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Publication Type:

Journal Article


Geochimica et Cosmochimica ActaGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Volume 69, Number 21, p.5087-5098 (2005)




Osmium isotopic compositions, and Re and Os concentrations have been examined in one komatiite unit and two komatiitic basalt units at Dundonald Beach, part of the 2.7 Ga Kidd-Munro volcanic assemblage in the Abitibi greenstone belt, Ontario, Canada. The komatiitic rocks in this locality record at least three episodes of alteration of Re-Os elemental and isotope systematics. First, an average of 40% and as much as 75% Re may have been lost due to shallow degassing during eruption and/or hydrothermal leaching during or immediately after emplacement. Second, the Re-Os isotope systematics of whole rock samples with 187Re/188Os ratios >1 were reset at ∼2.5 Ga, possibly due to a regional metamorphic event. Third, there is evidence for relatively recent gain and loss of Re in some rocks.<br/><br/>Despite the open-system behavior, some aspects of the Re-Os systematics of these rocks can be deciphered. The bulk distribution coefficient for Os (DOssolid/liquid) for the Dundonald rocks is ∼3 ± 1 and is well within the estimated D values obtained for komatiites from the nearby Alexo area and stratigraphically-equivalent komatiites from Munro Township. This suggests that Os was moderately compatible during crystal-liquid fractionation of the magmas parental to the Kidd-Munro komatiitic rocks. Whole-rock samples and chromite separates with low 187Re/188Os ratios (<1) yield a precise chondritic average initial 187Os/188Os ratio of 0.1083 ± 0.0006 (γOs = 0.0 ± 0.6) for their well-constrained ∼2715 Ma crystallization age. The chondritic initial Os isotopic composition of the mantle source for the Dundonald rocks is consistent with that determined for komatiites in the Alexo area and in Munro Township, suggesting that the mantle source region for the Kidd-Munro volcanic assemblage had evolved with a long-term chondritic Re/Os before eruption. The chondritic initial Os isotopic composition of the Kidd-Munro komatiites is indistinguishable from that of the projected contemporaneous convective upper mantle. The uniform chondritic Os isotopic composition of the Kidd-Munro komatiites contrasts with the typical large-scale Os isotopic heterogeneity in the mantle sources for ca. 89 Ma komatiites from the Gorgona Island, arc-related rocks and present-day ocean island basalts. This suggests that the Kidd-Munro komatiites sampled a late-Archean mantle source region that was significantly more homogeneous with respect to Re/Os relative to most modern mantle-derived rocks.