Radiogenic isotopes provide an important means towards elucidating Archean crustal evolution. The global Hf and Nd isotope record of Archean crustal fragments has been instrumental to unveiling the history of ancient crustal growth and differentiation. The Rb-Sr system could provide valuable complementary constraints in this regard, as this system is particularly sensitive to magmatic fractionation processes, and the chemical and isotopic evolution of magma sources. Application of this system has so far been complicated, however, by its susceptibility to isotope re-equilibration or alteration of the Rb/Sr parent-daughter ratio. In-situ Sr isotope analysis of primary igneous minerals with very low Rb/Sr, such as apatite, provides a new means to determine the initial 87Sr/86Sr (87Sr/86Sri) values for igneous rocks directly. In this study, we apply in-situ Sr isotope analysis of apatite by LA-MC-ICPMS to tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) rocks and end-member sanukitoids from Archean cratons worldwide. The 87Sr/86Sri values of sanukitoids are relatively radiogenic, supporting the model in which such rocks are formed by flux melting of a mantle strongly enriched by metasomatism, possibly by slab-derived fluids. The 87Sr/86Sri values for TTGs formed between 3.72 and 3.45 Ga are generally radiogenic, indicating aged amphibolite sources. The 87Sr/86Sri values of younger TTGs are systematically lower and were derived from mafic sources that had an average age of ≤0.2 Gyr. This evolution matches with observations from Hf isotopes for TTGs of similar age and indicates a systematic change in the nature or efficiency of TTG crust formation during the Paleoarchean. In-situ Sr isotope analysis of apatite provides a useful method to uncover the Sr record of the early continental crust, and enables constraints on local source evolution and the general two-step evolutionary process of Archean crust formation.
Subject classification (UKÄ)