Evaluation of the effects of alteration and leaching on Sm-Nd and Lu-Hf systematics in submarine mafic rocks

Thompson, P.; Kempton, Pamela; Kerr, A.C.. 2008 Evaluation of the effects of alteration and leaching on Sm-Nd and Lu-Hf systematics in submarine mafic rocks. Lithos, 104 (1-4). 164-176.

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Nd and Hf isotope systematics of oceanic basaltic rocks are often assumed to be largely immune to the effects of hydrothermal alteration. We have tested this assumption by comparing Nd and Hf isotope data for acid-leached Cretaceous oceanic basalts from Gorgona and DSDP Leg 15 with unleached data on the same rocks. Hf isotope values and Lu/Hf ratios are relatively unaffected by leaching, but 143Nd/144Nd values of leached samples are significantly higher than those of unleached fractions of the same sample in most cases. Furthermore, the Sm/Nd ratios of the majority of leached samples are 10–40% greater than those of unleached samples. X-ray diffraction studies indicate that selective removal of secondary minerals, such as smectite, during the acid leaching process is responsible for the fractionation of Sm/Nd ratios. These results have implications for interpretation of the Hf–Nd isotope systematics of ancient submarine rocks (older than ~ 50 Ma), as (1) the age-corrected 143Nd/144Nd ratio may not be representative of the primary magmatic signature and (2) the uncertainty of the age-corrected εNd value may exceed the assumed analytical precision.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2008 > NERC Isotope Geoscience Laboratory
ISSN: 0024-4937
Additional Keywords: Mafic rocks, Submarine geology, Samarium ores, Lutetium ores, Neodymium ores, Hafnium, Isotope analysis
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 10 Oct 2008 15:39 +0 (UTC)

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