Effects of alteration on element distributions in archean tholeiites from the Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa

Kent C. Condie*, M. J. Viljoen, E. J D Kable

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

80 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Major and trace element and modal analyses are presented for unaltered, epidotized, and carbonated tholeiite flows from the Barberton greenstone belt. Au, As, Sb, Sr, Fe+3, Ca, Br, Ga, and U are enriched and H2O, Na, Mg, Fe+2, K, Rb, Ba, Si, Ti, P, Ni, Cs, Zn, Nb, Cu, Zr, and Co are depleted during epidotization. CO2, H2O, Fe+2, Ti, Zn, Y, Nb, Ga, Ta, and light REE are enriched and Na, Sr, Cr, Ba, Fe+3, Ca, Cs, Sb, Au, Mn, and U are depleted during carbonization-chloritization. The elements least affected by epidotization are Hf, Ta, Sc, Cr, Th, and REE; those least affected by carbonization-chloritization are Hf, Ni, Co, Zr, Th, and heavy REE. Both alteration processes can significantly change major element concentrations (and ratios) and hence caution should be used in distinguishing tholeiites from komatiites based on major elements alone. The amount of variation of many of the least mobile trace elements in the altered flows is approximately the same as allowed by magma model calculations. Hence, up to about 10% carbonization and 60% epidotization of tholeiite do not appreciably affect the interpretation of trace-element models for magma generation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-89
Number of pages15
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Volume64
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1977
Externally publishedYes

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