Isotopic analyses of ancient mantle-derived magmatic rocks are used to trace the geochemical evolution of the Earth's mantle, but it is often difficult to determine their primary, initial isotope ratios due to the detrimental effects of metamorphism and secondary alteration. We present in situ analyses by LA-MC-ICPMS for the Pb isotopic compositions of igneous plagioclase (An75-89) megacrysts and the Hf isotopic compositions of BSE-imaged domains of zircon grains from two mantle-derived anorthosite complexes from south West Greenland, Fiskenæsset and Nunataarsuk, which represent two of the best-preserved Archean anorthosites in the world. In situ LA-ICPMS U-Pb geochronology of the zircon grains suggests that the minimum crystallization age of the Fiskenæsset complex is 2,936 ± 13 Ma (2σ, MSWD = 1. 5) and the Nunataarsuk complex is 2,914 ± 6. 9 Ma (2σ, MSWD = 2. 0). Initial Hf isotopic compositions of zircon grains from both anorthosite complexes fall between depleted mantle and a less radiogenic crustal source with a total range up to 5 εHf units. In terms of Pb isotopic compositions of plagioclase, both anorthosite complexes share a depleted mantle end member yet their Pb isotopic compositions diverge in opposite directions from this point: Fiskenæsset toward a high-μ, more radiogenic Pb, crustal composition and Nunataarsuk toward low-μ, less radiogenic Pb, crustal composition. By using Hf isotopes in zircon in conjunction with Pb isotopes in plagioclase, we are able to constrain both the timing of mantle extraction of the crustal end member and its composition. At Fiskenæsset, the depleted mantle melt interacted with an Eoarchean (~3,700 Ma) mafic crust with a maximum 176Lu/177Hf ~0. 028. At Nunataarsuk, the depleted mantle melt interacted with a Hadean (~4,200 Ma) mafic crust with a maximum 176Lu/177Hf ~0. 0315. Evidence from both anorthosite complexes provides support for the long-term survival of ancient mafic crusts that, although unidentified at the surface to date, could still be present within the Fiskenæsset and Nunataarsuk regions.
- Lu-Hf isotopes
- Pb-Pb isotopes