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Truong, TB, Castillo PR, Hilton DR, Day JMD.  2018.  The trace element and Sr-Nd-Pb isotope geochemistry of Juan Fernandez lavas reveal variable contributions from a high-3He/4He mantle plume. Chemical Geology. 476:280-291.   10.1016/j.chemgeo.2017.11.024   Abstract

The Juan Fernandez Islands in the southeastern Pacific are an atypical linear volcanic chain that exhibits a considerable range in 3He/4He ratios (8 to 18 RA, where RA is the 3He/4He ratio of air), but limited ranges of 87Sr/86Sr and 143Nd/144Nd. Here we report new trace element abundance data and Sr-Nd-Pb isotope data for mafic lavas previously analyzed for their 3He/4He and He contents from the two main islands of Robinson Crusoe and Alexander Selkirk. Lavas from these islands have been previously grouped based on geochemical and petrological classification into Group I and III basalts, and Group II basanites. In general, samples have overlapping Sr-Nd-Pb isotope compositions that suggest a common, albeit slightly heterogeneous mantle source. In detail, the Group I and III tholeiitic and alkalic basalts have nearly identical incompatible trace element patterns, whereas the Group II basanites show elevated incompatible trace element abundances. Major and incompatible trace element modeling indicates that Group III basalts (3He/4He = 7.8–9.5 RA) from younger Alexander Selkirk Island were produced by the highest degree of partial melting (> 10%) of a common mantle source, followed by Group I basalts (13.6–18.0 RA) and Group II basanites (11.2–12.5 RA) from older Robinson Crusoe Island. The 206Pb/204Pb of Group I basalts and Group II basanites are slightly more radiogenic and limited in range (19.163 to 19.292) compared with those of Group III (18.939 to 19.221). The Group I and II lavas from Robinson Crusoe are consistent with an origin from the so-called focus zone (FOZO) mantle component, whereas the Alexander Selkirk basalts additionally contain contributions from a less-enriched or relatively depleted mantle component. Juan Fernandez lavas reveal limited ranges of Sr-Nd-Pb isotopes but variable 3He/4He as their parental magmas originated mainly from the FOZO component with high 3He/4He (> 9 RA) and variably polluted with a depleted component with lower 3He/4He (ca. 8 RA). Contributions from high-3He/4He mantle sources to ocean island basalts can therefore vary both spatially and temporally, over meter to kilometer lengths and hundred to million-year time scales, and may not be strongly correlated to radiogenic lithophile isotope systematics.

Udry, A, Day JMD.  2018.  1.34 billion-year-old magmatism on Mars evaluated from the co-genetic nakhlite and chassignite meteorites. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 238:292-315.   Abstract

Nakhlite and chassignite martian meteorites have similar crystallization (1340 ± 40 Ma) and ejection (∼11 Ma) ages, and 87Rb-87Sr and 143Sm-144Nd compositions. Using a near-comprehensive suite of these rocks, we place further constraints on nakhlite and chassignite petrogenesis, utilizing bulk rock and mineral major- and trace-element compositions, and quantitative textural data for 17 samples, including three recent finds (Northwest Africa [NWA] 10153, NWA 10645, and NWA 11013). Bulk rock and mineral compositions indicate that nakhlites and chassignites originated from <5% partial melting of a highly depleted source, in the presence of residual garnet. Significant fractionation of olivine and pyroxene from parental magmas led to formation of cumulate dunites (chassignites), and augite-rich cumulates with relatively low abundances of interstitial material (nakhlites). We show that two nakhlite groups exist with high and low absolute trace-element abundances, which are consistent with groupings from previous studies based on mesostasis content and volatile element contents. The discrepancy between the parental melt and cumulate bulk rock compositions indicates that a missing fractionated melt composition complementary to nakhlites and chassignites should exist on Mars. Quantitative textural analyses of both nakhlites and chassignites are consistent with emplacement as distinct lava flows and/or magmatic bodies close to the martian surface, rather than from a single sill or lava flow sequence. Although originating from the same parental melt to nakhlites, chassignites likely represent cumulates that were either erupted as xenoliths, or occurred as crystal settling pods within dikes or sills and thus represent a different batch of flow/magma from the nakhlites. Determination of an ancient 207Pb-206Pb age (3.95 ± 0.16 Ga) for an apatite grain in NWA 998 is consistent with hydrothermal alteration of nakhlites by ancient crustal-derived fluids immediately following their emplacement. We interpret the apatite age, which is highly distinct from the crystallization age of nakhlites, to indicate addition of Cl-rich fluids driven by hydrothermal circulation of martian crustal brines during emplacement of the nakhlites and chassignites. Although the spatial location of nakhlites and chassignites at the martian surface remains unconstrained, our results indicate similar emplacement features to those observed in terrestrial volcano-magmatic systems.

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.