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Lu-Hf systematics of 4.0 – 2.3 Ga old zircons from the Turee Creek Group (Pilbara Craton, W. Australia): Implications on the rise of atmospheric oxygen and global glaciation during the Paleoproterozoic

Abstract : We investigated the Hf isotopic systematics of detrital zircons in a succession of siliciclastic sediments and glacial diamictites from the early Paleoproterozoic sequence of the Boolgeeda Iron Formation (Hamersley Group) and overlying Turee Creek Group of the Pilbara Craton, Western Australia. About 400 detrital zircons yielding >95% concordant U-Pb ages were analyzed for Hf isotopes to constrain their magmatic sources. 70% of the analyzed zircons display super-chondritic initial Hf isotopic compositions, demonstrating crystallization in mantle-derived magmas. Most of the data are comprised between model age lines at ~2.5 and 3.2 Ga, which suggests a sub-continuous crust generation by extraction from the depleted mantle during this time period. A single grain yields a 4.0 Ga age, which represents the first Hadean age for a zircon from the Pilbara Craton. Our results are significantly different from zircon Hf isotope data of the Glenburgh Terrane, in the southern border of the Turee Creek Group, or older successions of the Pilbara, Kaapvaal and Superior cratons, but show overlap with some of the Yilgarn Craton. This together with the occurrence of a Hadean zircon crystal preserved in the Boolgeeda glacial diamictite with similar Hf isotopic signature than the Jack Hills zircons makes the Yilgarn Craton a possible source material for the Boolgeeda glacial horizon. Alternatively, the majority of the zircons analyzed show ages which are consistent with those of the underlying 2.45–2.78 Ga Hamersley and Fortescue groups, formed by sedimentary successions interleaved with thick subaerial volcanic sequences associated with the emplacement of Large Igneous Provinces. Such subaerial volcanic rocks could account for the relatively juvenile character of the zircon analyzed. A local provenance of the siliciclastic material delivered to the Turee Creek Basin would support the role of large subaerial magmatic provinces as triggers of the rise of atmospheric oxygen and the onset of glaciations at the beginning of the Proterozoic.
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Tom Caquineau, Jean-Louis Paquette, Abdelmouhcine Gannoun, Pascal Philippot. Lu-Hf systematics of 4.0 – 2.3 Ga old zircons from the Turee Creek Group (Pilbara Craton, W. Australia): Implications on the rise of atmospheric oxygen and global glaciation during the Paleoproterozoic. Precambrian Research, Elsevier, 2020, 348, pp.105859. ⟨10.1016/j.precamres.2020.105859⟩. ⟨hal-02906321⟩

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