It has been proposed that Archean tonalitic-trondhjemitic-granodioritic magmas (TTGs) formed by melting of mafic crust at high pressures. The residual mineralogy of the TTGs (either (garnet)-amphibolite or rutile-bearing eclogite) is believed to control the trace element budget of TTGs. In particular, ratios of high-field-strength elements (HFSE) can help to discriminate between the different residual lithologies. In order to place constraints on the source mineralogy of TTGs, we performed high-precision HFSE measurements by isotope dilution (Nb, Ta, Zr, Hf) together with Lu-Hf and Sm-Nd measurements on representative, ca. 3.85-2.8 Ga TTGs and related rock types from southern West Greenland, W-India and from the Superior Province. These measurements are complemented by major and trace element data for the TTGs. Texturally homogeneous early Archean (3.85-3.60 Ga old) and Mesoarchean (ca. 3.1-2.8 Ga old) TTGs have both low Ni (<11 ppm) and Cr contents (<20 ppm), indicating that there was little or no interaction with mantle peridotite during ascent. Ratios of Nb/Ta in juvenile Eoarchean TTGs range from ca. 7 to ca. 24, and in juvenile Mesoarchean TTGs from ca. 14 to ca. 27. Even higher Nb/Ta (14-42) were obtained for mig-matitic TTGs and intra-crustal differentiates, most likely mirroring further fractionation of Nb from Ta as a consequence of partial melting, fluid infiltration and migmatisation. In the juvenile TTGs, positive correlations between Nb/Ta and Gd/Yb, La/Yb, Sr/Y, Zr/Sm and Zr/Nb are observed. These compositional arrays are best explained by melting of typical Isua tholeiites in both, the rutile-bearing eclogite stability field (>15 kbar, high Nb/Ta) and the garnet-amphibolite stability field (10-15 kbar, low Nb/Ta). With respect to the low end of Nb/Ta found for TTGs, there is currently some uncertainty between the available experimental datasets for amphibole. Independent of these uncertainties, the TTG compositions found here still require the presence of both endmember residues. A successful geological model for the TTGs therefore has to account for the co-occurrence of both low-and high-Nb/Ta TTGs within the same geologic terrane. An additional feature observed in the Eoarchean samples from Greenland is a systematic co-variation between Nb/Ta and initial epsilon Hf(t), which is best explained by a model where TTG-melting occured at progressively increasing pressures in a pile of tectonically thickened mafic crust. The elevated Nb/Ta in mig-matitic TTGs and intra-crustal differentiates can shed further light on the role of intra-crustal differentiation processes in the global Nb/Ta cycle. Lower crustal melting processes at granulite facies conditions may generate high-Nb/Ta domains in the middle crust, whereas mid-crustal melting at amphibolite facies conditions may account for the low Nb/Ta generally observed in upper crustal rocks.
2011. Vol. 75, no 15, 4157-4178 p.