A hydrothermal experiment involving peridotite and a coexisting aqueous fluid was conducted to assess the role of dissolved Cl- and redox on REE mobility at 400°C, 500 bars. Data show that the onset of reducing conditions enhances the stability of soluble Eu+2 species. Moreover, Eu+2 forms strong aqueous complexes with dissolved Cl- at virtually all redox conditions. Thus, high Cl- concentrations and reducing conditions can combine to reinforce Eu mobility. Except for La, trivalent REE are not greatly affected by fluid speciation under the chemical and physical condition considered, suggesting control by secondary mineral-fluid partitioning. LREE enrichment and positive Eu anomalies observed in fluids from the experiment are remarkably similar to patterns of REE mobility in vent fluids issuing from basalt- and peridotite-hosted hydrothermal systems. This suggests that the chondrite normalized REE patterns are influenced greatly by fluid speciation effects and secondary mineral formation processes. Accordingly, caution must be exercised when using REE in hydrothermal vent fluids to infer REE sources in subseafloor reaction zones from which the fluids are derived. Although vent fluid patterns having LREE enrichment and positive Eu anomalies are typically interpreted to suggest plagioclase recrystallization reactions, this need not always be the case.
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