• The effect of titanite crystallisation on Eu and Ce anomalies in zircon and its implications for the assessment of porphyry Cu deposit fertility

      Loader, ML; Wilkinson, J; Armstrong, R (Elsevier, 2017-05-31)
      The redox sensitivity of Ce and Eu anomalies in zircon has been clearly demonstrated by experimental studies, and these may represent an important tool in the exploration for porphyry Cu deposits which are thought to be derived from oxidised magmas. These deposits are significant because they are the source of much of the world's copper and almost all of the molybdenum and rhenium, key elements in many modern technologies. However, Ce and Eu anomalies in zircon are also affected by the co-crystallisation of REE bearing phases, such as titanite. Here, we report the trace element chemistry of zircons from titanite-bearing intrusions associated with mineralisation at the world class Oyu Tolgoi porphyry Cu–Au deposit (Mongolia). Based on these data, we suggest that neither zircon Eu/Eu⁎, nor Ce4+/Ce3+ are robust proxies for melt redox conditions, because they are both too strongly dependent on melt REE concentrations, which are usually poorly constrained and controlled by the crystallisation of titanite and other REE-bearing phases. In spite of this, Eu/Eu⁎ can broadly distinguish between fertile and barren systems, so may still be an indicator of porphyry magma fertility, and a useful tool for exploration.
    • Isotopic and textural analysis of giant unmelted micrometeorites – identification of new material from intensely altered 16O-poor water-rich asteroids

      Suttle, Martin; Dionnet, Z; Franchi, I; Folco, L; Gibson, J; Greenwood, RC; Rotundi, A; King, A; Russell, Sara (Elsevier BV, 2020-09-15)
      Bulk oxygen isotope data has the potential to match extraterrestrial samples to parent body sourcesbased on distinctive 𝛿 18O and Δ 17 O ratios. We analysed 10 giant (>500µm) micrometeorites using combined µCT and O-isotope analysis to pair internal textures to inferred parent body groups. We identify three ordinary chondrite particles (L and LL groups), four from CR chondrites and the first micrometeorite from the enstatite chondrite (EH4) group. In addition, two micrometeorites are from hydrated carbonaceous chondrite parent bodies with 16 O-poor isotopic compositions above the terrestrial fractionation line. They experienced intense aqueous alteration, contain pseudomorphic chondrules and are petrographically similar to the CM1/CR1 chondrites. These micrometeorites may be members of the newly established CY chondrites and/or derived from the enigmatic “Group 4” micrometeorite population, previously identified by Yada et al., 2005 [GCA, 69:5789-5804], Suavet et al., 2010 [EPSL, 293:313-320] (and others). One of our 16 O-poor micrometeorite plots on the same isotopic trendline as the CO, CM and CY chondrites – “the CM mixing line” (with a slope of ~0.7 and a 𝛿 17 O intercept of -4.23‰), implies a close relationship and potentially a genetic link to these hydrated chondrites. If position along the CM mixing line reflects the amount of 16 O-poor (heavy) water-ice accreted onto the parent body at formation, then the CY chondrites and these 16 O-poor micrometeorites must have accreted at least as much water-ice as CM chondrites but potentially more. In addition, thermal metamorphism could have played a role in further raising the bulk O isotope compositions through the preferential loss of isotopically light water during phyllosilicate dehydration. The study of micrometeorites provides insights into asteroid belt diversity through the discovery of material not currently sampled by larger meteorites, perhaps as a result of atmospheric entry biases preventing the survival of large blocks of friable hydrated material.
    • Long-lived magnetism on chondrite parent bodies

      Shah, J; Bates, HC; Muxworthy, AR; Hezel, DC; Russell, Sara; Genge, MJ (2017-10)
    • Rapid mixing and short storage timescale in the magma dynamics of a steady-state volcano

      Petrone, CM; Braschi, E; Francalanci, L; Casalini, M; Tommasini, S (2018-06)