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Platinum-group element (PGE) geochemistry of Mesoarchean ultramafic-mafic cumulate rocks and chromitites from the Nuasahi Massif, Singhbhum Craton (India)

Khatun, Sarifa, Mondal, Sisir K., Zhou, Mei-Fu, Balaram, Vysetti and Prichard, Hazel Margaret 2014. Platinum-group element (PGE) geochemistry of Mesoarchean ultramafic-mafic cumulate rocks and chromitites from the Nuasahi Massif, Singhbhum Craton (India). Lithos 205 , pp. 322-340. 10.1016/j.lithos.2014.07.013

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The Mesoarchean Nuasahi Massif in eastern India comprises a lower ultramafic and an upper gabbro unit. The lower unit consists of orthopyroxenite, harzburgite, dunite and three chromitite bands. All these rocks are characterized by adcumulate textures. The upper unit consists of gabbro with magnetite layers. At the contact between the eastern orthopyroxenite and the lower part of the upper gabbro, a sulfide-rich breccia zone with platinum-group-element (PGE) mineralization is present. Detailed studies of major-, trace- and PGE abundances suggest that the ultramafic-mafic cumulate rocks, chromitites and breccias are genetically linked. The chondrite-normalized U-shaped rare earth element (REE) patterns of the harzburgite resemble those of Phanerozoic boninite. The overall U-shaped REE patterns of the ultramafic rocks indicate derivation of the parental magma from a metasomatized depleted mantle source. The upper gabbros have higher relative abundances of trace elements than the lower ultramafic rocks, due to crystallization from a fractionated magma. Whole-rock geochemistry suggests that the lower ultramafic cumulate rocks with chromitites crystallized from a boninitic parental magma, whereas the upper gabbros with magnetite bands may be formed from residual boninitic magma that was contaminated by more tholeiitic-like magmas. The boninitic parental magma that crystallized to form the lower ultramafic unit was most likely generated by second-stage melting of a depleted metasomatized mantle source in a supra-subduction zone (SSZ) setting and emplaced into crustal sequences. The PGE abundances in the Nuasahi rocks provide additional constraints on their geochemical evolution during the Mesoarchean. Primitive-mantle-normalized PGE diagrams show (1) Ru enrichment in chromitites (Pd/Ru = 0.17 - 0.64), (2) Pd/Pt fractionation in both chromitites (Pd/Pt = 3.1) and ultramafic rocks (Pd/Pt = 0.62), (3) marked Ir depletion in ultramafic rocks (Pd/Ir = 6.3) and (4) overall PGE enrichment in chromitites (PGEtotal = 142 – 502 ppb). The large Ir depletion in the ultramafic rocks, and the overall Ir-depleted character of other rocks from the Nuasahi Massif, may be related to multiple episodes of melt extraction from the mantle source, giving it a subchondritic character.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Ocean Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ultramafic Cumulates; Archean Boninitic Magma; Chromitite; Platinum-Group Element (PGE); Supra-Subduction; Singhbhum Craton.
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0024-4937
Date of Acceptance: 14 July 2014
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2019 14:45

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