We present initial 176Hf/177 Hf ratios for many samples of continental crust 3.7-0.3 Gy old. Results are based chiefly on zircons (1% Hf) and whole rocks: zircons are shown to be reliable carriers of essentially the initial Hf itself when properly chosen on the basis of U-Pb studies. Pre-3.0 Gy gneisses were apparently derived from an unfractionated mantle, but both depleted and undepleted mantle are evident as magma sources from 2.9 Gy to present. This mantle was sampled mainly from major crustal growth episodes 2.8, 1.8 and 0.7 Gy ago, all of which show gross heterogeneity of 176Hf/177Hf in magma sources from ??Hf=0 to +14, or about 60% of the variability of the present mantle. The approximate ??Hf=2??Nd relationship in ancient and modern igneous rocks shows that 176Lu/177Hf fractionates in general twice as much as 147Sm/144Nd in mantle melting processes. This allows an estimation of the relative value of the unknown bulk solid/liquid distribution coefficient for Hf. DLu/DHf=??? 2.3 holds for most mantle source regions. For garnet to be an important residual mantle phase, it must hold Hf strongly in order to preserve Hf-Nd isotopic relationships. The ancient Hf initials are consistent with only a small proportion of recycled older cratons in new continental crust, and with quasi-continuous, episodic growth of the continental crust with time. However, recycling of crust less than 150 My old cannot realistically be detected using Hf initials. The mantle shows clearly the general positive ??Hf resulting from a residual geochemical state at least back to 2.9 Gy ago, and seems to have repeatedly possessed a similar degree of heterogeneity, rather than a continuously-developing depletion. This is consistent with a complex dynamic disequilibrium model for the creation, maintenance and destruction of heterogeneity in the mantle. ?? 1981 Springer-Verlag.
Additional publication details
Evolution of continental crust and mantle heterogeneity: Evidence from Hf isotopes