions. In an example from the Pikwitonei granulites of the Northwestern Superior Province of the Canadian Shield, garnets were formed at 2744-2742 Ma, 2700-2689 Ma, and 2605-2590 Ma, the latter events coinciding with times recorded by U-Pb zircon systems. Garnet grew during metamorphism at 6.5 kbar, 630 to 750 C and later at 7.2 to 7.5 kbar, 800 C; the later metamorphism apparently did not exceed the U-Pb closure temperature. The resultant P-T-t path is counterclockwise, with late isobaric cooling, interpreted to result from magmatic heating at an Andean margin.

  4. Controversial Pb-Pb and Sm-Nd isotope results in the early Archean Isua (West Greenland) oxide iron formation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frei, Robert; Rosing, Minik; Stecher, Ole


    as crystal overgrowths in the magnetite-rich bands. The timing of the hydrothermal event during which apatite was deposited within the BIF remains uncertain, but a TCHUR model age of 1.85 Ga from the apatite-dominated HCl leachate may point to a close genetic relationship with local Proterozoic metamorphism...

  5. Partition coefficients for iron between plagioclase and basalt as a function of oxygen fugacity - Implications for Archean and lunar anorthosites (United States)

    Phinney, W. C.


    As a prelude to determinations of the content of total iron as FeO(T) in melts in equilibrium with calcic anorthosites, the partition coefficients (Ds) for FeO(T) between calcic plagioclase and basaltic melt were determined, as a function of oxygen fugacity (f(O2)), for a basaltic composition that occurs as matrices for plagioclase megacrysts. Results showed that, at the liquidus conditions, the value of D for FeO(T) between calcic plagioclase and tholeiitic basalt changed little (from 0.030 to 0.044) between the very low f(O2) of the iron-wustite buffer and that of the quartz-fayalite-magnetite (QFM) buffer. At fugacities above QFM, the value for D increased rapidly to 0.14 at the magnetite-hematite buffer and to 0.33 in air. The increase in D results from the fact that, at f(O2) below QFM, nearly all of the Fe is in the Fe(2+) state; above QFM, the Fe(3+)/Fe(2+) ratio in the melt increases rapidly, causing more Fe to enter the plagioclase which accepts Fe(3+) more readily than Fe(2+).

  6. Major and trace element geochemistry of Archean sulfidic black shale horizons as a potential vectoring tool for VMS exploration (United States)

    Chapman, J. B.; Peter, J. M.; Layton-Matthews, D.; Gemmell, J. B.


    Metalliferous black shale horizons are a common but minor component of many subaqueous volcanic successions. These horizons are commonly drilled during volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) deposit exploration programs. Although ore metal enrichment can be identified by conventional assay methods, matrix dilution and post-burial hydrothermal and metamorphic activity may obscure information on the type and mechanism of metal addition to the shale. We used a combination of geochemical investigations at a variety of scales to discriminate between VMS-prospective and VMS-barren horizons. In addition, element signatures associated with hydrothermal plume fallout were identified and used and to determine relative direction to the palaeo-venting centre. Portable x-ray fluorescence (pXRF) analysers were used to identify and correlate prospective horizons within exploration drill cores. pXRF is a rapid and relatively inexpensive method of analysis that can deliver quantitative geochemical information at a cm-scale and help to identify intervals meriting further, more costly and time-consuming analyses. Subsequently, laser-ablation ICP-MS analysis of metal sulfides was used to constrain hydrothermal, hydrogenous and diagenetic end-member compositions, and to quantify element remobilization during post-burial alteration. These data were then used to refine the pXRF survey methodology and develop primary vectors toward potential concealed base metal deposits.

  7. Search for petrographic and geochemical evidence for the late heavy bombardment on earth in early archean rocks from Isua, Greenland (United States)

    Koeberl, Christian; Reimold, Wolf Uwe; McDonald, Iain; Rosing, Minik

    The Moon was subjected to intense post-accretionary bombardment between about 4.5 and 3.9 billion years ago, and there is evidence for a short and intense late heavy bombardment period, around 3.85 ± 0.05 Ga. If a late heavy bombardment occurred on the Moon, the Earth must have been subjected to an impact flux at least as intense. The consequences for the Earth must have been devastating. In an attempt to investigate if any record of such a late heavy bombardment period on the Earth has been preserved, we performed a petrographic and geochemical study of some of the oldest rocks on Earth, from Isua in Greenland. We attempted to identify any remnant evidence of shock metamorphism in these rocks by petrographic studies, and used geochemical methods to detect the possible presence of an extraterrestrial component in these rocks. For the shock metamorphic study, we studied zircon, a highly refractive mineral that is resistant to alteration and metamorphism. Zircon crystals from old and eroded impact structures were found earlier to contain a range of shock-induced features at the optical and electron microscope level. Many of the studied zircon grains from Isua are strongly fractured, and single planar fractures do occur, but never as part of sets; none of the crystals studied shows any evidence of optically visible shock deformation. Several samples of Isua rocks were analyzed for their chemical composition, including the platinum group element (PGE) abundances, by neutron activation analysis and ICP-MS. Three samples showed somewhat elevated Ir contents (up to 0.2 ppb) compared to the detection limit, which is similar to the present-day crustal background content (0.03 ppb), but the chondrite-normalized siderophile element abundance patterns are non-chondritic, which could be a sign of either a small extraterrestrial component (if an indigenous component is subtracted), or terrestrial (re)mobilization mechanisms. In absence of any evidence for shock metamorphism, and with ambiguous geochemical signals, no unequivocal conclusions regarding the presence of extraterrestrial matter (as a result of possible late heavy bombardment) in these Isua rocks can be reached.

  8. SIMS analyses of silicon and oxygen isotope ratios for quartz from Archean and Paleoproterozoic banded iron formations (United States)

    Heck, Philipp R.; Huberty, Jason M.; Kita, Noriko T.; Ushikubo, Takayuki; Kozdon, Reinhard; Valley, John W.


    Banded iron formations (BIFs) are chemical marine sediments dominantly composed of alternating iron-rich (oxide, carbonate, sulfide) and silicon-rich (chert, jasper) layers. Isotope ratios of iron, carbon, and sulfur in BIF iron-bearing minerals are biosignatures that reflect microbial cycling for these elements in BIFs. While much attention has focused on iron, banded iron formations are equally banded silica formations. Thus, silicon isotope ratios for quartz can provide insight on the sources and cycling of silicon in BIFs. BIFs are banded by definition, and microlaminae, or sub-mm banding, are characteristic of many BIFs. In situ microanalysis including secondary ion mass spectrometry is well-suited for analyzing such small features. In this study we used a CAMECA IMS-1280 ion microprobe to obtain highly accurate (±0.3‰) and spatially resolved (˜10 μm spot size) analyses of silicon and oxygen isotope ratios for quartz from several well known BIFs: Isua, southwest Greenland (˜3.8 Ga); Hamersley Group, Western Australia (˜2.5 Ga); Transvaal Group, South Africa (˜2.5 Ga); and Biwabik Iron Formation, Minnesota, USA (˜1.9 Ga). Values of δ 18O range from +7.9‰ to +27.5‰ and include the highest reported δ 18O values for BIF quartz. Values of δ 30Si have a range of ˜5‰ from -3.7‰ to +1.2‰ and extend to the lowest δ 30Si values for Precambrian cherts. Isua BIF samples are homogeneous in δ 18O to ±0.3‰ at mm- to cm-scale, but are heterogeneous in δ 30Si up to 3‰, similar to the range in δ 30Si found in BIFs that have not experienced high temperature metamorphism (up to 300 °C). Values of δ 30Si for quartz are homogeneous to ±0.3‰ in individual sub-mm laminae, but vary by up to 3‰ between multiple laminae over mm-to-cm of vertical banding. The scale of exchange for Si in quartz in BIFs is thus limited to the size of microlaminae, or less than ˜1 mm. We interpret differences in δ 30Si between microlaminae as preserved from primary deposition. Silicon in BIF quartz is mostly of marine hydrothermal origin (δ 30Si < -0.5‰) but silicon from continental weathering (δ 30Si ˜ 1‰) was an important source as early as 3.8 Ga.

  9. Cretaceous reactivation and intensified erosion in the Archean-Proterozoic Limpopo Belt, demonstrated by apatite fission track thermochronology (United States)

    Belton, David X.; Raab, Matthias J.


    Cratons are generally assumed to be regions of long-lasting tectonic stability. In particular the study of the Phanerozoic exhumation history of cratons has been largely hampered by the scarcity of suitable stratigraphic controls onshore. This fact is even more pronounced in terranes lacking Mesozoic or younger penetrative structural fabrics and metamorphic overprinting. Our study in the Limpopo belt shows that modern apatite fission track thermochronology provides a hitherto unavailable perspective in the study of these rocks, and has profound implications for the crustal evolution of the Zimbabwe Craton. Apatite fission track data from 35 samples taken along two transects, in the southern edge of the Zimbabwe Craton and in the Central Zone of the Limpopo Belt, suggest that extensive regions experienced kilometer-scale exhumation in two discrete events, as recently as the Cretaceous. The first occurred at around 130 Ma, and the second at around 90 Ma. Basin subsidence and sedimentation loads on the Mozambique margin support the timing of these events and provide strong indications of the source and pathways for the eroded material. Further, the results indicate that young and old "surfaces" (in a geomorphological sense) may be structurally juxtaposed in regions of high elevation in Zimbabwe. This is contrary to early ideas of surface chronologies based on summit accordances or invoking pediplanation.

  10. Regional study of the Archean to Proterozoic crust at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO+), Ontario: Predicting the geoneutrino flux

    CERN Document Server

    Huang, Yu; Mantovani, Fabio; Shirey, Steven B; Rudnick, Roberta L; McDonough, William F


    The SNO+ detector, a new kiloton scale liquid scintillator detector capable of recording geoneutrino events, will define the strength of the Earth radiogenic heat. A detailed 3-D model of the regional crust, centered at SNO+ and based on compiled geological, geophysical and geochemical information, was used to characterize the physical and chemical attributes of crust and assign uncertainties to its structure. Monte Carlo simulations were used to predict the U and Th abundances and uncertainties in crustal lithologies and to model the regional crustal geoneutrino signal originating from the at SNO+.

  11. Extracting mineral system event histories from geophysical and geochemical data in geologically complex terrain - an example from the southeastern Fennoscandian Shield. (United States)

    Sorjonen-Ward, Peter; Kontinen, Asko; Lerssi, Jouni; Mertanen, Satu; Molnar, Ferenc; O'Brien, Hugh; Pohjolainen, Esa; Halla, Jaana; Korhonen, Fawna; Mattila, Jussi


    The mineral systems concept is intended to extend and inform exploration capability, through understanding processes of metal extraction, transport and precipitation within a well-defined architectural framework, as opposed to simple - or even sophisticated - targeting of geophysical or geochemical anomalies. Given that geophysical and geochemical data represent a summation of all events and processes that have affected a body of rock, the use of advanced inversion techniques could be impeded unless we can extract an accurate event history and derive a comprehensive understanding of the history of hydrothermal events and their structural framework, even in a qualitative sense. In ideal cases, we may be able to place age constraints using isotopes or paleomagnetism, if hydrothermal mineral reactions enhance (or disperse) geochemical and geophysical signals. Given a the tendency for deformation in the brittle regime to occur preferentially by reactivation of existing zones of weakness, we might also expect a progressive linear enhancement or dilution of anomalies, where fluid-flow is focused within permeable fault zones. We illustrate these issues through an analysis of event histories and their relationship to diverse mineralization styles and episodes in the southeastern part of the Fennoscandian Shield, where the oldest mineral systems are represented by orogenic gold deposits in Neoarchean greenstone belts and the youngest events are recorded locally by Paleozoic crystallization of uraninite in repeatedly reactivated fault zones. The Neoarchean Karelian craton was subjected to thermal reworking as the foreland terrain to the 1.9-1.8 Ga Svecofennian Orogeny, as demonstrated by resetting of K-Ar, Ar-Ar, Rb-Sr and locally Pb-Pb isotopic systems in feldspars and pyrite, both within gold deposits, and regionally. However, retention of Archean strain patterns and observations of the strain state of Proterozoifc dyke swarms indicate an essentially brittle response, with

  12. Southern Brasilia Belt (SE Brazil): tectonic discontinuities, K-Ar data and evolution during the Neoproterozoic Brasiliano orogeny

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Valeriano, Claudio Morrison de [Universidade do Estado, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)]. E-mail:; Teixeira, Wilson [Sao Paulo Univ., SP (Brazil); Simoes, Luiz Sergio Amarante [UNESP, Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil); Heilbron, Monica [Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnologico (CNPq), Brasilia, DF (Brazil)


    This paper focuses the tectonic evolution of the southern brasilia belt, with emphasis on the Furnas segment, along the 21 deg C S parallel. The uppermost structural unit (Passos Nappe - PN) comprises a highly deformed metasedimentary succession interpreted as a fragment of the Neoproterozoic passive margin of western Sao francisco craton. An inverted metamorphic gradient ranging from greensvhits to lower granulite facies of medium to high-pressure regime characterizes the PN as relict of a subduction zone. The External Domain display a complex imbrication of basement rocks (Archean Piumhi greenstones, a turbiditic gaywacke succession and a calc-alkaline granitoid suite) with undated siliciclast low-grade metasedimentary rocks. The Sao Francisco Craton (SFC) comprises pre-1.8 Ga basement rocks covered by anchimetamorphic Neoproterozoic carbonatic shallow marine platform deposits of the Bambui group. The Brasiliano thrust stacking generated a coarse clastic influx of molassic character on the foreland zone of Sao Francisco Craton, coeval with the exhumation of the External Domain thrust sheets. New K-Ar determinations on mineral separates are presented an interpreted among previous data. The SFC basement rocks display Paleo-to Meesoproterozoic cooling ages. The allochthonous units, in contrast, display K-Ar ages within the 560-675 Ma range. Brasiliano thrust stacking is therefore interpreted to have taken place onto a cold Sao Francisco craton foreland, in a thin-skinned style, as basement rocks were not heated enough to have their-K-ar systems reset during the allochthony. (author)

  13. Sulphur Isotope Compositions of Shibaqinghao Gold Deposit in Central Inner Mongolia, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhang Hongying; Liu Xiang


    Shibaqinghao gold deposit is situated in the western part of the northern margin of the North China Craton. It is controlled by an E - W trending tectonic zone that is located in the middle unit of Dongwufenzi group which consists of a sequence of greenschist - facies metamorphic rocks in an Archean greenstone belt.In Shibaqinghao gold deposit there are two types of gold ore, a mylonite ore and a quartz vein ore. Mylonite ore bodies were formed during ductile shearing stage in the Early Proterozoic, whereas quartz vein ore bodies might have been formed in the Mesozoic time.Pyrite accompanied with native gold in the mylonite ore has sulpfur of which δ34S values range from - 5.8 to + 0.8 per mil, similar to the values of mantle- derived sulphur. These data suggest that gold in the mylonite ore be derived from the country rocks which originated directly in the upper mantle.Pyrite in quartz vein ore has the δ34 S values between + 3.0 and + 11.0 per mil, similar to the values of some granitic rocks. These facts indicate that the gold in the quartz vein ore is related to some granitic magma generated in the crust.This study revealed that two different mineralization occurred at different geological times and in different environments but in the same place, resuling in the Shibaqinghao gold deposit.

  14. Lead isotope evidence for recent uranium mobility in geological formations of Brazil: implications for radioactive waste disposal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Iyer, S.S. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Calgary, Calgary (Canada); Babinski, M. [Instituto de Geociencias, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo (Brazil); Marinho, M.M. [Companhia Baiana de Pesquisa Mineral (CBPM), Salvador (Brazil); Barbosa, J.S.F. [Instituto de Geociencias, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salvador (Brazil); Sato, I.M.; Salvador, V.L. [Instituto de Pesquisas Energeticas e Nucleares (CNEN/SP), Sao Paulo (Brazil)


    Lead-lead isotope data from whole rock samples are used to investigate the recent (last few million years) mobility of U and Th. The method is based on the comparison of the calculated present day U and Th concentrations required to yield the Pb isotope composition in the samples with the actual present day concentrations of U and Th obtained by direct measurement. The geological formations studied include the Neoproterozoic carbonate sediments of the Bambui Group, Archean/Paleoproterozoic granite-greenstone terrain of the Contendas-Mirante Complex and a Proterozoic ortho-gneisses hosting U deposit in Lagoa Real. All these formations are in the Sao Francisco Craton, Brazil. The data show high U mobility in the carbonate sediments and in the deformed ortho-gneisses set in a ductile shear zone. Infiltration of groundwater through fault zones seems to have facilitated the U mobility. The Pb isotope approach is a useful technique complementing U-series disequilibrium studies and may be included for site characterization studies for radioactive waste disposal. (Copyright (c) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam. All rights reserved.)

  15. Velocity structure of the Kapuskasing Uplift, northern Ontario, from seismic refraction studies (United States)

    Boland, A. V.; Ellis, R. M.


    A crustal scale seismic refraction experiment was conducted over the Kapuskasing structural zone, northern Ontario, in 1984. The zone cuts obliquely across the east-west structural grain of the Superior Province in the Canadian shield and has been proposed as a cross section of Archean crust exposed by thrust faulting along the Ivanhoe Lake cataclastic zone during early Proterozoic time. Five seismic refraction lines of 360-450 km were shot over the area. There were 18 profile shots and two fan shots with a recorder spacing of 2-5 km. We have modeled the travel times and amplitudes of the data from the profile lines and analyzed reflections from the crust-mantle boundary on the fan shots. We have imaged a low-velocity zone under the Abitibi greenstone belt ranging from 4-5 to 9-12 km depth that is underlain by a highly reflective zone. There is a considerable deepening of the Moho from 40-43 km to 50-53 km under and to the west of the southern end of the Kapuskasing structural zone. A high-velocity anomaly of 6.6-6.7 km/s has been imaged in the upper crust down to 20 km depth beneath the Kapuskasing structure with a suggested dip of 15°±2° to the west. This corresponds well to the proposed location of a granulite zone thrust up from the middle or lower crust in the early Proterozoic.

  16. Compositional evolution of the upper continental crust through time, as constrained by ancient glacial diamictites (United States)

    Gaschnig, Richard M.; Rudnick, Roberta L.; McDonough, William F.; Kaufman, Alan J.; Valley, John W.; Hu, Zhaochu; Gao, Shan; Beck, Michelle L.


    The composition of the fine-grained matrix of glacial diamictites from the Mesoarchean, Paleoproterozoic, Neoproterozoic, and Paleozoic, collected from four modern continents, reflects the secular evolution of the average composition of the upper continental crust (UCC). The effects of localized provenance are present in some cases, but distinctive geochemical signatures exist in diamictites of the same age from different localities, suggesting that these are global signatures. Archean UCC, dominated by greenstone basalts and to a lesser extent komatiites, was more mafic, based on major elements and transition metal trace elements. Temporal changes in oxygen isotope ratios, rare earth elements, and high field strength elements indicate that the UCC became more differentiated and that tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite suites became less important with time, findings consistent with previous studies. We also document the concentrations of siderophile and chalcophile elements (Ga, Ge, Cd, In, Sn, Sb, W, Tl, Bi) and lithophile Be in the UCC through time, and use the data for the younger diamictites to construct a new estimate of average UCC along with associated uncertainties.

  17. Ternary feldspar thermometry of Paleoproterozoic granulites from In-Ouzzal terrane (Western Hoggar, southern Algeria) (United States)

    Benbatta, A.; Bendaoud, A.; Cenki-Tok, B.; Adjerid, Z.; Lacène, K.; Ouzegane, K.


    The In Ouzzal terrane in western Hoggar (Southern Algeria) preserves evidence of ultrahigh temperature (UHT) crustal metamorphism. It consists in Archean crustal units, composed of orthogneissic domes and greenstone belts, strongly remobilized during the Paleoproterozoic orogeny which was recognized as an UHT event (peak T > 1000 °C and P ≈ 9-12 kbar). This metamorphism was essentially defined locally in Al-Mg granulites, Al-Fe granulites and quartzites outcropping in the Northern part of the In Ouzzal terrane (IOT). In order to test and verify the regional spread of the UHT metamorphism in this terrane, ternary feldspar thermometry on varied rock types (Metanorite, Granulite Al-Mg and Orthogneiss) and samples that crop out in different zones of the In Ouzzal terrane. These rocks contain either perthitic, antiperthitic or mesoperthitic parageneses. Ternary feldspars used in this study have clearly a metamorphic origin. The obtained results combined with previous works show that this UHT metamorphism (>900 °C) affected the whole In Ouzzal crustal block. This is of major importance as for future discussion on the geodynamic context responsible for this regional UHT metamorphism.

  18. Major Pb Loss in the Silicate Earth at ~ 4.52 Ga (United States)

    Vervoort, J. D.; Albarede, F.; Blichert-Toft, J.; Thorpe, R.


    The Pb isotopic compositions of galenas from volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) deposits have been used widely in the past to track terrestrial Pb evolution for several important reasons. First, the galenas in the VMS ores have U/Pb=0, which lock in their Pb isotopic compsitions at the time of their formation. Second, the syngenetic nature of the VMS ores means that the galenas likely average the Pb isotopic composition of the host volcanic rocks. Third, many VMS deposits are hosted by juvenile mantle-derived rocks with little or no interaction with older evolved crust. In this study we focused on the VMS deposits in the Abitibi and Wawa greenstone belts (Subprovinces) in the Superior Province of Canada. All deposits are late Archean in age (~2.7 Ga) and are hosted by juvenile, mantle-derived volcanic rocks, as evidenced by both their Nd and Hf isotopic compositions. We analyzed the Pb isotopic compositions of galenas from 8 VMS districts in the Abitibi and Wawa greenstone belts. Each individual VMS district has a narrow range of Pb isotopic compositions but collectively the deposits define a coherent array with the least radiogenic compositions at Matagami (207Pb/204Pb = 14.32 and 206Pb/204Pb = 13.11) and the most radiogenic compositions at Noranda (207Pb/204Pb = 14.49 and 206Pb/204Pb = 13.31), both in the Abitibi greenstone belt. These districts differ in age by nearly 30 m.y. from 2.73 Ga to 2.70 Ga. When these compositions are normalized to a common age of 2.70 Ga, they define a highly linear array in 207Pb/204Pb and 206Pb/204Pb. Using single stage Pb evolution beginning at 4.56 the VMS array at 2.7 Ga lies to the right of the Geochron and aligns with the 2.62 Ga Geochron in future Pb space. This assumes, however, that Earth’s major U/Pb fractionation occurs at 4.56 Ga and that silicate Earth Pb evolves with a high μ throughout its history. A more likely scenario is that Pb began with a very low μ in the solar nebula, increased moderately due to volatile

  19. Plate Tectonics at 3.8-3.7 Ga: Field Evidence from the Isua Accretionary Complex, Southern West Greenland. (United States)

    Komiya; Maruyama; Masuda; Nohda; Hayashi; Okamoto


    A 1&rcolon;5000 scale mapping was performed in the Isukasia area of the ca. 3.8-Ga Isua supracrustal belt, southern West Greenland. The mapped area is divided into three units bounded by low-angle thrusts: the Northern, Middle, and Southern Units. The Southern Unit, the best exposed, is composed of 14 subunits (horses) with similar lithostratigraphy, bound by layer-parallel thrusts. Duplex structures are widespread in the Isua belt and vary in scale from a few meters to kilometers. Duplexing proceeded from south to north and is well documented in the relationship between link- and roof-thrusts. The reconstructed lithostratigraphy of each horse reveals a simple pattern, in ascending order, of greenstone with low-K tholeiitic composition with or without pillow lava structures, chert/banded iron-formation, and turbidites. The cherts and underlying low-K tholeiites do not contain continent- or arc-derived material. The lithostratigraphy is quite similar to Phanerozoic "oceanic plate stratigraphy," except for the abundance of mafic material in the turbidites. The evidence of duplex structures and oceanic plate stratigraphy indicates that the Isua supracrustal belt is the oldest accretionary complex in the world. The dominantly mafic turbidite composition suggests that the accretionary complex was formed in an intraoceanic environment comparable to the present-day western Pacific Ocean. The duplex polarity suggests that an older accretionary complex should occur to the south of the Isua complex. Moreover, the presence of seawater (documented by a thick, pillow, lava unit at the bottom of oceanic plate stratigraphy) indicates that the surface temperature was less than ca. 100 degrees C in the Early Archean. The oceanic geotherm for the Early Archean lithosphere as a function of age was calculated based on a model of transient half-space cooling at given parameters of surface and mantle temperatures of 100 degrees and 1450 degrees C, respectively, suggesting that the

  20. Early Life on Earth: the Ancient Fossil Record (United States)

    Westall, F.


    The evidence for early life and its initial evolution on Earth is lin= ked intimately with the geological evolution of the early Earth. The environment of the early Earth would be considered extreme by modern standards: hot (50-80=B0C), volcanically and hydrothermally active, a= noxic, high UV flux, and a high flux of extraterrestrial impacts. Habitats = for life were more limited until continent-building processes resulted in= the formation of stable cratons with wide, shallow, continental platforms= in the Mid-Late Archaean. Unfortunately there are no records of the first appearance of life and the earliest isotopic indications of the exist= ence of organisms fractionating carbon in ~3.8 Ga rocks from the Isua greenst= one belt in Greenland are tenuous. Well-preserved microfossils and micro= bial mats (in the form of tabular and domical stromatolites) occur in 3.5-= 3.3 Ga, Early Archaean, sedimentary formations from the Barberton (South Afri= ca) and Pilbara (Australia) greenstone belts. They document life forms that = show a relatively advanced level of evolution. Microfossil morphology inclu= des filamentous, coccoid, rod and vibroid shapes. Colonial microorganism= s formed biofilms and microbial mats at the surfaces of volcaniclastic = and chemical sediments, some of which created (small) macroscopic microbi= alites such as stromatolites. Anoxygenic photosynthesis may already have developed. Carbon, nitrogen and sulphur isotopes ratios are in the r= ange of those for organisms with anaerobic metabolisms, such as methanogenesi= s, sulphate reduction and photosynthesis. Life was apparently distribute= d widely in shallow-water to littoral environments, including exposed, evaporitic basins and regions of hydrothermal activity. Biomass in t= he early Archaean was restricted owing to the limited amount of energy t= hat could be produced by anaerobic metabolisms. Microfossils resembling o= xygenic photosynthesisers, such as cyanobacteria, probably first occurred in

  1. Tectonomagmatic evolution of the terrestrial planets: importance for understanding of processes of their formation and subsequent development (United States)

    Sharkov, E.; Bogatikov, O.


    Precambrian (Archean, Early Paleoproterozoic) tectonomagmatic activity on the Earth was rather different from the Phanerozoic: the major features then were huge granite-greenstone terranes (GGTs) and their separating granulite belts; mantle melts were derived from a depleted source. The GGTs consisting of greenstone belts with komatiite-basaltic magmatism in Archean, "submerged" in granite gneiss matrix, probably, strong reworked primordial sialic crust, and by siliceous high-Mg series (SHMS) in early Paleoproterozoic. GGTs were areas of extension, uplifting and denudation, whereas the granulite belts were dominated by compression, sinking and sedimentation. Generally, the Early Precambrian geological pattern was rather different from the modern plate tectonics and can be described in plumetectonics terms. A drastic change of the tectonomagamtic and ecology processes on it's surface occurred at ca. 2.3-2.0 Ga: instead of high-Mg magmas appeared geochemical enriched Fe-Ti pucrites and basalts, and the plume tectonic was changed by plate tectonics, which is still active now, as well as ecologic situation on the surface. Since that time the primordial sialic continental crust has been gradually replaced by the secondary basaltic oceanic crust. Systematic consumption of the ancient crust in subduction zones obviously started at ~2 Ga and led to gradually replacing it by the secondary mafic (oceanic) crust. The crustal materials has stored in the "slab cemeteries", revealed in the mantle by seismic tomography. Tectonomagmatic evolution of the Moon began4.4-4.0 Ga in lunar highlands with low-Ti magnesium suite, analogous to the terrestrial Paleoproterozoic SHMS. Cardinal change of tectonomagmatic processes, close to that on the Earth, happed on the Moon ~3.9 Ga to form large depressions of lunar maria with thinned crust and vast basaltic volcanism with signatures of plume magmatism (high-Ti basalts). The lunar maria were, probably, specific analogues of Earth's oceans. On Venus and

  2. The oxygen isotope evolution of seawater: A critical review of a long-standing controversy and an improved geological water cycle model for the past 3.4 billion years (United States)

    Jaffrés, Jasmine B. D.; Shields, Graham A.; Wallmann, Klaus


    constraints. Similar temperature variations are also obtained, although with higher starting seawater δ18O composition, when more conservative approaches are used that take into account the systematic effects of diagenetic alteration on mean calcite δ18O values. In contrast to much published opinion, the average δ18O value of ocean crust in the model remained relatively unchanged throughout all model runs. Invariable ophiolite δ18O values can, therefore, not be used as a definitive argument against changing seawater δ18O. The most likely explanation for the long-term trend in seawater δ18O invokes two stepwise increases in the ratio of high- to low-temperature fluid/rock interactions. An initial increase may have occurred close to the Archean-Proterozoic boundary, but a possibly more significant increase took place near the Proterozoic-Phanerozoic boundary. Possible explanations for extremely low seawater δ18O during the Archean include higher continental weathering rates caused by a combination of higher atmospheric pCO 2 (necessarily combined with high CO 2 outgassing rates), a greater abundance of relatively easily weathered volcanic rocks in greenstone belts and partial emergence of spreading ridges. The second increase may have been caused by the suppression of low-temperature overprinting of ocean crust alteration by the formation of a thick sediment cover on ridge flanks due to the emergence of shelly plankton at the beginning of the Phanerozoic. Postulated increases in spreading ridge depths since the Archean would also have enhanced the efficiency of vertical heat flux and changed the depth at which hydrothermal fluids boil, both of which would favour high- over low-temperature interactions with time.

  3. Petrogenesis of 3.15 Ga old Banasandra komatiites from the Dharwar craton, India: Implications for early mantle heterogeneity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.M. Maya


    Full Text Available Spinifex-textured, magnesian (MgO >25 wt.% komatiites from Mesoarchean Banasandra greenstone belt of the Sargur Group in the Dharwar craton, India were analysed for major and trace elements and 147,146Sm-143,142Nd systematics to constrain age, petrogenesis and to understand the evolution of Archean mantle. Major and trace element ratios such as CaO/Al2O3, Al2O3/TiO2, Gd/Yb, La/Nb and Nb/Y suggest aluminium undepleted to enriched compositional range for these komatiites. The depth of melting is estimated to be varying from 120 to 240 km and trace-element modelling indicates that the mantle source would have undergone multiple episodes of melting prior to the generation of magmas parental to these komatiites. Ten samples of these komatiites together with the published results of four samples from the same belt yield 147Sm-143Nd isochron age of ca. 3.14 Ga with an initial ɛNd(t value of +3.5. High precision measurements of 142Nd/144Nd ratios were carried out for six komatiite samples along with standards AMES and La Jolla. All results are within uncertainties of the terrestrial samples. The absence of 142Nd/144Nd anomaly indicates that the source of these komatiites formed after the extinction of 146Sm, i.e. 4.3 Ga ago. In order to evolve to the high ɛNd(t value of +3.5 by 3.14 Ga the time-integrated ratio of 147Sm/144Nd should be 0.2178 at the minimum. This is higher than the ratios estimated, so far, for mantle during that time. These results indicate at least two events of mantle differentiation starting with the chondritic composition of the mantle. The first event occurred very early at ∼4.53 Ga to create a global early depleted reservoir with superchondritic Sm/Nd ratio. The source of Isua greenstone rocks with positive 142Nd anomaly was depleted during a second differentiation within the life time of 146Sm, i.e. prior to 4.46 Ga. The source mantle of the Banasandra komatiite was a result of a differentiation event that occurred

  4. A geological synthesis of the Precambrian shield in Madagascar (United States)

    Tucker, Robert D.; Roig, J.Y.; Moine, B.; Delor, C.; Peters, S.G.


    Available U–Pb geochronology of the Precambrian shield of Madagascar is summarized and integrated into a synthesis of the region’s geological history. The shield is described in terms of six geodynamic domains, from northeast to southwest, the Bemarivo, Antongil–Masora, Antananarivo, Ikalamavony, Androyan–Anosyan, and Vohibory domains. Each domain is defined by distinctive suites of metaigneous rocks and metasedimentary groups, and a unique history of Archean (∼2.5 Ga) and Proterozoic (∼1.0 Ga, ∼0.80 Ga, and ∼0.55 Ga) reworking. Superimposed within and across these domains are scores of Neoproterozoic granitic stocks and batholiths as well as kilometer long zones of steeply dipping, highly strained rocks that record the effects of Gondwana’s amalgamation and shortening in latest Neoproterozoic time (0.560–0.520 Ga). The present-day shield of Madagascar is best viewed as part of the Greater Dharwar Craton, of Archean age, to which three exotic terranes were added in Proterozoic time. The domains in Madagascar representing the Greater Dharwar Craton include the Antongil–Masora domain, a fragment of the Western Dharwar of India, and the Neoarchean Antananarivo domain (with its Tsaratanana Complex) which is broadly analogous to the Eastern Dharwar of India. In its reconstructed position, the Greater Dharwar Craton consists of a central nucleus of Paleo-Mesoarchean age (>3.1 Ga), the combined Western Dharwar and Antongil–Masora domain, flanked by mostly juvenile “granite–greenstone belts” of Neoarchean age (2.70–2.56 Ga). The age of the accretionary event that formed this craton is approximately 2.5–2.45 Ga. The three domains in Madagascar exotic to the Greater Dharwar Craton are the Androyan–Anosyan, Vohibory, and Bemarivo. The basement to the Androyan–Anosyan domain is a continental terrane of Paleoproterozoic age (2.0–1.78 Ga) that was accreted to the southern margin (present-day direction) of the Greater Dharwar Craton in pre

  5. 3.30 Ga high-silica intraplate volcanic-plutonic system of the Gavião Block, São Francisco Craton, Brazil: Evidence of an intracontinental rift following the creation of insulating continental crust (United States)

    Zincone, Stefano A.; Oliveira, Elson P.; Laurent, Oscar; Zhang, Hong; Zhai, Mingguo


    High-silica rhyolites having U-Pb zircon ages of 3303 ± 11 Ma occur along the eastern border of the Gavião Block (Brazil) associated with the Contendas-Mirante and Mundo Novo supracrustal belts. Unlike many Archean greenstone sequences, they are not interlayered with mafic to intermediate units. Instead, they belong to an inter-related plutonic-volcanic system, together with granitic massifs having similar zircon crystallization ages of ca. 3293 ± 3 Ma and 3328 ± 3 Ma and plotting along the same geochemical trends as the rhyolites. The rhyolites show well-preserved primary volcanic features such as magma flow textures and euhedral phenocrysts. High emplacement temperatures are indicated by petrographic evidence (β-quartz phenocrysts), zircon saturation temperatures (915-820 °C) and geochemical data, especially high SiO2 (74-79 wt.%) together with elevated Fe2O3(T) ( 3 wt.%), MgO (0.5-1.5 wt.%) and low Al2O3 (extraction and eruption of highly silicic residual liquid formed by crystallization of granitic magma in a relatively shallow (< 10 km) reservoir, now represented by the granite massifs. The granite magma was formed by melting or differentiation of material similar to the diorite gneiss that occurs regionally. The 3.30 Ga volcanic-plutonic systems formed after a period of crustal growth and stabilization of a thick continental lithosphere, represented by massive 3.40-3.33 Ga TTG and medium to high-K calk-alkaline magmatism in the Gavião Block. The 3.30 Ga-old rhyolites and granites would therefore have formed in an intracontinental tectonic setting after the formation and stabilization of new continental crust, and accordingly would represent the first stages of rifting and continental break-up. Intraplate magmatism and intracrustal differentiation processes took place on Earth at 3.3 Ga and produced magmas that were distinct from Archean TTGs, questioning the reliability (or at least the uniqueness) of "intraplate models" to explain the origin of the

  6. Petrologic, Geochemical and Isotopic Study of 3.1Ga Peridotite-Chromitite Suite from the Western Dharwar Craton, India: Evidence for Recycling of Oceanic Crust in the Mesoarchean (United States)

    Mondal, S. K.; Mukherjee, R.; Rosing, M. T.; Frei, R.; Waight, T.


    Sill-like ultramafic intrusions with massive chromitite bodies are common in Archean greenstone belts such as in the Zimbabwe craton and in the Singhbhum and Dharwar cratons of the Indian shield. In the western Dharwar craton deformed massive chromitites are hosted within dissected peridotitic rocks of the Nuggihulli schist belt and part of early to mid-Archean greenstone belts. The linear ultramafic belts are often associated with gabbroic rocks containing Ti-V-bearing magnetite bands and surrounded by the tonalite-trondhjemite- granodioritic (TTG) suites of rocks. Detailed electron microprobe study reveals high Cr-numbers (0.72- 0.87) and moderate Mg-numbers (0.47-0.59) for chromite and very high Fo content (~ Fo97) for interstitial olivine in massive chromitites from the seams. Our study suggests that the original igneous compositions of chromite grains are preserved in some of the massive chromitites, whereas accessory chromites in serpentinized peridotites are extensively altered to ferritchromit. The primitive composition of chromites along with high Fo content of olivine suggest parental melts produced by high degrees of partial melting of the source mantle. The tectonic discrimination plots plus parental melt calculations indicate derivation from a high-Mg komatiitic magma having a liquid Al2O3 ~ 9.64 wt% and liquid (FeO/MgO)wt% ~ 0.2 which is similar to the compositions recorded for komatiitic rocks within the schist belt. A Pb-isotope study of fourteen samples from this suite including peridotite, chromitite, gabbro and ultramafic-mafic schist rocks define an isochron yielding an age of 3159±180 Ma which is similar to the 207Pb/206Pb zircon age of ~ 3.1 Ga of the surrounding TTG-suite (Bidyananda et al. 2003). Ten samples from this suite have strongly scattering Sm-Nd model ages that range from 2.34 to 3.96 Ga (average 3.1 Ga) with respect to a depleted mantle source. The average initial Nd ratio, calculated at the presumed emplacement age of 3.1 Ga, is

  7. The Zimbabwe Craton in Mozambique: A brief review of its geochronological pattern and its relation to the Mozambique Belt (United States)

    Chaúque, F. R.; Cordani, U. G.; Jamal, D. L.; Onoe, A. T.


    The eastern margin of the Zimbabwe Craton, along the Mozambique-Zimbabwe border, includes the oldest rocks of west-central Mozambique constituting a large terrain of granite-greenstone type dated between 3000 and 2500 Ma. These rocks consist mainly of gneisses and granitoid rocks of tonalitic-trondhjemitic-granodioritic composition belonging to the Mudzi Metamorphic Complex in the northern part and to the Mavonde Complex in the southern part. The latter is associated with a granite-greenstone terrain, which includes the eastern part of Mutare-Odzi-Manica greenstone belt. A volcano-sedimentary sequences cover, belonging to the apparently Mesoproterozoic and Paleoproterozoic Umkondo and Gairezi groups respectively was deposited along the eastern margin of the craton and is exposed in the territory of Mozambique. The Umkondo minimum age is marked by intrusive dolerite in Zimbabwe dated at 1100 Ma while for the Ghairezi it is still not well established. The Gairezi Group was subjected to progressive metamorphism of Pan-African age. At the margin of the Zimbabwe Craton, in its northern part, metasedimentary units occur representing a passive margin of Neoproterozoic age. They make up the Rushinga Group, which includes felsic metavolcanic rocks dated at ca.800 Ma. Granulites and medium- to high-grade paragneisses, and migmatites of the Chimoio, Macossa and Mungari Groups of Neoproterozoic metamorphic age, overly the ortho-metamorphic pre-existing rock of ca. 1100 Ma, which belongs to the Báruè Magmatic Arc. They characterize the N-S trend Mozambique Belt, which appears to the east of the craton tectonically juxtaposed on the Archean rocks. The maximum age of deposition of these rocks, indicated by U-Pb dating of detrital zircons, is ca. 700 Ma and their minimum age is limited by a few monzonitic Cambrian intrusions dated at ca. 500 Ma. The Neoproterozoic bimodal Guro Suite, dated at ca. 850 Ma and composed of felsic and mafic members characterizes the east

  8. Cl-rich minerals in Archean granulite facies ironstones from the Beartooth Mountains, Montana, USA: Implications for fluids involved in granulite metamorphism (United States)

    Henry, D. J.


    The implications of Cl-rich minerals in granulite facies rocks are discussed. Results from ironstones of the Beartooth Mountains, Montana are discussed. It is suggested that CO2-brine immiscibility might be applicable to granulite facies conditions, and if so, then aqueous brines might be preferentially adsorbed onto mineral surfaces relative to CO2.

  9. Trace-element and multi-isotope geochemistry of Late-Archean black shales in the Carajas iron-ore district, Brazil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cabral, A. R.; Creaser, R. A.; Naegler, T.


    The 250-300-m-thick Carajas Formation in the Carajas mineral province, northern Brazil, consists of banded iron formation (including giant high-grade iron-ore deposits) and minor black shale, overlying a thick pile (2-3 km) of about 2.75-Ga-old metabasalt. Carbonaceous shale with pyrite-and locally...... pyrrhotite-rich patches from drillcore of the Serra Sul exploration project has up to 29 ppm Mo; iron-speciation analysis indicates essentially ferruginous and for some samples likely euxinic depositional conditions. Positive delta S-34-isotope ratios of TRIS are between +0.3 to +10.7 parts per thousand...

  10. Oxidative release of chromium from Archean ultramafic rocks, its transport and environmental impact – A Cr isotope perspective on the Sukinda valley ore district (Orissa, India)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Paulukat, Cora Stefanie; Døssing, Lasse Nørbye; Mondal, Sisir K.


    to negatively fractionated values as low as δ53Cr = −1.29 ± 0.04‰. Local surface waters are isotopically heavy relative to the soils. This supports the hypothesis that during oxidative weathering isotopically heavy Cr(VI) is leached from the soils to runoff. The impact of mining pollution is observed downstream...... from the mine where surface water Cr concentrations are significantly increased, accompanied by a shift to less positive δ53Cr values relative to upstream unpolluted surface water. A microbial mat sample indicates that microbes have the potential to reduce and immobilize Cr(VI), which could be a factor...

  11. Boninitic metavolcanic rocks and island arc tholeiites from the Older Metamorphic Group (OMG) of Singhbhum Craton, eastern India: Geochemical evidence for Archean subduction processes

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Manikyamba, C.; Ray, J.; Ganguly, S.; Singh, M.R.; Santosh, M.; Saha, A.; Satyanarayanan, M.

    . Major, trace and rare earth element compositions of these rocks are characterized by high Mg# (80–82), MgO (30.6–32.9 wt.%), Ni (490–1262 ppm) and Cr (2404–4385 ppm) contents, high Al2O3/TiO2 (49–67), Zr/Hf (10...

  12. New age (ca. 2970 Ma), mantle source composition and geodynamic constraints on the Archean Fiskenæsset anorthosite complex, SW Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Polat, A; Frei, Robert; Scherstén, Anders


    orthogneisses) during thrusting that was followed by several phases of isoclinal folding. The trace element systematics of the Fiskenæsset Complex and associated volcanic rocks are consistent with a supra-subduction zone geodynamic setting. The Fiskenæsset anorthosites, leucogabbros, gabbros and ultramafic...

  13. Campo Belo Metamorphic Complex: tectonic evolution of an Archean sialic crust of the southern São Francisco Craton in Minas Gerais (Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available Systematic geological studies performed in the study area allowed the characterization of six lithodemic units: three gneissic, one amphibolitic, one supracrustal and one fissure mafic. The mineral assemblage and the structural record of these lithodemic units indicate that the study area was affected by five tectonothermal events. The structural pattern of the first and oldest event occurred under granulite facies conditions and reveals essentially a sinistral kinematic pattern. The second event, showing dominant extensional characteristics, is related to the generation of an ensialic basin filled by the volcano-sedimentary sequence of the supracrustal lithodemic unit. The third event, which is the most expressive in the study region, is characterized by a vigorous regional migmatization process and by the generation of the Claudio Shear Zone, presenting dextral kinematic movement. The fourth event is represented by a fissure mafic magmatism (probably two different mafic dike swarms and finally, the fifth event is a regional metamorphic re-equilibration that reached the greenschist facies, closing the main processes of the tectonic evolution of the Campo Belo Metamorphic Complex.Estudos geológicos sistemáticos permitiram a caracterização de seis unidades litodêmicas na área estudada: três gnáissicas, uma anfibolítica, uma supracrustal e uma máfica fissural. A assembléia mineral e os registros estruturais dessas unidades litodêmicas mostraram que a área estudada foi afetada por cinco eventos tectonotermais. O padrão estrutural do primeiro e último evento ocorreu em condições de fácies granulito e revelaram uma cinemática essencialmente sinistral. O segundo evento mostrou uma tectônica extensional relacionado à abertura da bacia ensiálica onde se alojou a seqüência vulcanosedimentar da unidade supracrustal. O terceiro evento, que é o mais expressivo na região estudada, é o responsável por um intenso processo de migmatização regional e pela geração da Zona de Cisalhamento Cláudio (de cinemática dextral. O quarto evento é representado por um magmatismo máfico fissural (provavelmente dois tipos diferentes de enxames de diques máficos e, finalmente o quinto evento é um retrometamorfismo regional que atingiu a fácies xisto verde, finalizando os principais processos de evolução tectônica do Complexo Metamórfico Campo Belo.

  14. A Review of the Isotopic and Trace Element Evidence for Mantle and Crustal Processes in the Hadean and Archean: implications for the Onset of Plate Tectonic Subduction (United States)

    Smart, Katie A.; Tappe, Sebastian; Stern, Richard A.; Webb, Susan J.; Ashwal, Lewis D.


    Plate tectonics plays a vital role in the evolution of our planet. Geochemical analysis of Earth’s oldest continental crust suggests that subduction may have begun episodically about 3.8 to 3.2 billion years ago, during the early Archaean or perhaps more than 3.8 billion years ago, during the Hadean. Yet, mantle rocks record evidence for modern-style plate tectonics beginning only in the late Archaean, about 3 billion years ago. Here we analyse the nitrogen abundance, as well as the nitrogen and carbon isotopic signatures of Archaean placer diamonds from the Kaapvaal craton, South Africa, which formed in the upper mantle 3.1 to 3.5 billion years ago. We find that the diamonds have enriched nitrogen contents and isotopic compositions compared with typical mantle values. This nitrogen geochemical fingerprint could have been caused by contamination of the mantle by nitrogen-rich Archaean sediments. Furthermore, the carbon isotopic signature suggests that the diamonds formed by reduction of an oxidized fluid or melt. Assuming that the Archaean mantle was more reduced than the modern mantle, we argue that the oxidized components were introduced to the mantle by crustal recycling at subduction zones. We conclude, on the basis of evidence from mantle-derived diamonds, that modern-style plate tectonics operated as early as 3.5 billion years ago.

  15. The Archean kalsilite-nepheline syenites of the Awsard intrusive massif (Reguibat Shield, West African Craton, Morocco) and its relationship to the alkaline magmatism of Africa (United States)

    Haissen, Faouziya; Cambeses, Aitor; Montero, Pilar; Bea, Fernando; Dilek, Yildirim; Mouttaqi, Abdellah


    More than 40% of the known alkaline complexes are reported from Africa. Most are ring complexes composed of syenites and associated or not, lithotypes as carbonatites, granites and mafic rocks. Radiometric dating indicates the presence of alkaline complexes with ages spanning from Precambrian to the present. In terms of outcrops, alkaline complexes are reported from cratonic zones and from belts embedded between cratonic areas. Because of the high economic potential for associated REE deposits, these alkaline complexes have received much attention from Earth scientists. These studies aim mainly to constrain the role of the mantle and the crust (and the interaction between them) in the genesis of this peculiar magmatism, and also to explain the variability observed in lithotypes and geotectonic settings. Among those alkaline complexes, Precambrian occurrences are rare. Up-to-date only a few Proterozoic examples were cited in Africa. The recently studied Awsard complex in Southern Morocco is a peculiar one with a crystallization age of 2.46 Ga and an unusual rock assemblages. This paper is a first approximation to a comparison of geochemical and isotopic fingerprints of the Awsard magmatism (as the oldest one) with other known different ages African complexes from different geotectonic settings, aiming to detect if there is any evolution in this alkaline magmatism through time. A first conclusion is that magma sources for this alkaline magmatism has been probably evaluating over geological time, from parental magmas compositions close to that of primitive mantle in these early geological time to compositions holding more and more depleted mantle and continental crust components. However, to go further in this debate more modern isotopic, geochemical and geochronological data from all these complexes are needed. Nevertheless, this comparison highlighted the peculiar character of the Awsard magmatism with an isotopic composition very close to that of Primitive mantle (values of εNd(2.46Ga) range from -3.5 to 1.2, Nd model ages range from ca.2.5 Ga to 3.0 Ga (the hosting TTG gneiss crystallization age)); an ultrapotassic composition (K2O/Na2O>>10); the oldest crystallization age 2.46 Ga reported until the date in Africa and the unusual occurrence of kalsilite-rich syenites "synnyrites".

  16. Archean crustal evolution in the Southern São Francisco craton, Brazil: Constraints from U-Pb, Lu-Hf and O isotope analyses (United States)

    Albert, Capucine; Farina, Federico; Lana, Cristiano; Stevens, Gary; Storey, Craig; Gerdes, Axel; Dopico, Carmen Martínez


    In this study we present U-Pb and Hf isotope data combined with O isotopes in zircon from Neoarchean granitoids and gneisses of the southern São Francisco craton in Brazil. The basement rocks record three distinct magmatic events: Rio das Velhas I (2920-2850 Ma), Rio das Velhas II (2800-2760 Ma) and Mamona (2750-2680 Ma). The three sampled metamorphic complexes (Bação, Bonfim and Belo Horizonte) have distinct εHf vs. time arrays, indicating that they grew as separate terranes. Paleoarchean crust is identified as a source which has been incorporated into younger magmatic rocks via melting and mixing with younger juvenile material, assimilation and/or source contamination processes. The continental crust in the southern São Francisco craton underwent a change in magmatic composition from medium- to high-K granitoids in the latest stages, indicating a progressive HFSE enrichment of the sources that underwent anatexis in the different stages and possibly shallowing of the melting depth. Oxygen isotope data shows a secular trend towards high δ18O (up to 7.79‰) indicating the involvement of metasediments in the petrogenesis of the high potassium granitoids during the Mamona event. In addition, low δ18O values (down to 2.50‰) throughout the Meso- and Neoarchean emphasize the importance of meteoritic fluids in intra-crustal magmatism. We used hafnium isotope modelling from a compilation of detrital zircon compositions to constrain crustal growth rates and geodynamics from 3.50 to 2.65 Ga. The modelling points to a change in geodynamic process in the southern São Francisco craton at 2.9 Ga, from a regime dominated by net crustal growth in the Paleoarchean to a Neoarchean regime marked by crustal reworking. The reworking processes account for the wide variety of granitoid magmatism and are attributed to the onset of continental collision.

  17. Gold in the oceans through time (United States)

    Large, Ross R.; Gregory, Daniel D.; Steadman, Jeffrey A.; Tomkins, Andrew G.; Lounejeva, Elena; Danyushevsky, Leonid V.; Halpin, Jacqueline A.; Maslennikov, Valeriy; Sack, Patrick J.; Mukherjee, Indrani; Berry, Ron; Hickman, Arthur


    During sedimentation and diagenesis of carbonaceous shales in marine continental margin settings, Au is adsorbed from seawater and organic matter and becomes incorporated into sedimentary pyrite. LA-ICPMS analysis of over 4000 sedimentary pyrite grains in 308 samples from 33 locations around the world, grouped over 123 determined ages, has enabled us to track, in a first order sense, the Au content of the ocean over the last 3.5 billion years. Gold was enriched in the Meso- and Neoarchean oceans, several times above present values, then dropped by an order of magnitude from the first Great Oxidation Event (GOE1) through the Paleoproterozoic to reach a minimum value around 1600 Ma. Gold content of the oceans then rose, with perturbations, through the Meso- and Neoproterozoic, showing a steady rise at the end of the Proterozoic (800 to 520 Ma), which most likely represents the effects of the second Great Oxidation Event (GOE2). Gold in the oceans was at a maximum at 520 Ma, when oxygen in the oceans rose to match current maximum values. In the Archean and Proterozoic, the Au content of seawater correlates with the time distribution of high-Mg greenstone belts, black shales and banded iron formations, suggesting that increases in atmospheric oxygen and marine bio-productivity, combined with the higher background of Au in komatiitic and Mg-rich basalts were the first order causes of the pattern of Au enrichment in seawater. We suggest the lack of major Au deposits from 1800 to 800 Ma, is explained by the low levels of Au in the oceans during this period.

  18. Hydrogeologic Controls on Episodic H2 Release from Precambrian Fractured Rocks-Energy for Deep Subsurface Life on Earth and Mars (United States)

    Sherwood Lollar, B.; Voglesonger, K.; Lin, L.-H.; Lacrampe-Couloume, G.; Telling, J.; Abrajano, T. A.; Onstott, T. C.; Pratt, L. M.


    Dissolved H2 concentrations up to the mM range and H2 levels up to 9-58% by volume in the free gas phase are reported for groundwaters at sites in the Precambrian shields of Canada and Finland. Along with previously reported dissolved H2 concentrations up to 7.4 mM for groundwaters from the Witwatersrand Basin, South Africa, these findings indicate that deep Precambrian Shield fracture waters contain some of the highest levels of dissolved H2 ever reported and represent a potentially important energy-rich environment for subsurface microbial life. The δ 2H isotope signatures of H2 gas from Canada, Finland, and South Africa are consistent with a range of H2-producing water-rock reactions, depending on the geologic setting, which include both serpentinization and radiolysis. In Canada and Finland, several of the sites are in Archean greenstone belts characterized by ultramafic rocks that have under-gone serpentinization and may be ancient analogues for serpentinite-hosted gases recently reported at the Lost City Hydrothermal Field and other hydrothermal seafloor deposits. The hydrogeologically isolated nature of these fracture-controlled groundwater systems provides a mechanism whereby the products of water-rock interaction accumulate over geologic timescales, which produces correlations between high H2 levels, abiogenic hydrocarbon signatures, and the high salinities and highly altered δ 18O and δ 2H values of these groundwaters. A conceptual model is presented that demonstrates how periodic opening of fractures and resultant mixing control the distribution and supply of H2 and support a microbial community of H2-utilizing sulfate reducers and methanogens.

  19. Ca. 2.7 Ga ferropicritic magmatism: A record of Fe-rich heterogeneities during Neoarchean global mantle melting (United States)

    Milidragovic, Dejan; Francis, Don


    Although terrestrial picritic magmas with FeOTOT ⩾13 wt.% are rare in the geological record, they were relatively common ca. 2.7 Ga during the Neoarchean episode of enhanced global growth of continental crust. Recent evidence that ferropicritic underplating played an important role in the ca. 2.74-2.70 Ga reworking of the Ungava craton provides the impetus for a comparison of ca. 2.7 Ga ferropicrite occurrences in the global Neoarchean magmatic record. In addition to the Fe-rich plutons of the Ungava craton, volumetrically minor ferropicritic flows, pyroclastic deposits, and intrusive rocks form parts of the Neoarchean greenstone belt stratigraphy of the Abitibi, Wawa, Wabigoon and Vermillion domains of the southern and western Superior Province. Neoarchean ferropicritic rocks also occur on five other Archean cratons: West Churchill, Slave, Yilgarn, Kaapvaal, and Karelia; suggesting that ca. 2.7 Ga Fe-rich magmatism was globally widespread. Neoarchean ferropicrites form two distinct groups in terms of their trace element geochemistry. Alkaline ferropicrites have fractionated REE profiles and show no systematic HFSE anomalies, broadly resembling the trace element character of modern-day ocean island basalt (OIB) magmas. Magmas parental to ca. 2.7 Ga alkaline ferropicrites also had high Nb/YPM (>2), low Al2O3/TiO2 (SNC) and howardite-eucrite-diogenite (HED) differentiated meteorites suggests, however, that the Fe-rich mantle may originate from the infall of Fe-rich chondritic meteorites. The occurrence of ca. 2.7 Ga Fe-rich rocks on at least six cratons that are commonly coeval with the more ubiquitous komatiites and Mg-tholeiites is consistent with the existence of heterogeneous Fe-rich "plums" throughout the Neoarchean mantle. The paucity of ferropicrites in the post-2.7 Ga geological record suggests that majority of these Fe-rich plums have been melted out during the global Neoarchean melting of the mantle.

  20. Multi-stage crustal growth and cratonization of the North China Craton

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Mingguo Zhai


    reworking (crustal melting). As a distinct characteristic, nearly all GRBs in the NCC underwent amphibolite-facies metamorphism. Zircon U-Pb ages of metamorphosed GRB mafic rocks mainly show two peak ranges at w2.6e2.5 and 2.8 e2.7 Ga. The mafic rocks are commonly believed to be derived from metabasalts, it is therefore possible that the ages represent the time of metamorphism. The tectonic settings of the GRBs are still a problem. Their geochemical characteristics are, respectively, similar to back-arc basins, rifts, island arcs or suggest imprints of mantle plumes. BIFs occur in all GRBs but also in the HGRs. This metallogenic specificity is quite different from all Phanerozoic geotectonic settings. The w2.5 Ga metamorphic-magmatic event is stronger than in most other cratons in the world. How to understand the geological significance of the 2.5 Ga event? The following points are emphasized:(1) nearly all old rocks>2.5 Ga underwent metamorphism at w2.52e2.5 Ga;(2) Archean basement rocks in the NCC experienced strong partial melting and migmatization;(3) granitoid rocks derived from partialmelting include potassium granites, TTG granites and monzonites. These granitoids rocks intruded both the Archean greenstone belts and micro-blocks; (4) w2.5 Ga mafic dikes (amphibolites), granitic dikes (veins) and syenitic-ultramafic dykes are also developed. Therefore, we suggest an assembly model that all micro-blocks in the NCC were welded together by late Archean greenstone belts at the end of the late Neoarchean. We also propose that the various micro-blocks were surrounded by small ocean basins, and the old continental crust and the oceanic crust were hotter than today. Subduction and collision were on much smaller scales as compared to the Phanerozoic plate tectonic regime, although the tectonic style and mechanisms were more or less similar. The formation of crustal melt granites is one of the processes of cratonization, inducing generation of stable upper and lower crustal


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. B. Gintov


    Full Text Available The integrated approach combining kinematic and structural-paragenetic field tectonophysics techniques allows us to construct a continuous time scan of the stress-strain state (SSS and deformation modes (DM from sediment lithification to the final orogenic process for the studied areas. Definitions of the continuous sequence of SSS and DM provide for control of the known geodynamic reconstructions and adjustment of geodynamic models. An example is the tectonophysical study of the Alpine structural stage of the Western Mountainous Crimea (WMC and the Pre-Cambrian complexes of the Ukrainian Shield (USh.Data from WMC allow us to make adjustments to the geodynamic model of the Mountainous Crimea. In particular, trajectories of the principal normal stresses (Fig. 4 and 5, both for shifts and shear faults with reverse components/ normal faults, suggest the reverse nature of movements of the Eastern and Western Black Sea microplates with their overall pushing onto the Crimean peninsula in the south-east, south and south-west (Fig. 7. In the Precambrian USh complexes (Fig. 8, 13 stages of regional deformation are revealed between ≥2.7 and 1.6 billion years ago. Until the turn of 2.05–2.10 billion years, the region was subject to transtension and transpression, as the Western (gneiss-granulite and Eastern (granite-greenstone Archean microplates of USh moved to separate from each other in the Neo-Archean and then diverged and converged in the Paleoproterozoic (movements at a sharp angle. It is assumed that in the Archean the Western and Eastern microplates were separated by the oceanic or sub-oceanic lithosphere (Fig. 12, 13. During the period of 2.3–2.4 billion years, the plates fully converged creating a zone of collision. It may be suggested that a possible mechanism for the oceanic window close-up was underthrusting of the upper suboceanic lithosphere layers beneath the crust-mantle plates on gently sloping break-up surfaces (non

  2. Metallogenesis of the Ertix gold belt, Xinjiang and its rela-tionship to Central Asia-type orogenesis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN; Huayong; (


    [1]Rui, X.J., Zhu, S.H., Liu, K.J., The basic features and regional ore-forming model of Altay primary gold deposits in Xinjiang, Geology Reviews (in Chinese), 1993, 39(2): 138.[2]Wang, G. R., Explanation to the ‘Regional Geological Structures and Geological Evolution of Northern Xinjiang in China and Its Adjacent Regions’ (in Chinese), Wuhan: China University of Geosciences Press, 1996, 108.[3]Li, H.Q., Xie, C.F., Chang, H.L., Geochronology of Mineralization of Nonferrous and Precious Metallic Deposits in Northern Xinjiang (in Chinese), Beijing: Geological Publishing House, 1998, 264.[4]Groves, D. I., Goldfarb, R. J., Gebre-Mariam, M. et al., Orogenic gold deposits: a proposed classification in the context of their crustal distribution and relationship to other gold deposit types, Ore Geology Reviews, 1998, 13: 7. [5]Qiu, Y. M., Groves, D. I., Late Archean collision and delamination in the southwest Yilgarn craton: The driving force for Archean orogenic lode gold mineralization? Economic Geology, 1999, 94: 115.[6]Kerrich, R., Perspectives on genetic model for lode gold deposits, Mineral Deposits, 1993, 28: 362.[7]Chen, Y. J., Fluidization model for continental collision in special reference to study on ore-forming fluid of gold deposits in the eastern Qinling Mountains, China, Progress in Natural Sciences, 1998, 8(4): 385.[8]Chen, Y. J., Guo, G. J, Li, X., Metallogenic geodynamic background of Mesozoic gold deposits in granite-greenstone terrains of North China Craton, Science in China, Series D, 1998, 41(2): 113.[9]Chen, Y. J., Chen, H. Y., Liu, Y. L. et al., Progress and records in the study of endogenetic mineralization during collisional orogenesis, Chinese Science Bulletin, 2000, 45(1): 1.[10]Seltmann, R., Kampf, H., Moller, P., Metallogenesis in Collisional Orogens, Potsdam: GeoForschungs Zentrum Potsdam, 1994, 4-34.[11]Chen, Y. J., Yu, F., Wei, Q. Y. et al., Significance and current situation of study on

  3. Sedimentary Biosignatures of Social Organization in Cone-Forming Filamentous Bacteria (United States)

    Tice, M. M.; Gong, J.; Zeng, Z.; Sneed, J.; Wehner, M.; Sparks, D. W.


    Conical mats consisting of centimeter-scale steep-sided cones growing above flat basal films form some of the most distinctive fossil microbial communities in the geologic record. Cones have been hypothesized to form by the initially random motion of filamentous bacteria into small tangled clumps followed by the phototactic motion of the same bacteria up resulting slopes. More recent models of cone development suggest that they form in response to growth in stagnant fluids where diffusion limits exchange of nutrients and wastes with the environment. Determining the biological and environmental factors that promote cone formation will be important for interpreting the geological record of fossil mats and stromatolites, on Earth and potentially on Mars. Here we report the results of new experiments demonstrating complex social organization of cone-forming communities and a novel biosignature of the growth of such communities on sandy sediments, as well as detection of that biosignature in 3.2 Ga fossil mats of the Moodies Group (Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa). In order to investigate the processes involved in cone formation, we grew cultures of a filamentous cyanobacterium originally isolated from tufted cones in Yellowstone National Park, Montana, U.S.A. (Leptolyngbya sp. Y-WT-2000 Cl 1). During early mat development, filaments coat sand grain surfaces and aggregate into ~100-μm-long tufts, or mutually aligned bundles of filaments. Tufts are highly motile, bridging sand grains and merging to form larger tufts. After 10-14 days of growth, tufts aggregate during the early morning into centers composed of many tufts that wave vertically and along the sand surface. Centers move across the sediment surface during the middle of the day and merge along bridging tufts. These bridges transmit force to the underlying sediment and are capable of rolling sand grains. At this stage, mats are composed of small mobile centers that disperse along streams of co

  4. Evolution of the North China Craton and Early Plate Tectonics%华北克拉通的形成以及早期板块构造

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    The oldset rock discovered on the Earth is the TTG gneiss but whether there was oldest oceanic crust and how continental crust formed deal with all aspects of continental dynamics. Among them is when the plate tectonics started , "which has been a front scientific question for decades. The popular answer is from Neoproterozoic, others suggest Paleoproterozoic or Neoarchean, or even some believe the plate tectonics started from the occurrence of water. In various marks identifying the plate tectonics, ophiolite and high-pressure metamorphic belt are no doubt the most important issues. The former implies that the old oceanic crust slab was involved in orogenic belt, and the latter probably indicates that supracrustal rock unit was subducted under deep crust or mantle and can be lithological evidence of subduction, denudation and collision. Based on the discussion and comparison between Archean greenstone belt and ophiolite and between UH-HP/UT-UHT granulites and Phanerozoic HP metamorphic belt, authors come to a primitive conclusion that these two can not be used as the convincing evidence to support plate tectonics. The paper also discussed Archean continental formation and rift-subdution-collision tectonic process of Paleoproterozoic mobile belts of the NCC. It is proposed that the Neoarchean tectonic pattern of greenstone belt-high grade region in the NCC probably indicates a dominant heat tectonic regime (mantle plume) with limited transverse movement. The micro-blocks were welded by greenstone belts, followed by metamorphism and granitization, completing craton process of stable continent. The tectonic regime is likely controlled by frequent moderate-scale mantle plumbs, accompanied by small-scale horizontal tectonic movement. The Paleoproterozoic supracrustal rocks in the NCC occur as a linear mobile belt with middle-grade metamorphism, multi-stage deformation, intruded by nearly synchronous or little later granitic intrusion and associated by Cu

  5. Exotic minerals in 3,500 million year old rocks: Evidence for large meteorite impacts (United States)

    Byerly, G. R.; Lowe, D. R.; Asaro, F.


    A relatively small area of mountainous terrain in southern Africa provides scientists from all over the world a look at what the surface of the earth was like three and a half billion years ago. The Barberton Mountains lie astride the borders of the Republic of South Africa, Mozambique, and the Kingdom of Swaziland. The discovery of several widely distributed deposits that were likely formed by major terrestrial impacts of large extraterrestrial bodies during this early period of earth's history is reported. The Barberton impact deposits are being studied by electron microscopy. The impact deposits were examined for minerals that show the effects of shock metamorphism or compositions unusual in terrestrial rocks.

  6. Exotic minerals in 3,500 million year old rocks: Evidence for large meteorite impacts (United States)

    Byerly, G. R.; Lowe, D. R.; Asaro, F.


    A relatively small area of mountainous terrain in southern Africa provides scientists from all over the world a look at what the surface of the earth was like three and a half billion years ago. The Barberton Mountains lie astride the borders of the Republic of South Africa, Mozambique, and the Kingdom of Swaziland. The discovery of several widely distributed deposits that were likely formed by major terrestrial impacts of large extraterrestrial bodies during this early period of earth's history is reported. The Barberton impact deposits are being studied by electron microscopy. The impact deposits were examined for minerals that show the effects of shock metamorphism or compositions unusual in terrestrial rocks.

  7. 华北克拉通的组成及其变质演化%Constituents and Evolution of the Metamorphic Basement of the North China Craton

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    沈其韩; 耿元生; 宋会侠


    Precambrian metamorphic basement of North China Craton (NCC) is composed of five sets of different types of metamorphic rocks. In the formation process, the NCC experienced multiple tectonic activities, multiple magma emplacement, multiple metamorphism, different degrees of migmatization and anatexis. The rocks suffered multiple superposition of different geological processes and, therefore, the NCC has a complicated evolution history. From Archean to Late Paleoproterozoic, the NCC mainly underwent five stages of regional metamorphism. Anshan area experienced amphibolite facies metamorphism in Paleo/Meso-Archean. However, no metamorphic ages have been obtained except 3560 Ma and 3000~3300 Ma metamorphic ages obtained from TTG series. In Lushan Taihua complex of Henan, 2776~2792 Ma and 2671~2651 Ma metamorphic ages are obtained from Mesoarchean amphibolites, which represent metamorphism in early Neoarchean. Granulites-TTG series and granite-greenstone belt of Neoarchean both experienced metamorphic transformation in late Neoarchean and early Paleoproterozoic. In Paleoproterozoic, on the northern margin of the NCC, L-MP/HP granulite facies metamorphism occurred between 1965~1900 Ma and UHT metamorphism appeared locally. This metamorphism is considered to be related to the continental collision and subsequent mantle upwelling. In Late Paleoproterozoic (1890~1800 Ma), in the central and eastern NCC, high-pressure granulite facies to amphibolite facies metamorphism occurred in Jiao–Liao–Ji belt, which indicates the collision and collage of continental blocks. Different types of metamorphic rock series experienced different kinds of metamorphism, which reflect different tectonic settings. A large number of late Archean TTG rock series and planar distribution M-LP granulites are mainly located in the central-northern part of NCC. They generally have counterclockwisep-T paths, which reflect mantle plume underplating tectonic setting. Granite-greenstone series of

  8. The Glória quartz-monzodiorite: isotopic and chemical evidence of arc-related magmatism in the central part of the Paleoproterozoic Mineiro belt, Minas Gerais State, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ciro A. Ávila


    Full Text Available The Glória quartz-monzodiorite, one of the mafic plutons of the Paleoproterozoic Mineiro belt, is intrusive into banded gneisses, amphibolites, schists and phyllites of the Rio das Mortes greenstone belt, in the southern portion of the São Francisco Craton, State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The Glória quartz-monzodiorite yields a SHRIMP U-Pb zircon age of 2188 ± 29 Ma, suggesting a tectonic relationship with the pre-collisional phase of the Mineiro belt. According to the Nd isotopic evidence (epsilonNd(T = -3.4; T DM = 2.68 Ga the original magmas was formed by a mixture among Archean crustal material and Paleoproterozoic juvenile magma. The Glória quartz-monzodiorite shows metaluminous and calc-alkaline tendency with intermediate K content, comparable to that of volcanic-arc rocks. The primary mineralogical assemblage was partly modified by metamorphism, dated between 2131-2121 Ma in nearby coeval plutons. Such metamorphism is significantly older than the reported metamorphic episodes of the Mineiro belt in the Quadrilátero Ferrífero region (2059-2041 Ma in the eastern portion of the study area. This evidence, together with chemical and isotopic data from other mafic and felsic plutons coeval with the Glória quartz-monzodiorite, indicate a tectonic and magmatic migration within the Mineiro belt from west to east.O Quartzo Monzodiorito Glória é um corpo plutônicomáfico associado à evolução Paleoproterozóica do Cinturão Mineiro. Este é intrusivo em gnaisses bandados, anfibolitos, xistos e filitos do Greenstone Belt Rio das Mortes, na porção sudeste do Cráton São Francisco, Estado de Minas Gerais, Brasil. Este corpo possui idade de cristalização SHRIMP (em zircão de 2188 ± 29 Ma, enquanto os isótopos de Nd (épsilonNd(T = -3,4; T DM = 2,68 Ga apontam que sua fonte magmática envolveumaterial juvenil paleoproterozóico contaminada por protólitos arqueanos. As rochas do Quartzo Monzodiorito Glória são metaluminosas, c

  9. Structure, alteration, and geochemistry of the Charlotte quartz vein stockwork, Mt Charlotte gold mine, Kalgoorlie, Australia: time constraints, down-plunge zonation, and fluid source (United States)

    Mueller, Andreas G.


    The Kalgoorlie district in the Archean Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia, comprises two world-class gold deposits: Mt Charlotte (144 t Au produced to 2013) in the northwest and the Golden Mile (1,670 t Au) in the southeast. Both occur in a folded greenschist-facies gabbro sill adjacent to the Golden Mile Fault (D2) in propylitic alteration associated with porphyry dikes. At Mt Charlotte, a shear array of fault-fill veins within the Golden Mile Fault indicates sinistral strike-slip during Golden Mile-type pyrite-telluride mineralization. The pipe-shaped Charlotte quartz vein stockwork, mined in bulk more than 1 km down plunge, is separated in time by barren D3 thrusts from Golden Mile mineralization and alteration, and occurs between two dextral strike-slip faults (D4). Movement on these faults generated an organized network of extension and shear fractures opened during the subsequent infiltration of high-pressure H2S-rich fluid at 2,655 ± 13 Ma (U-Pb xenotime). Gold was deposited during wall rock sulphidation in overlapping vein selvages zoned from deep albite-pyrrhotite (3 g/t Au) to upper muscovite-pyrite assemblages (5 g/t Au bulk grade). Chlorite and fluid inclusion thermometry indicate that this kilometre-scale zonation is due to fluid cooling from 410-440 °C at the base to 350-360 °C at the top of the orebody, while the greenstone terrane remained at 250 °C ambient temperature and at 300 MPa lithostatic pressure. The opened fractures filled with barren quartz and scheelite during the retrograde stage (300 °C) of the hydrothermal event. During fracture sealing, fluid flux was periodically restricted at the lower D3 thrust. Cycles of high and low up-flow, represented by juvenile H2O-CO2 and evolved H2O-CO2-CH4 fluid, respectively, are recorded by the REE and Sr isotope compositions of scheelite oscillatory zones. The temperature gradient measured in the vein stockwork points to a hot (>600 °C) fluid source 2-4 km below the mine workings, and several

  10. Evolution of the terrestrial planets (geological and petrological data) (United States)

    Sharkov, Evgenii

    How the terrestrial solid planetary bodies were developed? What major stages of their irreversible evolution took place before they turned into "dead" stone balls? We discuss these problems on examples of the Earth and the Moon, which evolution studied the best. According to modern views, after accretion of these bodies, magma oceans of some hundreds km deep appeared on their surface. According to Jeffries (1929), solidification of large molted bodies, because of the difference between adiabatic gradient in silicate melts (0.3oC/km) and gradient of their melting points (3oC/km), could be going only upwards, from the bottom to the surface. As a result a powerful crystallizing differentiation of the oceans' magmas took place with accumulation of the most low-melting components to the surface. Due to different deep of the oceans on the Moon and the Earth, the primordial crusts on these bodies were rather different: mafic on the Moon and sialic on the Earth. Geological evolution of the Earth began 4 Ga ago from appearance of Archean granite-greenstone terranes (GGT) and divided them granulite belts. Mantle-derived magmatism of high-Mg komatiite-basaltic series was located in greenstone belts, which formed irregular network within GGTs and composed 10-15 The sharp change of the magmatic activity with appearance in global scale of geochemical-enriched Fe-Ti picrites and basalts occurred in interval 2.3-2.0 Ga ago. Such melts was typical for Phanerozoic within-plate magmatism and linked with thermochemical mantle plumes of the second generation, which ascended from the liquid core-mantle boundary (CMB). It was followed by plate tectonic appearance 2 Ga ago and from this particular time such tectonic regime has existed till now. From this particular time, ancient Earth's continental crust began to involved in subduction processes and interchange by secondary oceanic crust which forms about 70Where this geochemical-enriched material was conserved and how it was activated

  11. Archaean associations of volcanics, granulites and eclogites of the Belomorian province, Fennoscandian Shield and its geodynamic interpretation (United States)

    Slabunov, Alexander


    An assembly of igneous (TTG-granitoids and S-type leucogranites and calc-alkaline-, tholeiite-, kometiite-, boninite- and adakite-series metavolcanics) and metamorphic (eclogite-, moderate-pressure (MP) granulite- and MP amphibolite-facies rocks) complexes, strikingly complete for Archaean structures, is preserved in the Belomorian province of the Fennoscandian Shield. At least four Meso-Neoarchaean different-aged (2.88-2.82; 2.81-2.78; ca. 2.75 and 2.735-2.72 Ga) calc-alkaline and adakitic subduction-type volcanics were identified as part of greenstone belts in the Belomorian province (Slabunov, 2008). 2.88-2.82 and ca. 2.78 Ga fore-arc type graywacke units were identified in this province too (Bibikova et al., 2001; Mil'kevich et al., 2007). Ca.2.7 Ga volcanics were generated in extension structures which arose upon the collapse of an orogen. The occurrence of basalt-komatiite complexes, formed in most greenstone belts in oceanic plateau settings under the influence of mantle plumes, shows the abundance of these rocks in subducting oceanic slabs. Multiple (2.82-2.79; 2.78-2.76; 2.73-2.72; 2.69-2.64 Ga) granulite-facies moderate-pressure metamorphic events were identified in the Belomorian province (Volodichev, 1990; Slabunov et al., 2006). The earliest (2.82-2.79 Ga) event is presumably associated with accretionary processes upon the formation of an old continental crust block. Two other events (2.78-2.76; 2.73-2.72 Ga) are understood as metamorphic processes in suprasubduction setting. Late locally active metamorphism is attributed to the emplacement of mafic intrusions upon orogen collapse. Three groups of crustal eclogites with different age were identified in the Belomorian province: Mesoarchaean (2.88-2.86 and 2.82-2.80 Ga) eclogites formed from MORB and oceanic plateau type basalts and oceanic high-Mg rocks (Mints et al., 2011; Shchipansky at al., 2012); Neoarchaean (2.72 Ga) eclogites formed from MORB and oceanic plateau type basalts. The formation of

  12. SIMS zircon ages and Nd isotope systematics of the 2.2 Ga mafic intrusions in northern and eastern Finland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eero Hanski


    Full Text Available Using the SIMS, ID-TIMS and Sm-Nd isotopic methods and the electron microprobe, we have studied several differentiated mafic intrusions of the c. 2.2 Ga gabbro-wehrlite association (GWA from four Paleoproterozoic schist belts and the Archean Kuhmo Greenstone Belt. Back-scattered electron images and electron microprobe analyses revealed that zircon crystals vary from well-preserved to turbid and highly altered with individual grains often displaying irregular, hydrated, CaO-bearing domains. In the most pristine domains, suitable for establishing the crystallization ages, SIMS 207Pb/206Pb ages fall in the range of 2210–2220 Ma, which is consistent with the most concordant ID-TIMS UPb ages. One of the studied intrusions that had previously yielded a conventional U-Pb date of less than 2.0 Ga, could be shown by spot analysis to belong to the 2.2 Ga family. In contrast to the well-preserved zircon domains, altered domains exhibit a variable and often strong U-Pb discordance up to 70 % and have distinctly lower 207Pb/206Pb ages. Some zircon grains record isotopic resetting at the time of the Svecofennian orogeny(ca. 1.8–1.9 Ga, while the most discordant ones project in the concordia diagram to late Paleozoic lower intercept ages indicating a relative recent Pb loss. The mineral chemistry of zircon suggests that the leakage of radiogenic Pb can be ascribed to an opensystembehavior related to hydrothermal alteration via action of CaCl2-bearing fluids.Common albitization of plagioclase in the GWA intrusions has caused this mineral to behave as an open system with regard to the Sm-Nd isotopic systematics. Despite this uncertainty, our Nd isotopic data indicate that the magma that produced the GWA intrusions in various parts of northern and eastern Finland was isotopically homogeneousand had an initial εNd(2220 Ma value of c. +0.6 precluding significant upper crustal contamination upon emplacement and subsequent fractional crystallization.

  13. Extremely depleted lithospheric mantle and diamonds beneath the southern Zimbabwe Craton (United States)

    Smith, Chris B.; Pearson, D. Graham; Bulanova, Galina P.; Beard, Andrew D.; Carlson, Richard W.; Wittig, Nadine; Sims, Keith; Chimuka, Lovemore; Muchemwa, Ellah


    Inclusion-bearing diamonds, mantle xenoliths, and kimberlite concentrates from the Cambrian-aged Murowa and Sese kimberlites have been studied to characterise the nature of the lithospheric mantle beneath the southern Zimbabwe Craton. The diamonds are mostly octahedral, moderately rich in nitrogen with moderate to high aggregation, and contain mainly dunite-harzburgite mineral inclusions. Similarly, dunite xenoliths predominate over harzburgite and lherzolite and carry olivines with Mg/Mg + Fe (Mg#) values of 0.92-0.95, spanning the average signatures for Kaapvaal Craton peridotites. Eclogitic xenoliths are extremely rare, in contrast to the Kaapvaal mantle lithosphere. The Zimbabwe mantle assemblage has been only slightly affected by later silicic metasomatism and re-fertilisation with re-introduction of pyroxenes in contrast to the Kaapvaal and many cratonic lithospheric blocks elsewhere where strong metasomatism and re-fertilisation is widespread. Pyroxene, garnet and spinel thermobarometry suggests an ambient 40 mW m - 2 geotherm, with the lithosphere extending down to 210 km at the time of kimberlite eruption. Whole rock peridotite Re-Os isotope analyses yield T RD model ages of 2.7 to 2.9 Ga, providing minimum estimates of the time of melt depletion, are slightly younger in age than the basement greenstone formation. These model ages coincide with the mean T RD age of > 200 analyses of Kaapvaal Craton peridotites, whereas the average Re-Os model age for the Zimbabwe peridotites is 3.2 Ga. The Os data and low Yb n/Lu n ratios suggest a model whereby thick lithospheric mantle was stabilised during the early stages of crustal development by shallow peridotite melting required for formation of residues with sufficiently high Cr/Al to stabilise chromite which then transforms to low Ca, high Cr garnet. Sulphide inclusions in diamond produce minimum T RD model ages of 3.4 Ga indicating that parts of the lithosphere were present at the earliest stages of crust

  14. FAR-DEEP: organic carbon isotope chemostratigraphy of early Paleoproterozoic sediments from Fennoscandia (United States)

    Illing, C. J.; Strauss, H.; Summons, R. E.; Kump, L.; Fallick, A. E.; Melezhik, V.; Far-Deep Scientists


    One major objective of the Fennoscandian Arctic Russia - Drilling Early Earth Project (FAR-DEEP) is to reconstruct ancient microbial ecosystems and the evolution of key metabolic pathways during the Archean-Proterozoic Transition (APT). Fifteen drill cores with a total length of 3650m were retrieved in three areas (Imandra/Varzuga and Pechenga Greenstone belts and Onega Basin) in northern Russia. Cores cover a time interval of some 700 my and have archived several important changes in Earth’s environment. Among them, the Great Oxygenation Event (GOE) at ca. 2350 million years ago resulted in large-scale environmental changes (e.g. Melezhik et al., 2005). Of similar importance, but specifically for global carbon cycling, are the Lomagundi-Jatuli Event (LJE; e.g. Melezhik et al., 2007) and the Shunga Event (SE; e.g. Melezhik et al., 2009). This work presents preliminary carbon isotope results for sedimentary organic matter (δ13Corg) contained in the major sedimentary formations cored by FAR-DEEP. The samples were processed via sealed tube combustion. The total variation in δ13Corg between -40 and -17 ‰ agrees well with previously published data (e.g. Eigenbrode and Freeman, 2006). But more informative than the organic carbon isotopic composition alone is the isotopic difference (Δ13C) between the organic (δ13Corg) and carbonate carbon (δ13Ccarb) isotopic composition: Δ13C = δ13Ccarb - δ13Corg This parameter provides information about the isotopic fractionation associated with biosynthesis and carbon cycling (e.g., Des Marais, 2001). Sediments from the lower Kuetsjärvi Formation (core 5A) and the upper part of the Tulomozero Formation (cores 10A, 10B, 11A), covering the LJE, display Δ13C values between 30 and 37‰. This isotopic difference continuous through the SE (cores 12A/B and 13). The broad parallel evolution of δ13Corg and δ13Ccarb indicates that respective perturbations affected the global carbon cycle. However, further refinement will be

  15. The reliability of ∼2.9 Ga old Witwatersrand banded iron formations (South Africa) as archives for Mesoarchean seawater: Evidence from REE and Nd isotope systematics (United States)

    Viehmann, Sebastian; Bau, Michael; Smith, Albertus J. B.; Beukes, Nicolas J.; Dantas, Elton L.; Bühn, Bernhard


    Pure marine chemical sediments, such as (Banded) Iron Formations, (B)IFs, are archives of geochemical proxies for the composition of Precambrian seawater and may provide information about the ancient hydrosphere-atmosphere system. We here present rare earths and yttrium (REY) and high precision Sm-Nd isotope data of ∼2.90 Ga old Superior-type BIFs from the Witwatersrand Supergroup, South Africa, and compare those with data for near-contemporaneous BIFs from the correlative Pongola Supergroup (Superior-type BIF) and from the Pietersburg Greenstone Belt (Algoma-type IF), respectively. All Witwatersrand samples studied display the typical general REY distribution of Archean seawater, but their REY anomalies are less pronounced and their immobile element concentrations are higher than those of other pure (B)IFs. These observations indicate the presence of significant amounts of detrital aluminosilicates in the Witwatersrand BIFs and question the reliability of the Contorted Bed and Water Tower BIFs (Parktown Formation, West Rand Group) as archives of Mesoarchean seawater. Significant post-depositional alteration of the REY budget and the Sm-Nd isotope system is not observed. The Nd isotopic compositions of the purest BIF samples, i.e. the most reliable archives for Witwatersrand seawater, show initial εNd values between -3.95 and -2.25. This range is more negative than what is observed in ambient shales, indicating a decoupling of suspended and dissolved loads in the "near-shore" Witwatersrand Basin seawater. However, εNd range overlaps with that of the correlative Pongola BIF (Alexander et al., 2008). The deeper-water Algoma-type Pietersburg BIF shows more positive (i.e. more mantle-like) εNd2.9Ga values, supporting the hypothesis that a significant amount of its REY inventory was derived from black smoker-style, high-temperature hydrothermal fluids that had altered seafloor basalts. In marked contrast, the dissolved REY budgets (including the Nd isotopic

  16. Morphological Characteristics of Detrital Zircon Grains from Source to Sink (Western Australia) (United States)

    Markwitz, V.; Kirkland, C.


    Detrital zircon studies have become the tool of choice to address a wide range of geological questions including basin evolution, geodynamic setting, paleogeographic reconstructions, and determining source-sink relationships. However, grain destruction during transportation may be critical in understanding the detrital zircon record, yet it has not been explored in detail. In the magmatic crystallization environment zircon crystal shape is effectively a function of the magma chemistry and temperature. We address to what extent the zircon population represents an artefact of preservation, or a meaningful record of the magmatic events within the source terrain. We use image analysis of previously SIMS U-Pb dated zircon crystals to quantify how zircon grain shapes relate to the chemical composition of magmatic and detrital zircon crystals. We achieve this by testing the correlation between shape factors and the uranium, thorium content, apparent alpha dose, and isotopic signature of individual zircons with statistical methods. We focus our investigation on two different areas of Western Australia: (1) the Archean of the Yilgarn Craton and (2) the Proterozoic of the Musgrave Province, and their associated Proterozoic basin sediments: (1) The Yilgarn craton represents a Neoarchean amalgamation of c. 3.8 Ga and 2.6 Ga granite-greenstone belts including a variety of gneisses, metasedimentary and metavolcanic rock formations, and granites. Along the northern edge of the craton a series of four Proterozoic basins, with variable tectonic and metamorphic overprinting overlay this basement. (2) The West Musgrave Province consists of an east-west trending Meso- to Neoproterozoic belt dominated by granites and volcanics deformed by several major orogenic events between c. 1.35 Ga and 350 Ma. Based on age and Hf isotopic relationships the bedrock of the Musgrave Province is the source for the Neoproterozoic to Early Carboniferous Amadeus Basin to its north. Using rigorous

  17. LCT pegmatites from the Wodgina pegmatite district, Western Australia (United States)

    Richter, Lisa; Dittrich, Thomas; Seifert, Thomas; Schulz, Bernhard


    The lithium-cesium-tantalum (LCT) pegmatites from the Mt. Tinstone and Mt. Cassiterite open pits are located within the Wodgina pegmatite district, about 130 km south of Port Hedland, Western Australia. The albite-spodumene and albite-type pegmatites of the Wodgina pegmatite district are currently mined for tin, tantalum and niobium. The pegmatites are hosted within the Archean East-Pilbara Granite-Greenstone Terrane linked to the fertile Numbana monzogranite that forms part of the Yule Granitoid Complex. Granitic melt intruded into metasedimentary rocks (~2.8 Ga) and formed a series of pegmatite sheets, dikes and irregular structures. These pegmatites are characterized by a high melt fractionation that led to the formation of pegmatitic minerals, containing high concentrations of rare elements, such as Ta, Nb, Li, Rb and Cs. The pegmatites from the Mt. Tinstone sheet open pit, which were investigated within this study, comprises four internal zones consisting of six mineral assemblages, dominated by quartz, albite and white mica, with K-feldspar and spodumene as major or minor constituents. Distribution patterns of cassiterite and Ta-Nb-Sn-oxide minerals (ixiolite/wodginite, tantalite/columbite and microlite) can be observed within the four different pegmatite zones. The contact zones are enriched in cassiterite, ixiolite and microlite; border zones reveal high concentrations of cassiterite, ixiolite and tantalite; the intermediate units are characterized by a moderate enrichment of the ore minerals; whereby core zones host almost no significant contents of the minerals mentioned above. Distribution of Ta-Nb-Sn-oxides within the zones and Mn/(Mn+Fe) and Ta/(Ta+Nb) ratios are indicators for melt fractionation, and change from the core zones to the outermost contact zones, as well as from north to south. Electron microprobe analyses on white mica show the existence of fractionation trends from more primitive white mica of the core zones (zinnwaldite) to higher

  18. Meteorites on Mars observed with Mars Exploration Rovers (United States)

    Schroder, C.; Rodionov, D.S.; McCoy, T.J.; Jolliff, B.L.; Gellert, Ralf; Nittler, L.R.; Farrand, W. H.; Johnson, J. R.; Ruff, S.W.; Ashley, James W.; Mittlefehldt, D. W.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Fleischer, I.; Haldemann, A.F.C.; Klingelhofer, G.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R.V.; de Souza, P.A.; Squyres, S. W.; Weitz, C.; Yen, A. S.; Zipfel, J.; Economou, T.


    Reduced weathering rates due to the lack of liquid water and significantly greater typical surface ages should result in a higher density of meteorites on the surface of Mars compared to Earth. Several meteorites were identified among the rocks investigated during Opportunity's traverse across the sandy Meridiani plains. Heat Shield Rock is a IAB iron meteorite and has been officially recognized as 'Meridiani Planum.' Barberton is olivine-rich and contains metallic Fe in the form of kamacite, suggesting a meteoritic origin. It is chemically most consistent with a mesosiderite silicate clast. Santa Catarina is a brecciated rock with a chemical and mineralogical composition similar to Barberton. Barberton, Santa Catarina, and cobbles adjacent to Santa Catarina may be part of a strewn field. Spirit observed two probable iron meteorites from its Winter Haven location in the Columbia Hills in Gusev Crater. Chondrites have not been identified to date, which may be a result of their lower strengths and probability to survive impact at current atmospheric pressures. Impact craters directly associated with Heat Shield Rock, Barberton, or Santa Catarina have not been observed, but such craters could have been erased by eolian-driven erosion. Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.

  19. Apartheid's Alcatraz

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    MJM Venter

    In his analysis of the perversions of the Nazi "legal system", legal philosopher ... is on the Barberton Prison Complex which, at the time, was known as the place to ... BA LLB (University of Natal) LLM (University of Cape Town) M Phil (University.

  20. Multi-scale structural and kinematic analysis of a Neoarchean shear zone in northeastern Minnesota: Implications for assembly of the southern Superior Province (United States)

    Dyess, Jonathan

    This dissertation is a multi-scale structural and kinematic analysis of the Shagawa Lake shear zone in northeastern Minnesota (USA). The Neoarchean Shagawa Lake shear zone is an ~70 km long ~7 km wide subvertical package of L-S tectonites located within the Wawa Subprovince of the Archean Superior Province. In this dissertation, I (1) discuss a new method for mapping regional tectonic fabrics using high-resolution LiDAR altimetry data; (2) examine the geometric relationships between metamorphic foliation, elongation lineation, vorticity, and non-coaxial shear direction within individual L-S tectonites; and (3) incorporate LiDAR, field, and microstructural data sets into a comprehensive structural and kinematic analysis of the Western Shagawa Lake shear zone. Lastly, I discuss implications for assembly of the southern Superior Province. In Chapter one I examine an Archean granite-greenstone terrane in NE Minnesota to illustrate the application of high-resolution LiDAR altimetry to mapping regional tectonic fabrics in forested, glaciated areas. I describe the recognition of lineaments and distinguishing between tectonic and glacial lineament fabrics. I use a 1-m posted LiDAR derived bare-earth digital elevation model (DEM) to construct multiple shaded-relief images for lineament mapping with sun elevation of 45˚ and varying sun azimuth in 45˚ intervals. Two suites of lineaments are apparent. Suite A has a unimodal orientation, mean trend of 035, and consists of short (> 2 km long) lineaments within sediment deposits and bedrock. Suite B lineaments, which are longer (1-30 km) than those of suite A, have a quasi-bimodal orientation distribution, with maximum trends of 065 and 090. Only one lineament suite is visible in areas where suites A and B are parallel. I interpret suite A as a surficial geomorphologic fabric related to recent glaciation, and suite B as a proxy for the regional tectonic fabric. In Chapter two I present a detailed kinematic study of seven

  1. A symbiotic view of the origin of life at hydrothermal impact crater-lakes. (United States)

    Chatterjee, Sankar


    Submarine hydrothermal vents are generally considered as the likely habitats for the origin and evolution of early life on Earth. The theory suffers from the 'concentration problem' of cosmic and terrestrial biomolecules because of the vastness of the Eoarchean global ocean. An attractive alternative site would be highly sequestered, small, hydrothermal crater-lakes that might have cradled life on early Earth. A new symbiotic model for the origin of life at hydrothermal crater-lakes is proposed here. Meteoritic impacts on the Eoarchean crust at the tail end of the Heavy Bombardment period might have played important roles in the origin of life. Impacts and collisions that created hydrothermal crater lakes on the Eoarchean crust inadvertently became the perfect crucibles for prebiotic chemistry with building blocks of life, which ultimately led to the first organisms by prebiotic synthesis. In this scenario, life arose through four hierarchical stages of increasing molecular complexity in multiple niches of crater basins. In the cosmic stage (≥4.6 Ga), the building blocks of life had their beginnings in the interstellar space during the explosion of a nearby star. Both comets and carbonaceous chondrites delivered building blocks of life and ice to early Earth, which were accumulated in hydrothermal impact crater-lakes. In the geologic stage (∼4 Ga), crater basins contained an assortment of cosmic and terrestrial organic compounds, powered by hydrothermal, solar, tidal, and chemical energies, which drove the prebiotic synthesis. At the water surface, self-assembled primitive lipid membranes floated as a thick oil slick. Archean Greenstone belts in Greenland, Australia, and South Africa possibly represent the relics of these Archean craters, where the oldest fossils of thermophilic life (∼3.5 Ga) have been detected. In the chemical stage, monomers such as nucleotides and amino acids were selected from random assemblies of the prebiotic soup; they were

  2. 辽北-吉南地区太古宙矿产形成特点分析%Archean Characteristics of Mineral Formation in the Region of Northern Liaoning Province and Southern Jilin Province

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    宋建潮; 王恩德; 贾三石; 张承帅; 杨大勇



  3. Coupled Hf-Nd-Pb isotope co-variations of HIMU oceanic island basalts from Mangaia, Cook-Austral islands, suggest an Archean source component in the mantle transition zone (United States)

    Nebel, Oliver; Arculus, Richard J.; van Westrenen, Wim; Woodhead, Jon D.; Jenner, Frances E.; Nebel-Jacobsen, Yona J.; Wille, Martin; Eggins, Stephen M.


    Although it is widely accepted that oceanic island basalts (OIB) sample geochemically distinct mantle reservoirs including recycled oceanic crust, the composition, age, and locus of these reservoirs remain uncertain. OIB with highly radiogenic Pb isotope signatures are grouped as HIMU (high-μ, with μ = 238U/204Pb), and exhibit unique Hf-Nd isotopic characteristics, defined as ΔɛHf, deviant from a terrestrial igneous rock array that includes all other OIB types. Here we combine new Hf isotope data with previous Nd-Pb isotope measurements to assess the coupled, time-integrated Hf-Nd-Pb isotope evolution of the most extreme HIMU location (Mangaia, French Polynesia). In comparison with global MORB and other OIB types, Mangaia samples define a unique trend in coupled Hf-Nd-Pb isotope co-variations (expressed in 207Pb/206Pb vs. ΔɛHf). In a model employing subducted, dehydrated oceanic crust, mixing between present-day depleted MORB mantle (DMM) and small proportions (˜5%) of a HIMU mantle endmember can re-produce the Hf-Nd-Pb isotope systematics of global HIMU basalts (sensu stricto; i.e., without EM-1/EM-2/FOZO components). An age range of 3.5 to affected by other enriched mantle endmembers (sensu lato). If correct, this requires isolation of parts of the mantle transition zone for >3 Gyr and implies that OIB chemistry can be used to test geodynamic models.

  4. Major, trace and platinum group element (PGE) geochemistry of Archean Iron Ore Group and Proterozoic Malangtoli metavolcanic rocks of Singhbhum Craton, Eastern India: Inferences on mantle melting and sulphur saturation history

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Singh, M.R.; Manikyamba, C.; Ray, J.; Ganguly, S.; Santosh, M.; Saha, A.; Rambabu, S.; Sawant, S.S.

    The geological and metallogenic history of the Singhbhum Craton of eastern India is marked by several episodes of volcanism, plutonism, sedimentation and mineralization spanning from Paleoarchean to Mesoproterozoic in a dynamic tectonic milieu...

  5. ‘Indicator’ carbonaceous phyllite/graphitic schist in the Archean Kundarkocha gold deposit, Singhbhum orogenic belt, eastern India: Implications for gold mineralization vis-a-vis organic matter

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    P R Sahoo; A S Venkatesh


    Carbonaceous rocks in the form of graphitic schist and carbonaceous phyllite are the major host rocks of the gold mineralization in Kundarkocha gold deposit of the Precambrian Singhbhum orogenic belt in eastern India. The detection of organic carbon, essentially in the carbonaceous phyllite and graphitized schist within the Precambrian terrain, is noted from this deposit. A very close relationship exists between gold mineralization and ubiquitous carbonaceous rocks containing organic carbon that seems to play a vital role in the deposition of gold in a Precambrian terrain in India and important metallogenetic implications for such type of deposits elsewhere. However, the role played by organic matter in a Precambrian gold deposit is debatable and the mechanism of precipitation of gold and other metals by organic carbon has been reported elsewhere. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) results and total organic carbon (TOC) values suggest that at least part of the organic material acted as a possible source for the reduction that played a significant role in the precipitation of gold. Lithological, electron probe analysis (EPMA), fluid inclusions associated with gold mineralization, Total Carbon (TC), TOC and FTIR results suggest that the gold mineralization is spatially and genetically associated with graphitic schist, carbonaceous phyllite/shale that are constituted of immature organic carbon or kerogen. Nano-scale gold inclusions along with free milling gold are associated with sulfide mineral phases present within the carbonaceous host rocks as well as in mineralized quartz-carbonate veins. Deposition of gold could have been facilitated due to the organic redox reactions and the graphitic schist and carbonaceous phyllite zone may be considered as the indicator zone.

  6. Diamond genesis, seismic structure, and evolution of the Kaapvaal-Zimbabwe craton. (United States)

    Shirey, Steven B; Harris, Jeffrey W; Richardson, Stephen H; Fouch, Matthew J; James, David E; Cartigny, Pierre; Deines, Peter; Viljoen, Fanus


    The lithospheric mantle beneath the Kaapvaal-Zimbabwe craton of southern Africa shows variations in seismic P-wave velocity at depths within the diamond stability field that correlate with differences in the composition of diamonds and their syngenetic inclusions. Middle Archean mantle depletion events initiated craton keel formation and early harzburgitic diamond formation. Late Archean accretionary events involving an oceanic lithosphere component stabilized the craton and contributed a younger Archean generation of eclogitic diamonds. Subsequent Proterozoic tectonic and magmatic events altered the composition of the continental lithosphere and added new lherzolitic and eclogitic diamonds to the Archean diamond suite.

  7. 蛇绿岩研究的最新进展%New advances in the study of ophiolites.

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张进; 邓晋福; 肖庆辉; 陆松年; 潘桂棠; 张智勇; 冯艳芳


    The dispute on the origin, definition and classification of ophiolites has lasted for two hundred years. In the early period, ophiolite was interpreted as a rock assemblage which was developed from a consanguineous igneous process and intruded into the axial part of the geosynclines. In the plate tectonics, it is regarded as the relic of the subducted oceanic plates produced in the middle ocean ridges. However, based on tens of years' studies, people have found that factors affecting the origin of the ophiolites are varied, and a new definition and new classification of the ophiolites have been put forward recently. This new definition emphasizes the tectonic set-ting in which the ophiolites were developed, and argues that ophiolites with different characteristics could have been developed at ev-ery stage of the Wilson cycle. The new classification is based on the tectonic environment in which the ophiolites were developed. Two groups have been classified, i.e., subduction-related ophiolites and subduction-unrelated ones. The two groups could be divided into several subgroups respectively. All these ophiolites have their own characteristic geochemical and petrological indexes and internal structures. Recent studies also reveal the main periods in which the ophiolites originated were consistent with the development and breakup of the super-continents and superplumes. Some recent studies also show that some pre-Cambrian greenstones should belong to the ophiolites based on the new classification. This means that the plate tectonic movement occurred during the Archean. The new definition and new classification point to the new direction for the study of ophiolites.%关于蛇绿岩的形成、定义和分类争论了近200年.早期蛇绿岩被认为是有成因联系的几种岩石的组合,发育在优地槽的核部.在板块构造中它被看作形成于洋脊的古洋壳残片.经过几十年的研究,发现导致蛇绿岩多样性的因素很多,一个新的定

  8. Neoarchean orogenic, magmatic and hydrothermal events in the Kalgoorlie-Kambalda area, Western Australia: constraints on gold mineralization in the Boulder Lefroy-Golden Mile fault system (United States)

    Mueller, Andreas G.; Hagemann, Steffen G.; McNaughton, Neal J.


    The Boulder Lefroy-Golden Mile (BLF-GMF) fault system is the most intensely mineralized structure (>2150 t Au to 2015) in the Archean Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia. The fault system links the Kalgoorlie and Kambalda mining districts in the Eastern Goldfields Province, a continental-margin orogen subdivided into the western Kalgoorlie ensialic rift and the eastern Kurnalpi volcanic arc. After rifting, the 2.73-2.66 Ga greenstone-greywacke succession in the Kalgoorlie-Kambalda area underwent five phases of orogenic deformation, predominantly during ENE-WSW shortening: D1 upright folding at ca. 2680 Ma, D2 sinistral strike-slip faulting at 2678-2663 Ma, D3 folding of late conglomerate-turbidite successions at 2665-2655 Ma, D4 dextral strike-slip faulting at 2655-2640 Ma and D5 east-northeast-striking normal faulting. Regional prehnite-pumpellyite to greenschist facies burial metamorphism took place during D1 and D3 crustal thickening, and amphibolite facies aureoles formed around granite batholiths during and after D3 at 400 ± 100 MPa pressure. The D2 BLF offsets D1 folds by 12 km SW-side south and contains a porphyry dyke (2676 ± 7 Ma) boudinaged by transtensional oblique-slip along a line pitching 21° southeast. The BLF is linked by transverse D2 thrusts to other sinistral faults recording strike-slip until 2663 ± 7 Ma. Late D2 strike-slip movement alternated with early D3 shortening. D3 thrusts accommodated strain in fault blocks of rigid mafic-ultramafic volcanic rocks consolidated during D1, while the sedimentary rocks in D3 synclines were foliated at high strain. Biotite-sericite alteration and gold-pyrite mineralization in the BLF-GMF system took place at 11 ± 4 km burial depth in faults active during D2 and D3. The Golden Mile (1708 t Au) and other deposits are associated with stocks and dykes of high-Mg monzodiorite-tonalite porphyry, part of a late-orogenic (2665-2645 Ma) mantle-derived suite of adakitic affinity. Hornblende and apatite compositions

  9. Western Australia Kalgoorlie Gold Field Ore-forming Geological Characteristics%西澳大利亚卡尔古丽金矿区成矿地质特征

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李华; 杨恺


    卡尔古丽金矿区(Kalgoorlie Gold Filed)是西澳大利亚最大的金矿产区,在大地构造上属于西澳伊尔岗(Yil-garn)克拉通东部卡尔古丽绿岩带内。矿区主要出露太古代地层,包括镁铁质-超镁铁质熔岩序列、长英质火山碎屑岩序列,以及一系列侵入的基性-超基性岩脉。区域内的主构造为北北西向,包括一对结构不对称的水平褶皱--卡尔古丽背斜和向斜,以及与向斜西翼平行的Golden Mile断层,主构造被后期走滑断层影响形成的破碎剪切带,是赋存金矿的主要构造。根据控矿构造、矿质来源和沉积时间,可以将金矿脉分为三种类型,分别是Fimiston型、Oroya型和Charlotte型。研究认为,在该地区找矿主要应从围岩、构造、地球物理、地球化学几个方面着手。通过对本区成矿地质特征的分析和研究,新发现了Eureka小型金矿,希望能对中国企业在该地区的勘探投资有所帮助。%The Kalgoorlie gold field is the largest gold production area in Western Australia, tectonically the area is within the Yilgarn craton east part Kalgoorlie greenstone belt. Mainly Archean strata outcropped in the mine area, including mafic-ultramafic lava se-quence, felsic pyroclastic rock sequence and a series of intrusive basic-ultrabasic veins. Main structure in the area is NNW structurally asymmetrical horizontal fold pair-Kalgoorlie anticline and syncline, and syncline west limb parallel Golden Mile fault;the main struc-ture fractured shear zone formed by subsequent strike-slip fault impacting is the main structure hosted the gold ore. Based on ore-con-trolling structure, material source and deposit time, can divide gold vein into three styles:Fimiston, Oroy and Charlotte respectively. The study reckoned that the prospecting in the area should start with wall rock, structure, geophysical, geochemical aspects. Through the analysis and study of the ore-forming geological

  10. From P-T-age to secular change and global tectonic regimes (or Essene in reverse - from granulites to blueschists and eclogites over time) (United States)

    Brown, M.


    Essene's contributions began pre-plate tectonics more than 40 years ago; they range from mineralogy to tectonics, from experiments and thermobarometry to elements and isotopes, and from the Phanerozoic to the Precambrian. Eric is a true polymath! Assessing the P-T conditions and age distribution of crustal metamorphism is an important step in evaluating secular change in tectonic regimes and geodynamics. In general, Archean rocks exhibit moderate-P - moderate-to-high-T facies series metamorphism (greenstone belts and granulite terranes); neither blueschists nor any record of deep continental subduction and return are documented and only one example of granulite facies ultrahigh-temperature metamorphism is reported. Granulite facies ultrahigh temperature metamorphism (G-UHTM) is documented in the rock record predominantly from Neoarchean to Cambrian, although G-UHTM facies series rocks may be inferred at depth in younger orogenic systems. The first occurrence of G-UHTM in the rock record signifies a change in geodynamics that generated transient sites of very high heat flow. Many G-UHTM belts may have developed in settings analogous to modern continental backarcs. On a warmer Earth, the formation and breakup of supercontinents, particularly by extroversion, which involved destruction of ocean basins floored by thinner lithosphere, may have generated hotter continental backarcs than those around the modern Pacific rim. Medium-temperature eclogite - high-pressure granulite metamorphism (E-HPGM) also is first recognized in the Neoarchean rock record, and occurs at intervals throughout the Proterozoic and Paleozoic rock record. E- HPGM belts are complementary to G-UHTM belts, and are generally inferred to record subduction-to-collision orogenesis. Blueschists become evident in the Neoproterozoic rock record; lawsonite blueschists and eclogites (high-pressure metamorphism, HPM), and ultrahigh pressure metamorphism (UHPM) characterized by coesite or diamond are

  11. Mesoarchean Gabbroanorthosite Magmatism of the Kola Region (United States)

    Kudryashov, N.; Mokrushin, A.


    The Kola peninsula is the region marked with development of anorthosite magmatism in the NE Baltic Shield. The Archaean gabbroanorthosites intrusions - Tsaginsky, Achinsky and Medvezhe-Schucheozersky - have the age of 2.7-2.6 Ga (Bayanova, 2004). The Patchemvarek and Severny gabbroanorthosites intrusions are located in the junction zone of the Kolmozero-Voronja greenstone belt and the Murmansk domain. Age data for sedimentaryvolcanogenic rocks of the Kolmozero-Voronja belt and Murmansk domain granitoids are 2.8-2.7 Ga. The gabbroanorthosites intrusions have more calcic composition (70-85% An) of normative plagioclase, and low contents of TiO2, FeO, and Fe2O3. In terms of chemical composition, the gabbroanorthosites of the studied massifs are close to the rocks of the Fiskenesset Complex (Greenland) and to the anorthosites of the Vermillion Lake Complex (Canada). U-Pb zircon dating established Mesoarchean ages of 29257 and 29358 Ma for the gabbroanorthosites of the Patchemvarek and Severny massifs, respectively. It was shown that the gabbroanorthosites of the studied massifs have fairly low REE contents (Cen = 2.2-4.2, Ybn = 1.6-2.6) and distinct positive Eu anomaly. Comagmatic ultrabasic differentiates have practically unfractionated REE pattern, low total REE contents (Cen = 1.2, Ybn = 1.1, La/Ybn = 1.32), and no Eu anomaly. The studied samples of the Archean gabbroanorthosites are characterized by positive "Nd= + 2.68 for the gabbroanorthosites of the Severny Massif and from + 2.77 to + 1.66 for the Patchemvarek Massif. The rocks of the Severny and Patchemvarek massifs has 87Sr/86Sri = 0.702048 and 87Sr/86Sri = 0.70258_8, respectively. The oldest U-Pb zircon ages for the gabbroanorthosites of the Patchemvarek and Severny massifs marking the Mesoarchean stage in the evolution of region. The differences in the initial 143Nd/144Nd ratios between the Neoarchean and the Mesoarchean gabbroanorthosites suggest the existence of two mantle sources. One of them produced

  12. Ore-forming fluids in the Dongping gold deposit, northwestern Hebei Province

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    FAN; Hongrui


    : 1435-1444.[11]Schwartz, M. O., Determining phase volumes of mixed CO2-H2O inclusions using microthermometric measurements, Mineral Deposita, 1989, 24: 43-47.[12]Brown, P. E., Hagemann, S. G., MacFlincor and its application to fluids in Archean lode-gold deposits, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 1995, 59: 3943-3952.[13]Fan Hongrui, Xie Yihan, Zhao Rui et al., Dual origins of Xiaoqinling gold-bearing quartz veins: Fluid inclusion evidences, Chinese Science Bulletin, 2000, 45(15): 1424-1430.[14]Chen Yanjing, Li Chao, Zhang Jing et al., Sr and O isotopic characteristics of porphyries in the Qinling molybdenum de-posit belt and their implication to genetic mechanism and type, Science in China, Ser. D, 2000, 43 (supp.): 82-94.[15]Zhang Fuxin, Chen Yanjing, Li Chao et al., Geological and geochemical character and genesis of the Jinlongshan-Qiuling gold deposits in Qinling orogen: Metallogenic mechanism of the Qinling-pattern Carlin-type gold deposits, Science in China, Ser. D, 2000, 43(supp.): 95-107.[16]Chen Yanjing, Guo Guangjun, Li Xin, Metallogenic geodynamic background of gold deposits in Granite-greenstone ter-rains of North China craton, Science in China Ser. D, 1998, 41(2): 113-120.[17]Clayton, R. N., Oxygen isotope exchange between quartz and water, J. Geophys. Res., 1972, 77: 3057-3607.[18]Zhang Ligang, Cheng Zhengshen, Liu Jingxiu et al., Two Stage Water-rock Interaction and Prospecting Cases, Beijing: Geological Publishing House, 1995, 1-231.[19]Jiang Sihong, Nie Fengjun, 40Ar-39Ar geochronology of the Shuiquangou alkaline complex and related gold deposits, Northwestern Hebei, China, Geological Review, 2000, 46(6): 621-627.[20]Taylor, H. P., Oxygen and hydrogen isotope relationships, in Barnes H L(ed.), Geochemistry of Hydrothermal Ore Depos-its, 2nd ed., New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1979, 236-277.[21]Yardley, B. W. D., Post-metamorphic gold-quartz veins from N.W Italy: The composition and origin of the ore fluid, Min

  13. The 3.1 Ga Nuggihalli chromite deposits, Western Dhawar craton (India)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mukherjee, Ria; Mondal, Sisir K.; Frei, Robert


    , therefore melting and mixing of the eclogite component with depleted mantle melts resulted in distinct HFSE enrichment in the Nuggihalli rocks. Alternatively, melting of a HFSE-enriched eclogitic slab and the surrounding depleted mantle within an active subduction zone is another possible mechanism, however......The Nuggihalli greenstone belt is part of the older greenstone belts (3.4 - 3.0 Ga) in the Western Dharwar Craton, southern India. This greenstone sequence consists of conformable metavolcanic and metasedimentary supracrustal rock assemblages that belong to the Sargur Group. Sill-like ultramafic......-mafic plutonic bodies are present within these supracrustal rocks (schist rocks) which are in turn enclosed by tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite gneiss (TTG). The sill-like ultramafic-mafic rocks are cumulates derived from a high-Mg parental magma that are represented by chromitite-hosted serpentinite...

  14. Metallogenetic systems associated with granitoid magmatism in the Amazonian Craton: An overview of the present level of understanding and exploration significance (United States)

    Bettencourt, Jorge Silva; Juliani, Caetano; Xavier, Roberto P.; Monteiro, Lena V. S.; Bastos Neto, Artur C.; Klein, Evandro L.; Assis, Rafael R.; Leite, Washington Barbosa, Jr.; Moreto, Carolina P. N.; Fernandes, Carlos Marcello Dias; Pereira, Vitor Paulo


    The Amazonian Craton hosts world-class metallogenic provinces with a wide range of styles of primary precious, rare, base metal, and placer deposits. This paper provides a synthesis of the geological database with regard to granitoid magmatic suites, spatio temporal distribution, tectonic settings, and the nature of selected mineral deposits. The Archean Carajás Mineral Province comprises greenstone belts (3.04-2.97 Ga), metavolcanic-sedimentary units (2.76-2.74 Ga), granitoids (3.07-2.84 Ga) formed in a magmatic arc and syn-collisional setting, post-orogenic A2-type granites as well as gabbros (ca. 2.74 Ga), and anorogenic granites (1.88 Ga). Archean iron oxide-Cu-Au (IOCG) deposits were synchronous or later than bimodal magmatism (2.74-2.70 Ga). Paleoproterozoic IOCG deposits, emplaced at shallow-crustal levels, are enriched with Nb-Y-Sn-Be-U. The latter, as well as Sn-W and Au-EGP deposits are coeval with ca. 1.88 Ga A2-type granites. The Tapajós Mineral Province includes a low-grade meta-volcano-sedimentary sequence (2.01 Ga), tonalites to granites (2.0-1.87 Ga), two calc-alkaline volcanic sequences (2.0-1.95 Ga to 1.89-1.87 Ga) and A-type rhyolites and granites (1.88 Ga). The calc-alkaline volcanic rocks host epithermal Au and base metal mineralization, whereas Cu-Au and Cu-Mo ± Au porphyry-type mineralization is associated with sub-volcanic felsic rocks, formed in two continental magmatic arcs related to an accretionary event, resulting from an Andean-type northwards subduction. The Alta Floresta Gold Province consists of Paleoproterozoic plutono-volcanic sequences (1.98-1.75 Ga), generated in ocean-ocean orogenies. Disseminated and vein-type Au ± Cu and Au + base metal deposits are hosted by calc-alkaline I-type granitic intrusions (1.98 Ga, 1.90 Ga, and 1.87 Ga) and quartz-feldspar porphyries (ca. 1.77 Ga). Timing of the gold deposits has been constrained between 1.78 Ga and 1.77 Ga and linked to post-collisional Juruena arc felsic magmatism (e.g., Col

  15. What traces of life can we expect on Mars? Lessons from the early Earth (United States)

    Westall, F.


    development of photosynthetic microorganisms. On the basis of studies of the fossil traces of microorganisms in analogue early terrestrial rocks, it is clear that the in situ search for life on Mars will be even more difficult, since the traces left by eventual chemolithotrophic and heterotrophic martian life will be very subtle and below the visible resolution of in situ instrumentation. Moreover, geochemical identification may not be conclusive. Thus a series of Mars Sample Return mission are essential for detecting whether Mars had or still has life. [1] Westall, F. & Southam, G. 2006. AGU Geophys. Monogr., 164, 283-304.. [2] Furnes, H. et al., 2004. Science, 304, 578-581 [3] Westall, F. et al. 2006. Geol. Soc. Amer. Spec Pub., 405, 105-131. [4] Foucher et al. 2008. ESPC Abstract # 273. [5] van Zuilen, M., et al. (2002), Reassessing the evidence for the earliests traces of life, Nature, 418, 627-630 [6] Westall F, et al. (2006) Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. Lond. Series B., 361, 1857-1875 [7] Allwood, A.C., et al.2005: Stromatolite reef from the Early Archaean era of Australia, Nature, 441, 714- 718. [8] Westall et al. 2007. Abstract-EANA, Türku, October, 2007. [9] Noffke, N., et al., 2006. Earth's earliest microbial mats in a silicilastic marine environment (2.9 Mozaan Group, South Africa), Geology, 31, 673-676 [10] Walsh, M.M., and D.R. Lowe (1999), in Geologic evolution of the Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa, eds. DR. Lowe, G.R. Byerly, Geol. Soc. Am Spec. Paper, 329, 115-132. [11] G. Southam, L. Rothschilde, F. Westall, 2007. in Geology and habitability of terrestrial planets, Space Science Reviews, 1-28. [12] Southam, G. and Westall, F., 2007. in T. Spohn, (Ed.) Treatise on Geophysics - Vol. 10 Planets and Moons, Elsevier, Amsterdam. 421-438. [13] Clifford, S. M., and Parker, T. J. Icarus, vol. 154: 40-79, 2001. [14] Bulat, S. et al., 2006. Geophys. Res. Abstracts, Vol. 8, 07109.

  16. The Earth's early evolution. (United States)

    Bowring, S A; Housh, T


    The Archean crust contains direct geochemical information of the Earth's early planetary differentiation. A major outstanding question in the Earth sciences is whether the volume of continental crust today represents nearly all that formed over Earth's history or whether its rates of creation and destruction have been approximately balanced since the Archean. Analysis of neodymium isotopic data from the oldest remnants of Archean crust suggests that crustal recycling is important and that preserved continental crust comprises fragments of crust that escaped recycling. Furthermore, the data suggest that the isotopic evolution of Earth's mantle reflects progressive eradication of primordial heterogeneities related to early differentiation.

  17. Global map of lithosphere thermal thickness on a 1 deg x 1 deg grid - digitally available

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Artemieva, Irina


    than 250 km) lithosphere is restrictedsolely to young Archean terranes (3.0–2.6 Ga), while in old Archean cratons (3.6–3.0 Ga) lithospheric roots donot extend deeper than 200–220 km.The TC1 model is presented by a set of maps, which show significant thermal heterogeneity within continentalupper mantle......This presentation reports a 1 deg 1 deg global thermal model for the continental lithosphere (TC1). The modelis digitally available from the author’s web-site: for continental terranes of different ages (early Archean to present) are constrained by reliabledata...

  18. 77 FR 74048 - Buy America Waiver Notification (United States)


    ... Overall economic growth: Michigan state domestic product increased by $2.2 billion, personal income... hub creating economic growth and additional jobs. GreenStone Farm Credit Services commented that for... direct and indirect construction jobs, as well as numerous other jobs in the American economy, as...

  19. The Pikwitonei granulite domain: A lower crustal level along the Churchill-Superior boundary in central Manitoba (United States)

    Weber, W.


    The greenschist to amphibolite facies tonalite-greenstone terrain of the Gods Lake subprovince grades - in a northwesterly direction - into the granulite facies Pikwitonei domain at the western margins of the Superior Province. The transition is the result of prograde metamorphism and takes place over 50 - 100 km without any structural or lithological breaks. Locally the orthopyroxene isograd is oblique to the structural grain and transects greenstone belts, e.g., the Cross Lake belt. The greenstone belts in the granulite facies and adjacent lower grade domain consist mainly of mafic and (minor) ultramafic metavolcanics, and clastic and chemical metasedimentary rocks. Typical for the greenstone belts crossed by the orthopyroxene isograd are anorthositic gabbros and anorthosites, and plagiophyric mafic flows. The Pikwitonei granulite domain has been interpreted as to represent a lower crustal level which was uplifted to the present lev