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Geochemical Journal
Geochemical Journal An open access journal for geochemistry
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Two Archean Sm-Nd ages of 3.2 and 2.5 Ga for the Marble Bar Chert, Warrawoona Group, Pilbara Block, Western Australia

Masayo Minami, Hiroshi Shimizu, Akimasa Masuda, Mamoru Adachi
Geochemical Journal, Vol. 29, No. 6, P. 347-362, 1995

ABSTRACT

Isotopic data of Sm-Nd, La-Ce and Rb-Sr systems, rare earth element (REE) abundances and major element compositions are reported for the Archean Marble Bar Chert from the Towers Formation of the Salgash Subgroup, Warrawoona Group, Pilbara Block, Western Australia. The Marble Bar Chert records two Sm-Nd ages; 3.2±0.3 Ga for red (or black) and white banded cherts and 2.5±0.2 Ga for yellowish gray cherts. These ages contain relatively large uncertainties and are younger than 3.45 Ga U-Pb zircon ages previously reported for the Salgash Subgroup. The results imply some later perturbation in Sm-Nd system of these cherts after their formation. However, the older age of 3.2±0.3 Ga is close to the U-Pb zircon ages for the Salgash Subgroup within analytical errors and therefore can be regarded as the formation time of the banded cherts. On the other hand, the younger age of 2.5±0.2 Ga for the yellowish gray cherts is thought to reflect the time of later thermal events and the cherts do not retain their original chemical features. The 3.2 Ga Sm-Nd age for the Marble Bar banded cherts is the first Archean record obtained for the Archean cherts; their initial εNd value of +1.0±3.0 holds the original nature at their formation without severe geochemical disturbance. The obtained mantle-like depleted or chondritic feature at 3.2 Ga for the banded cherts, together with their SiO2 and Fe2O3∗ data and positive Eu anomalies in REE patterns, suggests substantially large contribution of hydrothermal solution derived from depleted- or chondritic-mantle to the cherts and inorganic origin of the cherts, which contrasts to Phanerozoic biogenic cherts.

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