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Chlorine Isotope Composition of Apatite from the &gt / 3.7 Ga Isua Supracrustal Belt, SW Greenland

  • wudarska, alicja
  • słaby, ewa
  • wiedenbeck, michael
  • birski, łukasz
  • wirth, richard
  • götze, jens
  • lepland, aivo
  • kusebauch, christof
  • kocjan, izabela
Publication Date
Dec 28, 2019
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The study of the oldest surviving rock suites is crucial for understanding the processes that shaped the early Earth and formed an environment suitable for life. The metasedimentary and metavolcanic rocks of the early Archean Isua supracrustal belt contain abundant apatite, the geochemical signatures of which may help decipher ancient environmental conditions. However, previous research has shown that secondary processes, including amphibolite-facies metamorphism, have reset the original hydrogen isotope composition (&delta / D) of apatite from the Isua belt / therefore, &delta / D values are not indicative of primary conditions in the Archean. Here, we report the first in situ chlorine isotope (&delta / 37Cl) analyses by Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) from Isua apatite, which we combine with information from transmission electron microscopy, cathodoluminescence imaging, and spectroscopy, documenting the micron-scale internal features of apatite crystals. The determined &delta / 37ClSMOC values (chlorine isotope ratios vs. standard mean ocean chloride) fall within a range from &minus / 0.8&permil / to 1.6&permil / , with the most extreme values recorded by two banded iron formation samples. Our results show that &delta / 37Cl values cannot uniquely document primary signatures of apatite crystals, but the results are nonetheless helpful for assessing the extent of secondary overprint.

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