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Isotopic fractionation of zirconium during magmatic differentiation and the stable isotope composition of the silicate Earth

TitleIsotopic fractionation of zirconium during magmatic differentiation and the stable isotope composition of the silicate Earth
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsInglis E.C, Moynier F., Creech J., Deng Z.B, Day JMD, Teng F.Z, Bizzarro M., Jackson M., Savage P.
JournalGeochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta
Date Published2019/04
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0016-7037
Accession NumberWOS:000460286800018
KeywordsBasalt; crust; differentiation; Geochemistry & Geophysics; heterogeneity; high-field-strength; island-arc; lower mantle; magmatic differentiation; melt percolation; mid-atlantic ridge; morb; Non-traditional stable isotope; OIB; rare-earth; trace-element; Zr isotopes

High-precision double-spike Zr stable isotope measurements (expressed as delta Zr-94/90(IPGP-Zr), the permil deviation of the Zr-94/Zr-90 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 delta Zr-94/90(IPGP-Zr) (0.046 +/- 0.037 parts per thousand; 2sd, n = 13). Similarly, MORB samples with chondrite-normalized La/Sm of >0.7 show a limited range in delta Zr-94/90(IPGP-Zr )(0.053 +/- 0.040 parts per thousand; 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 delta Zr-94/90(IPGP-Zr), from -0.045 +/- 0.018 to 0.074 +/- 0.023 parts per thousand. Highly evolved igneous differentiates (>65 wt% SiO2) from Hekla volcano in Iceland are isotopically heavier than less evolved igneous rocks, up to 0.53 parts per thousand. 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 alpha(zircon-melt) of 0.9995 based on the whole rock delta Zr-94/90(IPGP-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 parts per thousand; 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. (C) 2019 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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