Hf–Zr anomalies in clinopyroxene from mantle xenoliths from France and Poland: implications for Lu–Hf dating of spinel peridotite lithospheric mantle

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Downes, Hilary ; de Vries, C. ; Wittig, N. (2015)

Clinopyroxenes in some fresh anhydrous spinel peridotite mantle xenoliths from the northern Massif Central (France) and Lower Silesia (Poland), analysed for a range of incompatible trace elements by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, show unusually strong negative anomalies in Hf and Zr relative to adjacent elements Sm and Nd, on primitive mantle-normalised diagrams. Similar Zr–Hf anomalies have only rarely been reported from clinopyroxene in spinel peridotite mantle xenoliths worldwide, and most are not as strong as the examples reported here. Low Hf contents give rise to a wide range of Lu/Hf ratios, which over geological time would result in highly radiogenic εHf values, decoupling them from εNd ratios. The high 176Lu/177Hf could in theory produce an isochronous relationship with 176Hf/177Hf over time; an errorchron is shown by clinopyroxene from mantle xenoliths from the northern Massif Central. However, in a review of the literature, we show that most mantle spinel peridotites do not show such high Lu/Hf ratios in their constituent clinopyroxenes, because they lack the distinctive Zr–Hf anomaly, and this limits the usefulness of the application of the Lu–Hf system of dating to garnet-free mantle rocks. Nevertheless, some mantle xenoliths from Poland or the Czech Republic may be amenable to Hf-isotope dating in the future.
  • References (2)

    Handler, M.R., Wysoczanski, R.J. and Gamble, J.A., 2003. Proterozoic lithosphere in Marie Byrd Land, West Antarctica: Re-Os systematics of spinel peridotite xenoliths.

    Chemical Geology, 196: 131-145.

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