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Mesoarchean banded iron-formation from the northern Yangtze Craton, South China and its geological and paleoenvironmental implications

Zhou, Hang, Zhou, Wenxiao, Wei, Yunxu, Chi Fru, Ernest ORCID:, Huang, Bo, Fu, Dong, Li, Haiquan and Tan, Mantang 2022. Mesoarchean banded iron-formation from the northern Yangtze Craton, South China and its geological and paleoenvironmental implications. Precambrian Research 383 , 106905. 10.1016/j.precamres.2022.106905

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Banded iron formations (BIFs) are important sedimentary rocks used for reconstructing the geochemical and environmental evolution of Precambrian Earth surface conditions. Here, we describe the oldest BIFs of Mesoarchean age in the Yemadong Formation, and their implications for paleo-environmental evolution of the Mesoarchean Ocean in the northern Yangtze Craton, South China. U-Pb dating of metamorphic zircons obtained from metavolcanic rocks interbedded within the Yemadong Complex, record two major tecto-thermal events at 2901 ± 8 Ma, in agreement with a Mesoarchean origin of the Dujiagou BIFs, and as recently as 775 Ma. A high SiO2 + total Fe2O3 content of 90.95–94.62 wt%, moderate 0.54–1.42 wt% Al2O3 + TiO2, and broadly elevated levels of incompatible elements, point to a predominantly chemical origin of the BIF deposit, with a minor but influential terrigenous input. Rare Earth Element (REE) plus Yttrium patterns normalized against Post Archean Average Shale composition are characterized by the depletion of light REE relative to heavy REE. However, extremely weak Eu and Ce anomalies, together with low average chondrite Y/Ho ratios compared to average Mesoarchean BIF values, indicate that the primary REE composition of the rocks may have been diluted to some extent by terrigenous input, pointing to proximity or connection of the depositional setting to a continental margin environment. Despite potential terrigenous dilution of the syngenetic seawater-hydrothermal chemical composition, the preservation of an inherited hydrothermal REE signal in some samples, point to submarine hydrothermal provenance of the Dujiagou BIFs, as is the case for most Precambrian BIFs. Positive δ56Fe values, ranging from 0.25 to 0.45 ‰, characteristic of primary Archean BIFs, suggest partial oxidation of reduced Fe(II) to divalent (Fe(II)/Fe(III)) magnetite-rich BIFs in a broadly reducing Archean Ocean lacking a persistent and pervasive redoxcline before the rise of atmospheric oxygen.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0301-9268
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 17 November 2022
Date of Acceptance: 31 October 2022
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2023 16:53

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