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In situ Re-Os isotopic analysis of platinum-group minerals from the Mayarí-Cristal ophiolitic massif (Mayarí-Baracoa Ophiolitic Belt, eastern Cuba) : implications for the origin of Os-isotope heterogeneities in podiform chromitites
Contributions to mineralogy and petrology, Vol. 161, No. 6, (2011), p.977-990
Chromitite pods in the Mayarí-Cristal ophiolitic massif (eastern Cuba) were formed in the Late Cretaceous when island arc tholeiites and MORB-like back-arc basin basalts reacted with residual mantle peridotites and generated chromite-rich bodies enclosed in dunite envelopes. Platinum-group minerals (PGM) in the podiform chromitites exhibit important Os-isotope heterogeneities at the kilometric, hand sample and thin section scales. 187Os/188Os calculated at the time of chromitite crystallization (~90 Ma) ranges between 0.1185 and 0.1295 (γOs = -7.1 to +1.6, relative to enstatite chondrite), and all but one PGM have subchondritic 187Os/188Os. Grains in a single hand sample have initial 187Os/188Os that spans from 0.1185 to 0.1274, and in one thin section it varies between 0.1185 and 0.1232 in two PGM included in chromite which are only several millimeters apart. As the Os budget of a single micrometric grain derives from a mantle region that was at least several m3 in size, the variable Os isotopic composition of PGM in the Mayarí-Cristal chromitites probably reflects the heterogeneity of their mantle sources on the 10-100 m scale. Our results show that this heterogeneity was not erased by pooling and mingling of individual melt batches during chromitite crystallization but was transferred to the ore deposits on mineral scale. The distribution of the Os model ages calculated for PGM shows four main peaks, at ~100, 500, 750 and 1,000 Ma. These variable Os model ages reflect the presence of different depleted domains in the oceanic (Pacific-related) upper mantle of the Greater Antilles paleo-subduction zone. The concordance between the age of crystallization of the Mayarí-Cristal chromitites and the most recent peak of the Os model age distribution in PGM supports that Os in several grains was derived from fertile domains of the upper mantle, whose bulk Os isotopic composition is best approximated by that of enstatite chondrites; on the other hand, most PGM are crystallized by melts that tapped highly refractory mantle sources.