Abstract

Rare earth and other trace element data are presented for samples of the Sokoman Iron Formation, Labrador, and its associated sediments. The results show that the slates associated with the iron formation are typical in trace element contents compared to other argillaceous sediments except for the large Eu depletion characteristic of slates of their age. The iron formation, however, is fundamentally different in its trace element concentrations and patterns from those of the associated rocks. It is relatively enriched in the heavy REE and Eu and both the REE and Co, Cr, Sc, and Th concentrations bear no relationship to those of the slates and the dolomite.Trace element analyses of the various textural and mineralogic rock types in all cases substantiate the genetic conclusions of earlier workers based on field and petrographic observations. Silicate–carbonate facies samples show constant REE, Co, Sc, and Th distributions which are compatible with an origin as crystalline precipitates in equilibrium with sea water. Riebeckite-bearing iron formation is distinctive in that it reflects contamination by ordinary clastic material and (or) metamorphic solutions. Oxide facies rocks exhibit widely variable trace element abundances as is to be expected for rocks whose original trace element contents were controlled by adsorption processes. A group of iron-enriched oxide facies rocks show evidence of important heavy REE complexing associated with the migration of iron during diagenesis. Minor Ce anomalies in all facies of Sokoman Iron Formation indicate that oxidation of Ce to the +4 state was taking place at the time of iron deposition but probably not in close proximity to it.

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