Vanadium Isotope Compositions of Mid-Ocean Ridge Lavas and Altered Oceanic Crust

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Vanadium isotope compositions of igneous rocks have the potential to constrain variations of physico-chemical conditions such as oxidation states during magmatism. Here, we present V isotope data for 27 fresh lavas (ranging from basaltic to dacitic compositions) from mid-ocean ridges, 31 altered basalts and gabbros from IODP site 1256 near the East Pacific Rise (EPR), and 2 back arc basin basalts (BABB). Our analyses of fresh mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB) provide new constraints on the V isotope composition of MORBs, i.e. δ51V = −0.84±0.02‰ (2SE, n = 22). In addition, the mean δ51V of MORBs from individual segments is correlated with the mean ridge depth and Na8.0 of the segment, which might reflect the effect of melting extent on V isotope fractionation during mantle melting.

The mafic profile of intact altered oceanic crust (AOC) from the IODP site 1256 has δ51V ranging from −1.01 to −0.77‰, similar to that of fresh MORBs, suggesting that V isotope fractionation is limited during alteration of oceanic crust. These results also indicate the V isotopic homogeneity of the bulk oceanic crust with average δ51V of −0.85±0.02‰ (2SE, n = 53), which is unaffected by ocean water and hydrothermal fluid alteration. Our results provide a guideline for application of V isotopes into studies of low and high temperature geochemical processes.

The evolved lavas (basaltic andesites, andesites, and dacites) from the East Pacific Rise (EPR) show apparent shifts towards heavy δ51V values with increasing degree of differentiation, which can be explained by the crystal–liquid fractionation during crystallization with an inferred isotope fractionation factor of Δ51Vmineral-melt = −0.15 × 106/T2. The enrichment of 51V with increasing differentiation degree for the 9°N Overlapping Spreading Center (OSC) lavas is consistent with direction of the isotope shift observed in lavas from Anatahan Island (Northern Mariana Arc) and Hekla Volcano (Iceland), but the magnitude (0.3‰) is much smaller than that (2‰) reported in Prytulak et al. (2017). Modeling of V isotope fractionation between mineral and melt shows that variations in redox condition are important for controlling V isotope fractionation, but insufficient to explain the dramatically different Δ51Vmineral-melt between 9°N OSC lavas and Anatahan/Hekla suites. More studies are necessary for better understanding of mechanisms of V isotope fractionation during magmatism.


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