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Day, JMD, O'Driscoll B, Strachan RA, Daly JS, Walker RJ.  2017.  Identification of mantle peridotite as a possible Iapetan ophiolite sliver in south Shetland, Scottish Caledonides. Journal of the Geological Society. 174(1):88-92.   Abstract

The Neoproterozoic Dunrossness Spilite Subgroup of south Shetland, Scotland, has been interpreted as a series of komatiitic and mafic lava flows formed in a marginal basin in response to Laurentian continental margin rifting. We show that ultramafic rocks previously identified as komatiites are depleted mantle peridotites that experienced seafloor hydrothermal alteration. The presence of positive Bouguer gravity and aeromagnetic anomalies extending from the Dunrossness Spilite Subgroup northward to the Shetland Ophiolite Complex suggests instead that these rocks may form part of an extensive ophiolite sliver, obducted during Iapetus Ocean closure in a forearc setting.

Wang, K, Day JMD, Korotev RL, Zeigler RA, Moynier F.  2014.  Iron isotope fractionation during sulfide-rich felsic partial melting in early planetesimals. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 392:124-132.   10.1016/j.epsl.2014.02.022   Abstract

New Fe isotope data of feldspar-rich meteorites Graves Nunataks 06128 and 06129 (GRA 06128/9) reveal that they are the only known examples of crustal materials with isotopically light Fe isotope compositions (View the MathML source; δ 56Fe is defined as the per mille deviation of a sample's 56Fe/54Fe ratio from the IRMM-014 standard) in the Solar System. In contrast, associated brachinites, as well as brachinite-like achondrites, have Fe isotope compositions (View the MathML source) that are isotopically similar to carbonaceous chondrites and the bulk terrestrial mantle. In order to understand the cause of Fe isotope variations in the GRA 06128/9 and brachinite parent body, we also report the Fe isotope compositions of metal, silicate and sulfide fractions from three ordinary chondrites (Semarkona, Kernouve, Saint-Séverin). Metals from ordinary chondrites are enriched in the heavier isotopes of Fe (average View the MathML source), sulfide fractions are enriched in the lighter isotopes of Fe (average View the MathML source), and the δ 56Fe values of the silicates are coincident with that of the bulk rock (average View the MathML source).

The enrichment of light isotopes of Fe isotopes in GRA 06128/9 is consistent with preferential melting of sulfides in precursor chondritic source materials leading to the formation of Fe–S-rich felsic melts. Conceptual models show that melt generation to form a GRA 06128/9 parental melt occurred prior to the onset of higher-temperature basaltic melting (<1200 °C) in a volatile-rich precursor and led to the generation of buoyant felsic melt with a strong Fe–S signature. These models not only reveal the origin of enrichment in light isotopes of Fe for GRA 06128/9, but are also consistent with petrological and geochemical observations, experimental studies for the origin of Fe–S-rich felsic melts, and for the cessation of early melting on some asteroidal parent bodies because of the effective removal of the major radioactive heat-source, 26Al. The mode of origin for GRA 06128/9 contrasts strongly with crust formation on Earth, the Moon, Mars and other asteroids, where mantle differentiation and/or oxygen activity are the major controls on crustal Fe isotope compositions.

Inglis, EC, Moynier F, Creech J, Deng Z, Day JMD, Teng F-Z, Bizzarro M, Jackson M, Savage P.  2019.  Isotopic fractionation of zirconium during magmatic differentiation and the stable isotope composition of the silicate Earth. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 250:311-323.   10.1016/j.gca.2019.02.010   Abstract

High-precision double-spike Zr stable isotope measurements (expressed as δ94/90ZrIPGP-Zr, the permil deviation of the 94Zr/90Zr ratio from the IPGP-Zr standard) are presented for a range of ocean island basalts (OIB) and mid-ocean ridge basalts (MORB) to examine mass-dependent isotopic variations of zirconium in Earth. Ocean island basalt samples, spanning a range of radiogenic isotopic flavours (HIMU, EM) show a limited range in δ94/90ZrIPGP-Zr (0.046 ± 0.037‰; 2sd, n = 13). Similarly, MORB samples with chondrite-normalized La/Sm of >0.7 show a limited range in δ94/90ZrIPGP-Zr (0.053 ± 0.040‰; 2sd, n = 8). In contrast, basaltic lavas from mantle sources that have undergone significant melt depletion, such as depleted normal MORB (N-MORB) show resolvable variations in δ94/90ZrIPGP-Zr, from −0.045 ± 0.018 to 0.074 ± 0.023‰. Highly evolved igneous differentiates (>65 wt% SiO2) from Hekla volcano in Iceland are isotopically heavier than less evolved igneous rocks, up to 0.53‰. These results suggest that both mantle melt depletion and extreme magmatic differentiation leads to resolvable mass-dependent Zr isotope fractionation. We find that this isotopic fractionation is most likely driven by incorporation of light isotopes of Zr within the 8-fold coordinated sites of zircons, driving residual melts, with a lower coordination chemistry, towards heavier values. Using a Rayleigh fractionation model, we suggest a αzircon-melt of 0.9995 based on the whole rock δ94/90ZrIPGP-Zr values of the samples from Hekla volcano (Iceland). Zirconium isotopic fractionation during melt-depletion of the mantle is less well-constrained, but may result from incongruent melting and incorporation of isotopically light Zr in the 8-fold coordinated M2 site of orthopyroxene. Based on these observations lavas originating from the effect of melt extraction from a depleted mantle source (N-MORB) or that underwent zircon saturation (SiO2 > 65 wt%) are removed from the dataset to give an estimate of the primitive mantle Zr isotope composition of 0.048 ± 0.032‰; 2sd, n = 48. These data show that major controls on Zr fractionation in the Earth result from partial melt extraction in the mantle and by zircon fractionation in differentiated melts. Conversely, fertile mantle is homogenous with respect to Zr isotopes. Zirconium mass-dependent fractionation effects can therefore be used to trace large-scale mantle melt depletion events and the effects of felsic crust formation.

Franz, HB, Kim ST, Farquhar J, Day JMD, Economos RC, McKeegan KD, Schmitt AK, Irving AJ, Hoek J, Dottin J.  2014.  Isotopic links between atmospheric chemistry and the deep sulphur cycle on Mars. Nature. 508:364-+.   10.1038/nature13175   AbstractWebsite

The geochemistry of Martian meteorites provides a wealth of information about the solid planet and the surface and atmospheric processes that occurred on Mars. The degree to which Martian magmas may have assimilated crustal material, thus altering the geochemical signatures acquired from their mantle sources, is unclear(1). This issue features prominently in efforts to understand whether the source of light rare-earth elements in enriched shergottites lies in crustal material incorporated into melts(1,2) or in mixing between enriched and depleted mantle reservoirs(3). Sulphur isotope systematics offer insight into some aspects of crustal assimilation. The presence of igneous sulphides in Martian meteorites with sulphur isotope signatures indicative of mass-independent fractionation suggests the assimilation of sulphur both during passage of magmas through the crust of Mars and at sites of emplacement. Here we report isotopic analyses of 40 Martian meteorites that represent more than half of the distinct known Martian meteorites, including 30 shergottites (28 plus 2 pairs, where pairs are separate fragments of a single meteorite), 8 nakhlites (5 plus 3 pairs), Allan Hills 84001 and Chassigny. Our data provide strong evidence that assimilation of sulphur into Martian magmas was a common occurrence throughout much of the planet's history. The signature of mass-independent fractionation observed also indicates that the atmospheric imprint of photochemical processing preserved in Martian meteoritic sulphide and sulphate is distinct from that observed in terrestrial analogues, suggesting fundamental differences between the dominant sulphur chemistry in the atmosphere of Mars and that in the atmosphere of Earth(4).