Osmium isotope systematics of the Proterozoic and Phanerozoic ophiolitic chromitites: In situ ion probe analysis of primary Os-rich PGM Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • In-situ 187Os/188Os ratios are determined on Os-rich platinum-group minerals in podiform chromitites both in the Proterozoic ophiolite, Eastern Desert, Egypt, and in the Phanerozoic Oman ophiolite. Because they have very low Re/Os, these primary minerals reflect the initial 187Os/188Os ratios of their parental magmas. The platinum-group minerals (PGM) in the central Eastern Desert chromitites exhibit sub-chondritic to chondritic 187Os/188Os ratios, 0.1226 on average, which is lower than the primitive upper mantle evolution trend of a comparable age. Those of the southern Eastern Desert chromitites have more radiogenic Os, with supra-chondritic 187Os/188Os ratio of about 0.1293 on average, which could be due to crustal contamination. The three chromitite types in the northern part of the Oman ophiolite are almost indistinguishable in terms of their 187Os/188Os ratios; they have overlapping values ranging from sub-chondritic to supra-chondritic ratios. The PGE-rich, mantle chromitite samples have a wide range of 187Os/188Os ratio from 0.1230 up to 0.1376, with an average of 0.1299. The values of the PGE-poor mantle chromitites overlap in their 187Os/188Os ratios with PGE-rich chromites, but are less variable and have a significantly higher average ratio. The Moho transition zone (MTZ) chromitites are highly variable in the 187Os/188Os ratio, ranging from 0.1208 up to 0.1459. The wide range of 187Os/188Os ratios, from 0.1192 to 0.1459, in platinum-group minerals in Egyptian and Oman ophiolites can be attributed to the diversity of origin of their podiform chromitites. The Os-isotope data combined with spinel chemistry indicate that the way involved in podiform chromitite formation was not substantially different between the Proterozoic ophiolite of Egypt and the Phanerozoic ophiolite in northern Oman. The Os-isotope compositions of the mantle chromitites in the Proterozoic ophiolite of Egypt clearly suggest crustal contamination. The heterogeneity of 187Os/188Os ratios combined with the spinel chemistry and high PGE contents of the PGE-rich chromitite in the Oman ophiolite may give reliable evidence for high degree partial melting at a supra-subduction zone setting. Crustal contamination from the subducted slab, and assimilation of previously altered, lower crustal gabbro, may have contributed to the high Cr# spinel and radiogenic Os characteristics in chromitite formed in the mantle section and along the Moho transition zone, respectively.

publication date

  • May 2006