Sulfide and whole rock Re-Os systematics of eclogite and pyroxenite xenoliths from the Slave Craton, Canada

Sonja Aulbach*, Robert A. Creaser, Norm J. Pearson, Stefanie S. Simonetti, Larry M. Heaman, William L. Griffin, Thomas Stachel

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    59 Citations (Scopus)


    We characterized single sulfides in eclogite and pyroxenite xenoliths from the Diavik kimberlites (central Slave Craton, Canada) with regard to their petrography, major-element composition and Re-Os isotope systematics. Together with trace-element and Re-Os isotope compositions of whole rocks, these data allow identification of the major Re-Os host phases and provide constraints on the origin(s) of sulfides in these samples. The majority of sulfide minerals contain 8 to 28 at.% Ni, with intragranular sulfides having on average significantly lower contents (~ 6 at.%) than intergranular sulfides (~ 12 at.%). These high Ni-sulfides are not in equilibrium with an eclogitic assemblage and were likely introduced from a peridotitic source subsequent to eclogite formation. In contrast, their Re-Os abundances and Re/Os ratios (average ~ 825 ppb, 190 ppb and 10, respectively) overlap those of primary eclogitic sulfides. These conflicting compositional characteristics may document open-system disequilibrium processes accompanying the introduction of sulfides into eclogites. The general association of high 187Os/188Os with high 187Re/188Os of sulfides in three low-temperature eclogite xenoliths suggests that the addition is not young. In contrast, sulfides in a high-temperature eclogite plot on a ~ 90 Ma errorchron with radiogenic initial 187Os/188Os, perhaps indicative of young introduction of sulfides from a deep enriched source. Sulfides in a single pyroxenite xenolith have Ni, Re and Os contents intermediate between pristine eclogitic and peridotitic sulfides, and correlated Re-Os isotope systematics defining an age of 1.84 ± 0.14 Ga with a radiogenic 187Os/188Osi (0.16 ± 0.01). The age and 187Os/188Osi are identical to those obtained for eclogitic sulfide inclusions in diamonds from Diavik, thus supporting a link between eclogite and pyroxenite formation. Several eclogite and pyroxenite whole rocks show evidence for addition of secondary sulfides, but many plot on Paleoproterozoic Re-Os age arrays - particularly so at low Re/Os - coincident with previously determined ages using Lu-Hf and Pb-Pb techniques. They may represent sulfide-poor varieties that did not suffer secondary sulfide addition and that may be best suited to yielding meaningful Re-Os ages.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)48-58
    Number of pages11
    JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
    Issue number1-4
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2009


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