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Short-Lived Oxygen Diffusion During Hot, Deep-Seated Meteoric Alteration of Anorthosite

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Science  17 Dec 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5448, pp. 2323-2325
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5448.2323

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Abstract

Heterogeneous oxygen isotope compositions of plagioclase from the Boehls Butte anorthosite include some of the most oxygen-18–depleted values (to −16 per mil) reported for plagioclase in meta-igneous rocks and indicate high-temperature (T > 500°C) isotopic exchange between plagioclase and nearly pristine meteoric fluid. Retrograde reaction-enhanced permeability assisted influx of meteoric-hydrothermal fluids into the deep-seated anorthosite. Isotopic gradients of about 14 per mil over 600 micrometers in single crystals require short-lived (about 104 years) diffusional exchange of oxygen and locally large effective water:rock ratios, followed by rapid loss of water and cessation of oxygen diffusion in the anorthosite.

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