Pyrite tracks assimilation of crustal sulfur in Pyrenean peridotites

Jean Pierre Lorand*, Olivier Alard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Cobalt-bearing pyrite (0.5-2.0 wt.% Co) is abnormally abundant (up to 35 vol.% of the total volume of the sulfide phase) in some eastern Pyrenean peridotite massifs, compared to pieces of subcontinental mantle studied so far for sulfides. Pyrite occurs as vermicular intergrowths inside pentlandite and/or chalcopyrite or as coarser, blocky grains in the intergranular pores of host peridotites. Those different pyrites are characterized by different platinum-group element systematics (measured by laser ablation microprobe and ICP-MS). Vermicular pyrite intergrown with pentlandite displays Os-, Ir-, Ru- and Rh-enriched chondrite normalized PGE patterns of Monosulfide solid solution (Mss). In contrast, coarse-grained intergranular ("blocky") pyrites, are PGE-poor. Chalcophile trace elements (i. e. Zn, Pb, Ag, Au) that are not usually concentrated in mantle-derived sulfides were commonly detected. By contrast, selenium contents are generally low, yielding thus pyrite with high S/Se ratio (>105), consistent with a sedimentary sulfur source. Pyrite microtextures and chalcophile trace element contents support a process of assimilation of crustal sulfur from the metamorphosed sedimentary country rocks. These latter generated highly reactive CO2-S fluids, which were injected into structural discontinuities of the lherzolitic bodies. Sulfur has reacted at T = 300-550°C with pre-existing, mantle-derived, metal-rich sulfide assemblages (pentlandite-chalcopyrite). Addition of crustal sulfur did produce Mss which, on cooling, exsolved the Os-rich pyrite in addition to pentlandite. The coarse-grained pyrite types have crystallized directly from S-rich fluids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-128
Number of pages14
JournalMineralogy and Petrology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Pyrite tracks assimilation of crustal sulfur in Pyrenean peridotites'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this