The Moodies Group, the uppermost unit in the Barberton Greenstone Belt (BGB) in South Africa, is a ~3.7-km-thick coarse clastic succession accumulated on terrestrial-to-shallow marine settings at around 3.22 Ga. The multiple sulfur isotopic composition of pyrite of Moodies intervals was newly obtained to examine the influence of these depositional settings on the sulfur isotope record. Conglomerate and sandstone rocks were collected from three synclines north of the Inyoka Fault of the central BGB, namely, the Eureka, Dycedale, and Saddleback synclines. The sulfur isotopic composition of pyrite was analyzed by Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) for 6 samples from the three synclines and by Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IR-MS) for 17 samples from a stratigraphic section in the Saddleback Syncline. The present results show a signal of mass-independent fractionation of sulfur isotopes (S-MIF), although t-tests statistically demonstrated that the Moodies S-MIF signals (mostly 0‰ < ∆33
S < +0.5‰) are significantly small compared to the signal of the older Paleoarchean (3.6–3.2 Ga) records. These peculiar signatures might be related to initial deposition of detrital pyrite of juvenile origin from the surrounding intrusive (tonalite–trondhjemite–granodiorite; TTG) and felsic volcanic rocks, and/or to secondary addition of hydrothermal sulfur during late metasomatism. Moreover, fast accumulation (~0.1–1 mm/year) of the Moodies sediments might have led to a reduced accumulation of sulfur derived from an atmospheric source during their deposition. As a result, the sulfur isotopic composition of the sediments may have become susceptible to the secondary addition of metasomatic sulfur on a mass balance point of view. The sulfur isotopic composition of Moodies pyrite is similar to the composition of sulfides from nearby gold mines. It suggests that, after the Moodies deposition, metasomatic pyrite formation commonly occurred north of the Inyoka Fault in the central BGB at 3.1–3.0 Ga.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited