Skip to main content

A Mg Isotopic Perspective on the Mobility of Magnesium During Serpentinization and Carbonation of the Oman Ophiolite

Author(s): de Obeso, Juan Carlos; Santiago Ramos, Danielle P; Higgins, John A; Kelemen, Peter B

To refer to this page use:
Abstract: Alteration of mantle peridotite in the Samail ophiolite forms secondary minerals, mainly serpentine and Mg‐rich carbonates. Magnesium accounts for ∼25 – 30% of peridotite mass and its mobility can be used to trace this alteration. We report the first set of Mg isotope measurements from peridotites and their alteration products in Oman. Partially serpentinized peridotites have Mg isotope ratios that are indistinguishable from estimates for the average mantle and bulk silicate earth (δ26Mg = −0.25 ± 0.04‰). However, more extensively altered peridotite samples show large shifts in Mg isotopic composition. The range of δ26Mg values for our suite of alteration products from the mantle section is ∼4.5‰ (from −3.39‰ to 1.19‰), or >60% of the total range of terrestrial variability in δ26Mg values. Serpentine veins are typically enriched in 26Mg (max δ26Mg value = 0.96‰) whereas Mg‐carbonate veins are associated with low 26Mg/24Mg ratios (magnesite δ26Mg = −3.3‰, dolomite δ26Mg = −1.91‰). Our preferred explanation for the range in δ26Mg values involves coprecipitation of serpentine and carbonates at water‐to‐rock ratios >103. The coincidence of alteration products characterized by δ26Mg values that are both lower and higher than bulk silicate Earth and the finite 14C ages of the carbonates suggest that both serpentinization and carbonation are ongoing in Oman. Rates of calcite precipitation in travertines inferred from Δ26Mgcal‐fl suggest that travertine formation in Oman sequesters a total of 106–107 kg CO2/yr, consistent with previous estimates.
Publication Date: 4-Dec-2020
Citation: de Obeso, Juan Carlos, Danielle P. Santiago Ramos, John A. Higgins, and Peter B. Kelemen. "A Mg Isotopic Perspective on the Mobility of Magnesium During Serpentinization and Carbonation of the Oman Ophiolite." Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 126, no. 2 (2021). doi:10.1029/2020JB020237.
DOI: doi:10.1029/2020JB020237
ISSN: 2169-9313
EISSN: 2169-9356
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

Items in OAR@Princeton are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.