Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : We report Ca isotope fractionation among a co-genetic suite of samples from the Mauritanian Guelb el Azib ultramafic-mafic-anorthosite complex (GAC), which represents the fractional crystallization sequence of an igneous magma chamber. We investigate how the composition of an evolving crystallizing liquid and the resultant mineralogy of co-crystallizing assemblages affects inter-phase Ca isotope fractionation. Because the GAC is an Archean metamorphosed complex, we first investigate the resistance of the Ca isotope signature to secondary hydrothermal alteration and to metamorphism. While we cannot conclude here that Ca isotopes are undisturbed at the mineral scale, we show that they are preserved at the bulk rock scale. This is adequate for our study where several samples are almost monomineralic at the bulk scale level. The δ44/40Ca (relative to NIST standard SRM 915a) of GAC layers range from −1.53 to 1.61‰ with the earliest-formed ultramafic cumulate layer being isotopically heaviest and the later, more felsic layers being isotopically lighter. For the first time, we show that plagioclase is much more enriched in light Ca isotopes compared to olivine and (Ca-) pyroxene. Monte Carlo simulations suggest that Ca isotopes are fractionated among co-existing silicate minerals during fractional crystallization, possibly in relation with the residual liquid composition. In qualitative agreement with computational models based on first principles lattice dynamics, we observe that Ca isotope fractionation is mineralogically controlled and importantly, that the degree of fractionation can vary according to the CaO composition of the residual liquid. While previous studies have aimed to understand partial melting as a source of Ca isotope fractionation, our results suggest that fractional crystallization is also a source of Ca isotope variability among co-genetic samples.