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  1. The Great Bank of Guizhou is a 2.5 km thick isolated carbonate platform deposited during the Triassic period. The rocks preserve evidence for multiple episodes of dolomitization, spread across a range of geologic time. Different styles of dolomitization and geochemical evidence support this interpretation. Early dolomitization includes both peritidal cycle cap dolomites and large regions of massively-bedded dolomite in the platform interior, along with isolated dolomitized and partially dolomitized clasts in slope breccias derived from the platform interior. Forms of later stage dolomite include a widespread overprint and modification of massively bedded platform interior dolomites during burial; zones of pervasively dolomitized slope sediments (10s of m thick), some of which are discordant at various scales (0.1 m to 100s of m); partial dolomitization along fractures, bedding planes, and stylolites; alternating stratiform laminae of limestone and dolostone (mm to cm scale) in slope sediments; and matrix-selective dolomitization in some slope breccias. Evidence for early dolomite includes isolated clasts of dolomite in Early Triassic slope breccias surrounded by lime mudstone, pervasive dolomite in platform interior sediments, Sr-isotopes and REE signatures consistent with Early Triassic seawater, and evidence for evaporites and solution collapse breccias in the platform interior. Textures and some geochemical indicators were modified during deep burial. Evidence for later stage dolomite (Late Triassic or later) includes zones of coarse massively dolomitized slope breccias surrounded by selectively dolomitized vertical and bedding plane fractures, stylolites, and alternating stratiform laminae of limestone and dolostone; fluid-inclusions containing brine (12-16 wt. %, NaCl equivalent) with homogenization temperatures of 100°C to 180°C, and some younger (post-burial) U-Pb age dates. Early evaporative-reflux dolomitization in the platform interior likely dominated the dolomite volumetrically before it was overprinted with burial signatures. Pervasively dolomitized slope breccias surrounded by selective dolomitized areas are interpreted to be the result of intrusion of late burial dolomitizing fluids into higher permeability units. 
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  2. Understanding the movement of fluids in the solid Earth system is crucial for answering a wide range of important questions in Earth science. Boron (B) is a perfect tracer for geofluids because of its high solubility and large isotopic fractionation that depends on both temperature and alkalinity. However, the high volatility of boron in acidic solutions at moderate temperatures presents a significant challenge for accurate measurements of the boron concentration and boron isotopic ratios for silicate rock samples. To circumvent this problem, most laboratories use low-temperature dissolution methods that involve concentrated hydrofluoric acid with or without mannitol. However, hydrofluoric acid is highly hazardous and the controlled temperature condition may be difficult to monitor. As a result, relatively few silicate samples have been analyzed for high precision B concentration and isotopic composition measurements, which hinders our understanding of the behavior of B in the solid earth system and the utility of this powerful tracer. Here we report B concentrations and isotopic compositions of the most commonly used geological reference standards dissolved through sodium peroxide sintering and purified using a rapid single-column exchange chromatographic procedure. This streamlined method effectively removes Na and Si from the sample matrix and generates accurate B concentration and isotopic data in as little as a day without the need for expensive lab equipment and reagents. Sintering is already routinely used to dissolve zircon-bearing silicate samples as it ensures complete dissolution. Besides the analysis of boron, other elemental and isotopic analyses can be performed using aliquots of the same dissolution, which greatly speeds up the chemical processing time and reduces uncertainties associated with sample heterogeneity. Using this method, large amounts of material can be processed for ion-exchange chromatography without the need of splitting each sample into separate beakers for dissolution as is often required for the HF + mannitol dissolution method. This new method can rapidly expand the available dataset of the boron concentration and boron isotopes of silicate materials which will certainly advance our understanding of many geologic problems involving fluids. 
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  3. Abstract

    The Cenozoic landscape evolution in southwestern North America is ascribed to crustal isostasy, dynamic topography, or lithosphere tectonics, but their relative contributions remain controversial. Here we reconstruct landscape history since the late Eocene by investigating the interplay between mantle convection, lithosphere dynamics, climate, and surface processes using fully coupled four-dimensional numerical models. Our quantified depth-dependent strain rate and stress history within the lithosphere, under the influence of gravitational collapse and sub-lithospheric mantle flow, show that high gravitational potential energy of a mountain chain relative to a lower Colorado Plateau can explain extension directions and stress magnitudes in the belt of metamorphic core complexes during topographic collapse. Profound lithospheric weakening through heating and partial melting, following slab rollback, promoted this extensional collapse. Landscape evolution guided northeast drainage onto the Colorado Plateau during the late Eocene-late Oligocene, south-southwest drainage reversal during the late Oligocene-middle Miocene, and southwest drainage following the late Miocene.

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  4. Abstract Numerous studies have documented rare-earth element (REE) mobility in hydrothermal and metamorphic fluids, but the processes and timing of REE mobility are rarely well constrained. The Round Top laccolith in the Trans-Pecos magmatic province of west Texas, a REE ore prospect, has crosscutting fractures filled with fluorite and calcite along with a variety of unusual minerals. Most notably among these is an yttrium and heavy rare-earth element (YHREE) carbonate mineral, which is hypothesized to be lokkaite based on elemental analyses. While the Round Top laccolith is dated to 36.2 ± 0.6 Ma based on K/Ar in biotite, U-Pb fluorite and nacrite ages presented here clearly show the mineralization in these veins is younger than 6.2 ± 0.4 Ma (the age of the oldest fluorite). This discrepancy in dates suggests that fluids interacted with the laccolith to mobilize REE more than 30 m.y. after igneous emplacement. The timing of observed REE mobilization overlaps with Rio Grande rift extension, and we suggest that F-bearing fluids associated with extension may be responsible for initial mobilization. A later generation of fluids was able to dissolve fluorite, and we hypothesize this later history involved sulfuric acid. Synchrotron spectroscopy and laser ablation–inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) U-Pb dating of minerals that record these fluids offer tremendous potential for a more fundamental understanding of processes that are important not only for REE but other ore deposits as well. 
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