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Fractionation of trace and platinum-group elements during metamorphism of komatiitic chromites from the early Archean Gorumahishani greenstone belt, Singhbhum Craton (eastern India)

Abstract : It is well established that the major and minor element contents of chromites are subject to change during greenschist to amphibolite facies metamorphism. During upper amphibolite facies metamorphism, chromite can be completely converted to chrome magnetite. However, not all elements are affected to the same degree, the concentrations of +2 ions (e.g. Zn, Co, Mn) being particularly vulnerable to modification. The degree to which trace elements, particularly the platinum-group elements (PGE), are affected has not been closely examined. The compositions and textures of chromites from komatiites of the Gorumahishani greenstone belt of the Singhbhum Craton (India) have experienced a range of metamorphic conditions from greenschist to amphibolite facies, providing the opportunity to study the changes of trace and platinum-group element composition with metamorphic grade. Five types of altered chromites are identified from the komatiitic suite of rocks in the ~120-km-long greenstone belt. The type-I chromites are non-porous and characterized by the least modified cores. These chromites are mostly present in the northern Maharajgunj-Tua Dungri section where rocks show metamorphism from greenschist to greenschist-amphibolite transition facies. The type-II and type-III chromites are porous and mostly found in the southern Kapili section of the greenstone belt where rocks show metamorphism up to the mid-amphibolite facies. Type-IV and type-V chromites are completely modified to ferritchromit and chrome magnetite, respectively, and are present in the komatiitic rocks from the entire greenstone belt. The central cores of the type-I and type-II grains have relatively higher concentrations of mobile trace elements (e.g. Zn, Co, and Mn) with higher Mg# [Mg/(Mg + Fe2+)], lower Cr# [Cr/(Cr + Al)], and lower Fe3+/R3+ (R3+ = Fe3+ + Cr3+ + Al3+) ratios than their respective rims. Significantly higher concentrations of the immobile trace elements (e.g. Ti and V) in the cores of the type-II grains relative to their chrome magnetite rims from the Kapili section and to the type-I varieties from other sections might be due to the metamorphism of the komatiitic rocks under higher-grade conditions (amphibolite facies). In situ LA-ICPMS analysis for PGE reveals a relatively higher concentration of Ru and Rh in the rims of the type-I chromites than in the cores which is due to the diffusion of these elements from the normal spinel structure of the cores towards the bivalent octahedral sites of the inverse spinel structure of the chrome magnetite rims during metamorphic processes. The lower concentrations of Os, Ir, Ru, and Rh in the cores of the type-II chromites from the Kapili section might be related to the metamorphism of the rocks under higher-grade conditions that facilitated the diffusion of these elements to associated sulphide or platinum-group mineral or alloy phases. The calculated partition coefficients of Sc, Ti, V, Mn, Ni, Ga, Os, Ir, Ru, and Rh from the least altered chromite cores assuming equilibrium with the parental komatiitic melt also suggest the variable effects of metamorphism when compared with global experimental and empirical values of the natural samples.
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Submitted on : Thursday, September 15, 2022 - 9:54:13 AM
Last modification on : Monday, November 7, 2022 - 6:11:01 PM

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Ratul Banerjee, Sisir K. Mondal, Laurie Reisberg, Jung-Woo Park. Fractionation of trace and platinum-group elements during metamorphism of komatiitic chromites from the early Archean Gorumahishani greenstone belt, Singhbhum Craton (eastern India). Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 2022, 177 (8), pp.75. ⟨10.1007/s00410-022-01943-4⟩. ⟨insu-03777750⟩

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