Sulfides in mantle peridotites from Penghu Islands, Taiwan: Melt percolation, PGE fractionation, and the lithospheric evolution of the South China block

Kuo Lung Wang*, Suzanne Y. O'Reilly, William L. Griffin, Norman J. Pearson, Ming Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    50 Citations (Scopus)


    Major elements, highly siderophile elements (HSE) and Re-Os isotope ratios were analysed in situ on individual sulfide grains in spinel peridotite xenoliths hosted by Miocene intraplate basalts from the Penghu Islands, Taiwan. The xenoliths represent texturally and compositionally different mantle domains, and the geochemical characteristics of the sulfides show changes in HSE distribution and Re-Os isotope systematics, produced as their host rocks were metasomatised by percolating fluids/melts. In prophyroclastic and partly metasomatised peridotites from the Kueipi (KP) locality, the sulfides have subchondritic to superchondritic 187Re/188Os and 187Os/188Os ratios. Many of these sulfides reflect fluid/melt interaction with residual MSS and/or crystallization of fractionated sulfide melts, which produced high contents of Cu and PPGEs and high Re/Os; inferred melt/rock ratios are low. In contrast, sulfides in equigranular and extensively metasomatised peridotites from the Tungchiyu (TCY) locality are mainly more sulfur-rich Ni-(Co)-rich MSS, with subchondritic to chondritic 187Os/188Os and subchondritic 187Re/188Os. These sulfides are interpreted as products of interaction between pre-existing MSS and percolating silicate melts. Melt/rock ratios were high and the percolating melt was less differentiated than the melt that percolated the KP peridotites. Sulfides in a TCY pyroxenite are mainly MSS; they have the lowest HSE contents, subchondritic to superchondritic 187Os/188Os and subchondritic 187Re/188Os, and may have precipitated from sulfide melts that segregated from basaltic melts under S-saturated conditions. In most sulfides melt percolation appears to have induced fractionation among the HSEs and disturbed Re-Os isotope compositions. Despite the metasomatic effects, rare residual MSS, sulfides that from crystallised sulfide melts and sulfides modified by addition of Re (with no evidence for Os addition) can still provide useful chronological information. Such sulfides yield TRD age peaks of 1.9, 1.7-1.6, 1.4-1.3 and 0.9-0.8 Ga, which may record the timing of melt extraction and/or metasomatic events in the mantle. These periods are contemporaneous with the major crustal events recorded by U-Pb dates and Nd and Hf model ages in the overlying crust. This close correspondence indicates that the sulfide TRD ages reflect the timing of lithosphere-scale tectonothermal events (such as melting and metasomatism) that affected both the lithospheric mantle and the overlying crust. The sulfide TRD ages, taken together with the crustal data, suggest that most of the Cathaysia block had formed at least by Paleo-Proterozoic time, and that some domains are Archean in age.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4531-4557
    Number of pages27
    JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
    Issue number15
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2009


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