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Potassium isotope systematics of oceanic basalts

Tuller-Ross, B. ; Marty, B. ; Chen, H. ; Kelley, K.A. ; Lee, H. ; Wang, K., GCA

Potassium isotope systematics of oceanic basalts

Tuller-Ross, B. ; Marty, B. ; Chen, H. ; Kelley, K.A. ; Lee, H. ; Wang, K.

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 2019, 259, 144-154

Abstract :

High-temperature isotope fractionation during partial melting and other igneous differentiation processes has been observed in many non-traditional isotope systems. The potassium (K) isotope system has not been extensively investigated historically due to the lack of high-precision analysis methods ; however, the recent development of the Multi-Collector Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS) now allows for high-precision potassium isotope analysis. In this study, we utilized this new method to analyze 51 geologically, geographically, and geochemically diverse oceanic basalt samples including 32 mid-ocean ridge basalts (MORB), 3 back-arc basin basalts (BABB), and 16 oceanic island basalts (OIB). We observed a limited variation of 41K/39K ratios across our spread of samples. This variation in mantle-derived rocks is restricted compared to the large K isotopic fractionation observed in low-temperature systems. The averages of MORBs, BABBs, and OIBs are −0.44 ± 0.17‰ (2sd), −0.44 ± 0.08‰, and −0.41 ± 0.16‰, respectively, and there is no geographical variation (e.g., Indian vs. Pacific MORBs) in terms of K isotopes. Among all samples, there are two outliers, in which we have observed evidence of secondary mineral formation (i.e., palagonite) due to interaction with seawater. These two outliers have a K isotopic composition significantly heavier than other unaltered samples, close to the K isotopic composition of seawater. The grand average of all pristine samples is −0.43 ± 0.17‰ (2sd) which agrees well with the Bulk Silicate Earth (BSE) value previously defined. This new study indicates the homogeneity of K isotopes in the mantle and suggests that, since K will not resolvably fractionate during partial melting, any observable fractionation of K isotopes in primitive basalts is likely due to low-temperature, post-eruptive alteration processes. This conclusion is critical for understanding the initial bulk composition of the Earth and it is essential for any interplanetary comparison.

Voir en ligne : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2019....




publié jeudi 13 février 2020