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2013
Cabral, RA, Jackson MG, Rose-Koga EF, Koga KT, Whitehouse MJ, Antonelli MA, Farquhar J, Day JMD, Hauri EH.  2013.  Anomalous sulphur isotopes in plume lavas reveal deep mantle storage of Archaean crust. Nature. 496:490-+.   10.1038/nature12020   AbstractWebsite

Basaltic lavas erupted at some oceanic intraplate hotspot volcanoes are thought to sample ancient subducted crustal materials(1,2). However, the residence time of these subducted materials in the mantle is uncertain and model-dependent(3), and compelling evidence for their return to the surface in regions of mantle upwelling beneath hotspots is lacking. Here we report anomalous sulphur isotope signatures indicating mass-independent fractionation (MIF) in olivine-hosted sulphides from 20-million-year-old ocean island basalts from Mangaia, Cook Islands (Polynesia), which have been suggested to sample recycled oceanic crust(3,4). Terrestrial MIF sulphur isotope signatures (in which the amount of fractionation does not scale in proportion with the difference in the masses of the isotopes) were generated exclusively through atmospheric photochemical reactions until about 2.45 billion years ago(5-7). Therefore, the discovery of MIF sulphur in these young plume lavas suggests that sulphur-probably derived from hydrothermally altered oceanic crust-was subducted into the mantle before 2.45 billion years ago and recycled into the mantle source of Mangaia lavas. These new data provide evidence for ancient materials, with negative Delta S-33 values, in the mantle source for Mangaia lavas. Our data also complement evidence for recycling of the sulphur content of ancient sedimentary materials to the subcontinental lithospheric mantle that has been identified in diamond-hosted sulphide inclusions(8,9). This Archaean age for recycled oceanic crust also provides key constraints on the length of time that subducted crustal material can survive in the mantle, and on the timescales of mantle convection from subduction to upwelling beneath hotspots.

2012
Day, JMD, Macpherson CG, Lowry D, Pearson DG.  2012.  Oxygen isotope heterogeneity of the mantle beneath the Canary Islands: a discussion of the paper of Gurenko et al. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology. 164:177-183.   10.1007/s00410-012-0755-3   AbstractWebsite

Gurenko et al. (Contrib Mineral Petrol 162:349-363, 2011) report laser-assisted fluorination (LF) and secondary ionization mass spectrometry (SIMS) O-18/O-16 datasets for olivine grains from the Canary Islands of Gran Canaria, Tenerife, La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro. As with prior studies of oxygen isotopes in Canary Island lavas (e.g. Thirlwall et al. Chem Geol 135:233-262, 1997; Day et al. Geology 37:555-558, 2009, Geochim Cosmochim Acta 74:6565-6589, 2010), these authors find variations in delta O-18(ol) (similar to 4.6-6.0 aEuro degrees) beyond that measured for mantle peridotite olivine (Mattey et al. Earth Planet Sci Lett 128:231-241, 1994) and interpret this variation to reflect contributions from pyroxenite-peridotite mantle sources. Furthermore, Gurenko et al. (Contrib Mineral Petrol 162:349-363, 2011) speculate that delta O-18(ol) values for La Palma olivine grains measured by LF (Day et al. Geology 37:555-558, 2009, Geochim Cosmochim Acta 74:6565-6589, 2010) may be biased to low values due to the presence of altered silicate, possibly serpentine. The range in delta O-18(ol) values for Canary Island lavas are of importance for constraining their origin. Gurenko et al. (Contrib Mineral Petrol 162:349-363, 2011) took a subset (39 SIMS analyses from 13 grains from a single El Hierro lava; EH4) of a more extensive dataset (321 SIMS analyses from 110 grains from 16 Canary Island lavas) to suggest that delta O-18(ol) is weakly correlated (R (2) = 0.291) with the parameter used by Gurenko et al. (Earth Planet Sci Lett 277:514-524, 2009) to describe the estimated weight fraction of pyroxenite-derived melt (Xpx). With this relationship, end-member delta O-18 values for HIMU-peridotite (delta O-18 = 5.3 +/- A 0.3 aEuro degrees) and depleted pyroxenite (delta O-18 = 5.9 +/- A 0.3 aEuro degrees) were defined. Although the model proposed by Gurenko et al. (Contrib Mineral Petrol 162:349-363, 2011) implicates similar pyroxenite-peridotite mantle sources to those proposed by Day et al. (Geology 37:555-558, 2009, Geochim Cosmochim Acta 74:6565-6589, 2010) and Day and Hilton (Earth Planet Sci Lett 305:226-234, 2011), there are significant differences in the predicted delta O-18 values of end member components in the two models. In particular, Day et al. (Geochim Cosmochim Acta 74:6565-6589, 2010) proposed a mantle source for La Palma lavas with low-delta O-18 (< 5 aEuro degrees), rather than higher-delta O-18 (c.f. the HIMU-peridotite composition of Gurenko et al. in Contrib Mineral Petrol 162:349-363, 2011). Here we question the approach of using weakly correlated variations in delta O-18(ol) and the Xpx parameter to define mantle source oxygen isotope compositions, and provide examples of why this approach appears flawed. We also provide reasons why the LF datasets previously published for Canary Island lavas remain robust and discuss why LF and SIMS data may provide complementary information on oxygen isotope variations in ocean island basalts (OIB), despite unresolved small-scale uncertainties associated with both techniques.

2010
Day, JMD, Walker RJ, James OB, Puchtel IS.  2010.  Osmium isotope and highly siderophile element systematics of the lunar crust. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 289:595-605.   10.1016/j.epsl.2009.12.001   AbstractWebsite

Coupled (187)Os/(188)Os and highly siderophile element (HSE: Os, Ir, Ru, Pt, Pd, and Re) abundance data are reported for pristine lunar crustal rocks 60025, 62255, 65315 (ferroan anorthosites, FAN) and 76535, 78235, 77215 and a norite clast in 15455 (magnesian-suite rocks, MGS). Osmium isotopes permit more refined discrimination than previously possible of samples that have been contaminated by meteoritic additions and the new results show that some rocks, previously identified as pristine, contain meteorite-derived HSE. Low HSE abundances in FAN and MGS rocks are consistent with derivation from a strongly HSE-depleted lunar mantle. At the time of formation, the lunar floatation crust, represented by FAN, had 1.4 +/- 0.3 pg g(-1) Os, 1.5 +/- 0.6 pg g(-1) Ir, 6.8 +/- 2.7 pg g(-1) Ru, 16 +/- 15 pg g(-1) Pt,33 +/- 30 pg g(-1) Pd and 0.29 +/- 0.10 pg g(-1) Re (similar to 0.00002 x Cl) and Re/Os ratios that were modestly elevated ((187)Re/(188)Os = 0.6 to 1.7) relative to Cl chondrites. MGS samples are, on average, characterised by more elevated HSE abundances (similar to 0.00007 x Cl) compared with FAN. This either reflects contrasting mantle-source HSE characteristics of FAN and MGS rocks, or different mantle-crust HSE fractionation behaviour during production of these lithologies. Previous studies of lunar impact-melt rocks have identified possible elevated Ru and Pd in lunar crustal target rocks. The new results provide no supporting evidence for such enrichments. If maximum estimates for HSE in the lunar mantle are compared with FAN and MGS averages, crust-mantle concentration ratios (D-values) must be <= 0.3. Such D-values are broadly similar to those estimated for partitioning between the terrestrial crust and upper mantle, with the notable exception of Re.Given the presumably completely different mode of origin for the primary lunar floatation crust and tertiary terrestrial continental crust, the potential similarities in crust-mantle HSE partitioning for the Earth and Moon are somewhat surprising. Low HSE abundances in the lunar crust, coupled with estimates of HSE concentrations in the lunar mantle implies there may be a 'missing component' of late-accreted materials (as much as 95%) to the Moon if the Earth/Moon mass-flux estimates are correct and terrestrial mantle HSE abundances were established by late accretion. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Bottke, WF, Walker RJ, Day JMD, Nesvorny D, Elkins-Tanton L.  2010.  Stochastic Late Accretion to Earth, the Moon, and Mars. Science. 330:1527-1530.   10.1126/science.1196874   AbstractWebsite

Core formation should have stripped the terrestrial, lunar, and martian mantles of highly siderophile elements (HSEs). Instead, each world has disparate, yet elevated HSE abundances. Late accretion may offer a solution, provided that >= 0.5% Earth masses of broadly chondritic planetesimals reach Earth's mantle and that similar to 10 and similar to 1200 times less mass goes to Mars and the Moon, respectively. We show that leftover planetesimal populations dominated by massive projectiles can explain these additions, with our inferred size distribution matching those derived from the inner asteroid belt, ancient martian impact basins, and planetary accretion models. The largest late terrestrial impactors, at 2500 to 3000 kilometers in diameter, potentially modified Earth's obliquity by similar to 10 degrees, whereas those for the Moon, at similar to 250 to 300 kilometers, may have delivered water to its mantle.

2009
Day, JMD, Pearson DG, Macpherson CG, Lowry D, Carracedo JC.  2009.  Pyroxenite-rich mantle formed by recycled oceanic lithosphere: Oxygen-osmium isotope evidence from Canary Island lavas. Geology. 37:555-558.   10.1130/g25613a.1   AbstractWebsite

Plate tectonic processes result in recycling of crust and lithosphere into Earth's mantle. Evidence for long-term preservation of recycled reservoirs in the mantle comes from the enriched isotopic character of oceanic island basalt (OIB) lavas. Although recycled constituents can explain much of the geochemical variation in the OIB-source mantle, it has been shown that direct melting of these components would lead to magmas with evolved compositions, unlike OIB. Instead, it has been argued that either metasomatic pyroxene-rich peridotite that has inherited the trace element and isotopic character of subducted materials, or high-temperature intramantle metasomatism of lithosphere can explain OIB compositions. To test these models, we present new oxygen and osmium isotope data for lavas from the Canary Islands of El Hierro and La Palma. These islands have distinct (18)O/(16)O and (187)Os/(188)Os compositions that can be explained through melting of pyroxenite-enriched peridotite mantle containing <10% recycled oceanic lithosphere. We also assess O-Os isotope systematics of lavas from Hawai'i and the Azores and show that they also conform to addition of distinct recycled oceanic components, including lithosphere and pelagic sediment. We conclude that enriched isotopic signatures of some OIBs are consistent with pyroxenite-rich mantle sources metasomatized by recycled components.

Day, JMD, Ash RD, Liu Y, Bellucci JJ, Rumble D, McDonough WF, Walker RJ, Taylor LA.  2009.  Early formation of evolved asteroidal crust. Nature. 457:179-182.   10.1038/nature07651   AbstractWebsite

Mechanisms for the formation of crust on planetary bodies remain poorly understood(1). It is generally accepted that Earth's andesitic continental crust is the product of plate tectonics(1,2), whereas the Moon acquired its feldspar- rich crust by way of plagioclase flotation in a magma ocean(3,4). Basaltic meteorites provide evidence that, like the terrestrial planets, some asteroids generated crust and underwent large- scale differentiation processes(5). Until now, however, no evolved felsic asteroidal crust has been sampled or observed. Here we report age and compositional data for the newly discovered, paired and differentiated meteorites Graves Nunatak ( GRA) 06128 and GRA 06129. These meteorites are feldspar- rich, with andesite bulk compositions. Their age of 4.5+/-0.06 Gyr demonstrates formation early in Solar System history. The isotopic and elemental compositions, degree of metamorphic re-equilibration and sulphide- rich nature of the meteorites are most consistent with an origin as partial melts from a volatile- rich, oxidized asteroid. GRA 06128 and 06129 are the result of a newly recognized style of evolved crust formation, bearing witness to incomplete differentiation of their parent asteroid and to previously unrecognized diversity of early- formed materials in the Solar System.

2007
Day, JMD, Pearson DG, Taylor LA.  2007.  Highly siderophile element constraints on accretion and differentiation of the Earth-Moon system. Science. 315:217-219.   10.1126/science.1133355   AbstractWebsite

A new combined rhenium-osmium- and platinum-group element data set for basalts from the Moon establishes that the basalts have uniformly low abundances of highly siderophile elements. The data set indicates a lunar mantle with long-term, chondritic, highly siderophile element ratios, but with absolute abundances that are over 20 times lower than those in Earth's mantle. The results are consistent with silicate-metal equilibrium during a giant impact and core formation in both bodies, followed by post-core-formation late accretion that replenished their mantles with highly siderophile elements. The lunar mantle experienced late accretion that was similar in composition to that of Earth but volumetrically less than (similar to 0.02% lunar mass) and terminated earlier than for Earth.

2006
Day, JMD, Taylor LA, Floss C, Patchen AD, Schnare DW, Pearson DG.  2006.  Comparative petrology, geochemistry, and petrogenesis of evolved, low-Ti lunar mare basalt meteorites from the LaPaz Icefield, Antarctica. Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta. 70:1581-1600.   10.1016/j.gca.2005.11.015   AbstractWebsite

New data is presented for five evolved, low-Ti lunar mare basalt meteorites from the LaPaz Icefield, Antarctica, LAP 02205, LAP 02224, LAP 02226, LAP 02436, and LAP 03632. These basalts have nearly identical mineralogies, textures, and geochemical compositions, and are therefore considered to be paired. The LaPaz basalts contain olivine (Fo(64-2)) and pyroxene (Fs(32)Wo(8)En(60) to Fs(84-86)Wo(15)En(2-0)) crystals that record extreme chemical fractionation to Fe-enrichment at the rims, and evidence for silicate liquid immiscibility and incompatible element enrichment in the mesostasis. The basalts also contain FeNi metals with unusually high Co and Ni contents, similar to some Apollo 12 basalts, and a single-phase network of melt veins and fusion crusts. The fusion crust has similar chemical characteristics to the whole rock for the LaPaz basalts, whereas the melt veins represent localized melting of the basalt and have an endogenous origin. The crystallization conditions and evolved nature of the LaPaz basalts are consistent with fractionation of olivine and chromite from a parental liquid similar in composition to some olivine-phyric Apollo 12 and Apollo 15 basalts or lunar low-Ti pyroclastic glasses. However, the young reported ages for the LaPaz mare basalts (similar to 2.9 Ga) and their relative incompatible element enrichment compared to Apollo mare basalts and pyroclastic glasses indicate they cannot be directly related. Instead, the LaPaz mare basalts may represent fractionated melts from a magmatic system fed by similar degrees of partial melting of a mantle source similar to that of the low-Ti Apollo mare basalts or pyroclastic glasses, but which possessed greater incompatible element enrichment. Despite textural differences, the LaPaz basalts and mare basalt meteorite NWA 032 have similar ages and compositions and may originate from the same magmatic system on the Moon. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Day, JMD, Floss C, Taylor LA, Anand M, Patchen AD.  2006.  Evolved mare basalt magmatism, high Mg/Fe feldspathic crust, chondritic impactors, and the petrogenesis of Antarctic lunar breccia meteorites Meteorite Hills 01210 and Pecora Escarpment 02007. Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta. 70:5957-5989.   10.1016/j.gca.2006.05.001   AbstractWebsite

Antarctic lunar meteorites Meteorite Hills 01210 and Pecora Escarpment 02007 are breccias that come from different regolith lithologies on the Moon. MET 01210 is composed predominantly of fractionated low-Ti basaltic material and is classified as an immature, predominantly basaltic glassy matrix regolith breccia. PCA 02007 is a predominantly feldspathic regolith breccia consisting of metamorphosed feldspathic, noritic, troctolitic and noritic-anorthosite clasts, agglutinate and impact-glasses, as well as a number of basaltic clasts with mare and possible non-mare affinities. The basalt clasts in MET 0 12 10 have undergone 'Fenner' trend enrichments in iron and may also have witnessed late-stage crystallization of zircon or a zirconium-rich mineral. Some of the features of MET 0 1210 are similar to other basaltic lunar breccia meteorites (e.g., Northwest Africa 773; Elephant Moraine 87521/96008; Yamato 793274/981031), but it is not paired with them. The presence of metamorphic anorthositic clasts as well as agglutinates indicates a small regolith component. Similarities with previously discovered evolved (e.g., LaPaz Icefield 02205; Northwest Africa 032) and ferroan (e.g., Asuka 881757; Yamato 793169) basaltic lunar meteorites suggest a similar mare source region for MET 01210. Despite lack of evidence for pairing, PCA 02007 shares many features with other feldspathic regolith breccias (e.g., Yamato 791197, Queen Alexandra Range 94281), including a high Mg/Fe whole-rock composition, glass spherules, agglutinate fragments and a diverse clast inventory spanning the range of ferroan anorthosite and high magnesium suite rocks. Some of the basalt fragments in this sample are fractionated and have an igneous origin. However, the majority of the basalt fragments are impact melt clasts. PCA 02007 supports previous studies of feldspathic lunar meteorites that have suggested an aluminous crust for the Moon, with compositions more similar to magnesium granulite breccias than ferroan anorthosites. A 'chondrule-like' fragment found in PCA 02007 and unlike any previously described lunar material is described and tentatively identified as the remnants of a chondritic lunar impactor. This clast is porphyritic with equant olivines that have forsterite-rich cores (Fo(> 98)), extreme normal zonation to more fayalitic rims (Fo(> 44)), and a mineral assemblage with rare earth element abundances distinct from described lunar material and more similar to chondrules found in ordinary or carbonaceous chondrites. Its discovery and description is significant for understanding the composition of lunar impactors. Previously, the main evidence for chondritic lunar impactors was from chondritic relative abundances and near chondritic ratios of highly siderophile elements in lunar impact melt breccias. However, the presence of this clast, along with two other chondritic clasts from Apollo soils 12037 and 15602, provides clues to the identity of ancient meteorite impactors on the Moon. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.