Publication Details

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Title: Early Archean crustal evolution of the Jack Hills Zircon source terrane inferred from Lu–Hf, 207Pb/206Pb, and d18O systematics of Jack Hills zircons
Authors: E. A. Bell, T. M. Harrison, M. T. McCulloch, and E. D. Young
Publication: Geochim. et Cosmochim. Acta., v. 75, p. 4816‐4829.
Publish Date: 2011
DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2011.06.007
PDF: pdf
BibTEX Citation: Bell:2011.bib


Several lines of isotopic evidence – the most direct of which is from Hadean Jack Hills zircons – suggest a very early history of crust formation on Earth that began by about 4.5 Ga. To constrain both the fate of the reservoir for this crust and the nature of crustal evolution in the sediment source region of the Jack Hills, Western Australia, during the early Archean, we report here initial 176Hf/177Hf ratios and d18O systematics for <4 Ga Jack Hills zircons. In contrast to the significant number of Hadean zircons which contain highly unradiogenic 176Hf/177Hf requiring a near–zero Lu/Hf reservoir to have separated from the Earth’s mantle by 4.5 Ga, Jack Hills zircons younger than ca. 3.6 Ga are more radiogenic than –13e (CHUR) at 3.4 Ga in contrast to projected values at 3.4 Ga of –20e for the unradiogenic Hadean reservoir indicating that some later juvenile addition to the crust is required to explain the more radiogenic younger zircons. The shift in the Lu–Hf systematics together with a narrow range of mostly mantle–like d18O values among the <3.6 Ga zircons (in contrast to the spread towards sedimentary d18O among Hadean samples) suggests a period of transition between 3.6 and 4 Ga in which the magmatic setting of zircon formation changed and the highly unradiogenic low Lu/Hf Hadean crust ceased to be available for intracrustal reworking. Constraining the nature of this transition provides important insights into the processes of crustal reworking and recycling of the Earth’s Hadean crust as well as early Archean crustal evolution.