Chemical characterization of earth's most ancient clastic metasediments from the Isua Greenstone Belt, southern West Greenland

Bolhar, R, Kamber, BS, Moorbath, S, Whitehouse, MJ and Collerson, KD (2005) Chemical characterization of earth's most ancient clastic metasediments from the Isua Greenstone Belt, southern West Greenland. Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta, 69 6: 1555-1573. doi:10.1016/j.gca.2004.09.023

Author Bolhar, R
Kamber, BS
Moorbath, S
Whitehouse, MJ
Collerson, KD
Title Chemical characterization of earth's most ancient clastic metasediments from the Isua Greenstone Belt, southern West Greenland
Journal name Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0016-7037
Publication date 2005
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.gca.2004.09.023
Volume 69
Issue 6
Start page 1555
End page 1573
Total pages 19
Editor L Trower
F A Podesek
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon
Collection year 2005
Language eng
Subject C1
260300 Geochemistry
780104 Earth sciences
Abstract New and published major and trace element abundances of elastic metasediments (mainly garnet-biotite-plagioclase schists) from the similar to 3.8 Ga Isua Greenstone Belt (IGB), southern West Greenland, are used in an attempt to identify the compositional characteristics of the protoliths of these sediments. Compositionally, the metasediments are heterogeneous with enrichment of LREE (La/Sm-chord = 1.1-3.9) and variable enrichment and depletion of HREE (Gd/Yb-chord = 0.8-4.3). Chondrite-normalized Eu is also variable, spanning a range from relative Eu depletion to enrichment (Eu/Eu* = 0.6-1.3). A series of geochemical and geological criteria provides conclusive evidence for a sedimentary origin, in disagreement with some previous studies that questioned the presence of genuine elastic metasediments. In particular, trace element systematics of IGB metasediments show strong resemblance to other well-documented Archaean clastic sediments, and are consistent with a provenance consisting of ultramafic, malic and felsic igneous rocks. Two schists, identified as metasomatized mafic igneous rocks from petrographic and field evidence, show distinct compositional differences to the metasediments. Major element systematics document incipient-to-moderate source weathering in the majority of metasediments, while signs of secondary K-addition are rare. Detailed inspection of Eu/Eu*, Fe2O3 and CIW (chemical index of weathering) relationships reveals that elevated iron contents (when compared to averages for continental crust) and strong relative enrichment in Eu may be due to precipitation of marine Fe-oxyhydroxides during deposition or diagenesis on the seafloor. Some of the IGB metasediments have yielded anomalous Nd-142 and W-182 isotopic compositions that were respectively interpreted in terms of early mantle differentiation processes and the presence of a meteorite component. Alternatively, W and possibly Nd isotopes could have been affected by thermal neutron capture on the Hadean surface. The latter process was tested in this study by analysis of Sm isotope compositions, which serve as an effective monitor for neutron capture effects. As no anomalous variation from terrestrial values was detected, we infer that isotope systematics (including W-182 and Nd-142) of IGB metasediments were not affected by neutron capture, but reflect decay of radioactive parent isotopes. Copyright (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd.
Keyword Geochemistry & Geophysics
Archean Crustal Evolution
Nd-isotope Heterogeneity
U-pb Ages
Supracrustal Belt
Metamorphosed Sediments
Zr/hf Fractionation
Detrital Zircons
Northern Canada
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 07:51:29 EST