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  1. Abstract

    U–Pb ages, trace element content and oxygen isotope ratios of single zircons from five plagiogranite intrusions of the Troodos ophiolite were measured to determine their crystallization age and assess the importance of fractional crystallization versus crustal anatexis in their petrogenesis. The results indicate that oceanic magmatism in Troodos took place at 94·3 ± 0·5 Ma, about 3 Myr earlier than previously recognized. Later hydrothermal alteration has affected most of the Troodos plagiogranitic rocks, resulting in growth of new zircon and/or partial alteration of zircon domains, causing slightly younger apparent crystallization ages. The new age inferred for seafloor spreading and ocean crust accretion in Troodos nearly overlaps that of the Semail ophiolite in Oman (95–96 Ma), strengthening previous indications for simultaneous evolution of both ophiolites in similar tectonic settings. Average δ18O(Zrn) values in the Troodos plagiogranites range between 4·2 and 4·8 ‰. The lower values in this range are lower than those expected in equilibrium with mantle-derived melt (5·3 ± 0·6 ‰), indicating variable contribution from hydrothermally altered, deep-seated oceanic crust in most of the Troodos plagiogranite intrusions. The inferred substantial involvement of crustal component is consistent with the existence of a shallow axial magma chamber, typical of fast-spreading mid-ocean ridge settings, within the Troodos slow-spreading ridge environment. This apparent contradiction may be reconciled by episodically intense magmatism within an otherwise slow, magmatically deprived spreading axis.

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  2. Abstract

    Interpreting unrest at silicic volcanoes requires knowledge of the magma storage conditions and dynamics that precede eruptions. The Laguna del Maule volcanic field, Chile, has erupted ~40 km3of rhyolite over the last 20 ka. Astonishing rates of sustained surface inflation at >25 cm/year for >12 years reveal a large, restless system. Integration of geochronologic, petrologic, geomorphic, and geophysical observations provides an unusually rich context to interpret ongoing and prehistoric processes. We present new volatile (H2O, CO2, S, F, and Cl), trace element, and major element concentrations from 109 melt inclusions hosted in quartz, plagioclase, and olivine from seven eruptions. Silicic melts contain up to 8.0 wt. % H2O and 570 ppm CO2. In rhyolites melt inclusions track decompression‐driven fractional crystallization as magma ascended from ~14 to 4 km. This mirrors teleseismic tomography and magnetotelluric findings that reveal a domain containing partial melt spanning from 14 to 4 km. Ce and Cl contents of rhyolites support the generation of compositionally distinct domains of eruptible rhyolite within the larger reservoir. Heat, volatiles, and melt derived from episodic mafic recharge likely incubate and grow the shallow reservoir. Olivine‐hosted melt inclusions in mafic tephra contain up to 2.5 wt. % H2O and 1,140 ppm CO2and proxy for the volatile load delivered via recharge into the base of the silicic mush at ~14 to 8 km. We propose that mafic recharge flushes deeper reaches of the magma reservoir with CO2that propels H2O exsolution, upward accumulation of fluid, pressurization, and triggering of rhyolitic eruptions.

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  3. Abstract

    Earth's hydrological cycle was profoundly perturbed by massive carbon emissions during an ancient (56 Ma) global warming event referred to as the Paleocene‐Eocene thermal maximum (PETM). One approach to gaining valuable insight into the response of the hydrological cycle is to construct sea‐surface salinity (SSS) records that can be used to gauge changes in the rates of evaporation and precipitation during the PETM in such climatically sensitive areas as the circum‐Antarctic region. Here, we pair oxygen isotope (δ18O) and magnesium‐calcium (Mg/Ca) measurements to reconstruct PETM sea‐surface temperatures (SSTs) and δ18O composition of seawater (δ18Osw) at austral Site 690 (Weddell Sea). Several discrepancies emerge between the δ18O‐ and Mg/Ca‐based SST records, with the latter indicating that the earliest PETM was punctuated by a short‐lived ~4°C increase in local SSTs. Conversion of the δ18Oswvalues to SSS reveals a ~4 ppt decrease ~50 ka after peak PETM warming at Site 690. This negative SSS (δ18Osw) anomaly coincides with a prominent minimum in the planktic foraminifer δ18O record published for the Site 690 PETM section. Thus, our revised interpretation posits that this δ18O minimum signals a decrease in surface‐ocean δ18Oswfostered by a transient increase in mean annual precipitation in the Weddell Sea region. The results of this study corroborate the view that the poleward flux of atmospheric moisture temporarily increased during a distinctive stage of the PETM.

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  4. Abstract

    Neogloboquadrina pachydermais the dominant species of planktonic foraminifera found in polar waters and is therefore invaluable for paleoceanographic studies of the high latitudes. However, the geochemistry of this species is complicated due to the development of a thick calcite crust in its final growth stage and at greater depths within the water column. We analyzed the in situ Mg/Ca and δ18O in discrete calcite zones using laser ablation‐inductively coupled plasma‐mass spectrometry, electron probe microanalysis, and secondary ion mass spectrometry within modernN. pachydermashells from the highly dynamic Fram Strait and the seasonally isothermal/isohaline Irminger Sea. Here we compare shell geochemistry to the measured temperature, salinity, and δ18Oswin which the shells calcified to better understand the controls onN. pachydermageochemical heterogeneity. We present a relationship between Mg/Ca and temperature inN. pachydermalamellar calcite that is significantly different than published equations for shells that contained both crust and lamellar calcite. We also document highly variable secondary ion mass spectrometry δ18O results (up to a 3.3‰ range in single shells) on plankton tow samples which we hypothesize is due to the granular texture of shell walls. Finally, we document that the δ18O of the crust and lamellar calcite ofN. pachydermafrom an isothermal/isohaline environment are indistinguishable from each other, indicating that shifts inN. pachydermaδ18O are primarily controlled by changes in environmental temperature and/or salinity rather than differences in the sensitivities of the two calcite types to environmental conditions.

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  5. Abstract

    A controversial aspect of Pliocene (5.3–2.6 Ma) climate is whether El Niño‐like (El Padre) conditions, characterized by a reduced trans‐equatorial sea‐surface temperature (SST) gradient, prevailed across the Pacific. Evidence for El Padre is chiefly based on reconstructions of sea‐surface conditions derived from the oxygen isotope (δ18O) and Mg/Ca compositions of shells belonging to the planktic foraminiferTrilobatus sacculifer. However, fossil shells of this species are a mixture of multiple carbonate phases—pre‐gametogenic, gametogenic (reproductive), and diagenetic calcites—that formed under different physiological and/or environmental conditions and are averaged in conventional whole‐shell analyses. Through in situ measurements of micrometer‐scale domains within Pliocene‐aged shells ofT. sacculiferfrom Ocean Drilling Program Site 806 in the western equatorial Pacific, we show that the δ18O of gametogenic calcite is 0.6–0.8‰ higher than pre‐gametogenic calcite, while the Mg/Ca ratios of these two phases are the same. Both the whole‐shell and pre‐gametogenic Mg/Ca records indicate that average early Pliocene SSTs were ~1°C warmer than modern, with present‐day SSTs being established during the latest Pliocene and early Pleistocene (~3.0–2.0 Ma). The measurement of multiple calcite phases by whole‐shell δ18O analyses masks a late Pliocene to earliest Pleistocene (3.6–2.2 Ma) decrease in seawater δ18O (δ18Osw) values reconstructed from in situ pre‐gametogenic δ18O and Mg/Ca measurements. Our novel δ18Oswrecord indicates that sea‐surface salinities in the west Pacific warm pool were higher than modern prior to ~3.5 Ma, which is consistent with more arid conditions under an El Padre state.

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  6. Abstract

    Almahata Sitta (AhS), an anomalous polymict ureilite, is the first meteorite observed to originate from a spectrally classified asteroid (2008TC3). However, correlating properties of the meteorite with those of the asteroid is not straightforward because the AhS stones are diverse types. Of those studied prior to this work, 70–80% are ureilites (achondrites) and 20–30% are various types of chondrites. Asteroid 2008TC3was a heterogeneous breccia that disintegrated in the atmosphere, with its clasts landing on Earth as individual stones and most of its mass lost. We describe AhS 91A and AhS 671, which are the first AhS stones to show contacts between ureilitic and chondritic materials and provide direct information about the structure and composition of asteroid 2008TC3. AhS 91A and AhS 671 are friable breccias, consisting of a C1 lithology that encloses rounded to angular clasts (<10 μm to 3 mm) of olivine, pyroxenes, plagioclase, graphite, and metal‐sulfide, as well as chondrules (~130–600 μm) and chondrule fragments. The C1 material consists of fine‐grained phyllosilicates (serpentine and saponite) and amorphous material, magnetite, breunnerite, dolomite, fayalitic olivine (Fo 28‐42), an unidentified Ca‐rich silicate phase, Fe,Ni sulfides, and minor Ca‐phosphate and ilmenite. It has similarities toCI1 but shows evidence of heterogeneous thermal metamorphism. Its bulk oxygen isotope composition (δ18O = 13.53‰, δ17O = 8.93‰) is unlike that of any known chondrite, but similar to compositions of severalCC‐like clasts in typical polymict ureilites. Its Cr isotope composition is unlike that of any known meteorite. The enclosed clasts and chondrules do not belong to the C1 lithology. The olivine (Fo 75‐88), pyroxenes (pigeonite of Wo ~10 and orthopyroxene of Wo ~4.6), plagioclase, graphite, and some metal‐sulfide are ureilitic, based on mineral compositions, textures, and oxygen isotope compositions, and represent at least six distinct ureilitic lithologies. The chondrules are probably derived from type 3OCand/orCC, based on mineral and oxygen isotope compositions. Some of the metal‐sulfide clasts are derived fromEC. AhS 91A and AhS 671 are plausible representatives of the bulk of the asteroid that was lost. Reflectance spectra of AhS 91A are dark (reflectance ~0.04–0.05) and relatively featureless inVNIR, and have an ~2.7 μm absorption band due toOHin phyllosilicates. Spectral modeling, using mixtures of laboratoryVNIRreflectance spectra of AhS stones to fit the F‐type spectrum of the asteroid, suggests that 2008TC3consisted mainly of ureilitic and AhS 91A‐like materials, with as much as 40–70% of the latter, and <10% ofOC,EC, and other meteorite types. The bulk density of AhS 91A (2.35 ± 0.05 g cm−3) is lower than bulk densities of other AhS stones, and closer to estimates for the asteroid (~1.7–2.2 g cm−3). Its porosity (36%) is near the low end of estimates for the asteroid (33–50%), suggesting significant macroporosity. The textures of AhS 91A and AhS 671 (finely comminuted clasts of disparate materials intimately mixed) support formation of 2008TC3in a regolith environment. AhS 91A and AhS 671 could represent a volume of regolith formed when aCC‐like body impacted into already well‐gardened ureilitic + impactor‐derived debris. AhS 91A bulk samples do not show a solar wind component, so they represent subsurface layers. AhS 91A has a lower cosmic ray exposure (CRE) age (~5–9 Ma) than previously studied AhS stones (11–22 Ma). The spread inCREages argues for irradiation in a regolith environment. AhS 91A and AhS 671 show that ureilitic asteroids could have detectable ~2.7 μm absorption bands.

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  7. Abstract Detrital chromites are commonly reported within Archean metasedimentary rocks, but have thus far garnered little attention for use in provenance studies. Systematic variations of Cr–Fe spinel mineral chemistry with changing tectonic setting have resulted in the extensive use of chromite as a petrogenetic indicator, and so detrital chromites represent good candidates to investigate the petrogenesis of eroded Archean mafic and ultramafic crust. Here, we report the compositions of detrital chromites within fuchsitic (Cr-muscovite rich) metasedimentary rocks from the Jack Hills, situated within the Narryer Terrane, Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia, which are geologically renowned for hosting Hadean (>4000 Ma) zircons. We highlight signatures of metamorphism, including highly elevated ZnO and MnO, coupled with lowered Mg# in comparison with magmatic chromites, development of pitted domains, and replacement of primary inclusions by phases that are part of the metamorphic assemblages within host metasedimentary rocks. Oxygen isotope compositions of detrital chromites record variable exchange with host metasedimentary rocks. The variability of metamorphic signatures between chromites sampled only meters apart further indicates that modification occurred in situ by interaction of detrital chromites with metamorphic fluids and secondary mineral assemblages. Alteration probably occurred during upper greenschist to lower amphibolite facies metamorphism and deformation of host metasedimentary rocks at ∼2650 Ma. Regardless of metamorphic signatures, sampling location or grain shape, chromite cores yield a consistent range in Cr#. Although other key petrogenetic indices, such as Fe2O3 and TiO2 contents, are complicated in Jack Hills chromites by mineral non-stoichiometry and secondary mobility within metasedimentary rocks, we demonstrate that the Cr# of chromite yields significant insights into their provenance. Importantly, moderate Cr# (typically 55–70) precludes a komatiitic origin for the bulk of chromites, reflecting a dearth of komatiites and intrusive equivalents within the erosional catchment of the Jack Hills metasedimentary units. We suggest that the Cr# of Jack Hills chromite fits well with chromites derived from layered intrusions, and that a single layered intrusion may account for the observed chemical compositions of Jack Hills detrital chromites. Where detailed characterization of key metamorphic signatures is undertaken, detrital chromites preserved within Archean metasedimentary rocks may therefore yield valuable information on the petrogenesis and geodynamic setting of poorly preserved mafic and ultramafic crust. 
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