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Lagabrielle Y.,CNRS Geosciences Laboratory of Rennes | Vitale Brovarone A.,CNRS Institute of Mineralogy, Materials Physics and Cosmochemistry | Ildefonse B.,Montpellier University
Earth-Science Reviews | Year: 2015

Tethyan ophiolites show an apparent poorly organized association of ultramafic and mafic rocks. By contrast to the complete mantle-crustal sections of Semail-type ophiolite sheets, Tethyan ophiolites are characterized by a smaller amount of mafic rocks (gabbros and basalts), by the absence of any sheeted dyke complex and by the frequent occurrence of oceanic sediments stratigraphically overlying mantle-derived peridotites and associated gabbroic intrusions. Therefore, they are considered as typical remnants of oceanic lithosphere formed in slow-spreading environment or in ocean-continent transition at distal passive margins. In the very first models of formation of the Tethyan ophiolites, in the years 1980, the geodynamical processes leading to mantle unroofing were poorly understood due to the paucity of data and concepts available at that time from the present-day oceans. In particular, at that time, little work had focused on the distribution, origin and significance of mafic rocks with respect to the dominant surrounding ultramafics. Here, we reconsider the geology of some typical metaophiolites from the Western Alps and Corsica, and we show how results from the past decade obtained in the current oceans ask for reassessing the significance of the Tethyan ophiolites in general. Revisited examples include a set of representative metaophiolites from the blueschists units of the Western Alps (Queyras region) and from Alpine Corsica (Golo Valley). Field relationships between the ophiolitic basement and the metasedimentary/metavolcanic oceanic cover are described, outlining a typical character of the Tethyan ophiolite lithological associations. Jurassic marbles and polymictic ophiolite metabreccias are unconformably overlying the mantle-gabbo basement, in a way strictly similar to what is observed in the non-metamorphic Appennine ophiolites or Chenaillet massif. This confirms that very early tectonic juxtaposition of ultramafic and mafic rocks occurred in the oceanic domain before subduction. This juxtaposition resulted from tectonic activity that is now assigned to the development of detachment faults and to the formation of Oceanic Core Complexes (OCCs) at the axis of slow spreading ridges. This fundamental Plate Tectonics process is responsible for the exhumation and for the axial denudation of mantle rocks and gabbros at diverging plate boundaries. In addition, field relationships between the discontinuous basaltic formations and the ultramafic-mafic basement indicate that this tectonic stage is followed or not by a volcanic stage. We discuss this issue in the light of available field constraints. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

Aleon J.,CNRS Institute of Mineralogy, Materials Physics and Cosmochemistry
Earth and Planetary Science Letters | Year: 2016

A major unanswered question in solar system formation is the origin of the oxygen isotopic dichotomy between the Sun and the planets. Individual Calcium-Aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs) from CV chondrites exhibit almost the full isotopic range, but how their composition evolved is still unclear, which prevents robust astrochemical conclusions. A key issue is notably the yet unsolved origin of the 16O-rich isotopic composition of pyroxene in type B CAIs. Here, I report an in-situ oxygen isotope study of the archetypal type B CAI USNM-3529-Z from Allende with emphasis on the isotopic composition of pyroxene and its isotopic and petrographic relationships with other major minerals. The O isotopic composition of pyroxene is correlated with indicators of magmatic growth, indicating that the pyroxene evolved from a 16O-poor composition and became progressively enriched in 16O during its crystallization, contrary to the long held assumption that pyroxene was initially 16O-rich. This variation is well explained by isotopic exchange between a 16O-poor partial melt having the isotopic composition of melilite and a 16O-rich gas having the isotopic composition of spinel, during pyroxene crystallization. The isotopic evolution of 3529-Z is consistent with formation in an initially 16O-rich environment where spinel and gehlenitic melilite crystallized, followed by a 16O-depletion associated with melilite partial melting and recrystallization and finally a return to the initial 16O-rich environment before pyroxene crystallization. This strongly suggests that the environment of CAI formation was globally 16O-rich, with local 16O-depletions systematically associated with high temperature events. The Al/Mg isotopic systematics of 3529-Z further indicates that this suite of isotopic changes occurred in the first 150 000 yr of the solar system, during the main CAI formation period. A new astrophysical setting is proposed, where the 16O-depletion occurs in an optically thin surface layer of the disk and may have originated by evaporation of 16O-poor interstellar dust or non-mass-dependant isotopic fractionation. © 2016 Elsevier B.V. Source

Bernard S.,CNRS Institute of Mineralogy, Materials Physics and Cosmochemistry | Papineau D.,University College London
Elements | Year: 2014

The unambiguous identifi cation of graphitic carbons as remains of life in ancient rocks is challenging because fossilized biogenic molecules are inevitably altered and degraded during diagenesis and metamorphism of the host rocks. Yet, recent studies have highlighted the possible preservation of biosignatures carried by some of the oldest graphitic carbons. Laboratory simulations are increasingly being used to better constrain the transformations of organic molecules into graphitic carbons induced by sedimentation and burial processes. These recent research advances justify a reevaluation of the putative biogenicity of numerous ancient graphitic carbons, including the presumed oldest traces of life on Earth. Source

Touret J.,CNRS Institute of Mineralogy, Materials Physics and Cosmochemistry
Geoscience Frontiers | Year: 2014

Recalling some of the most important events and persons during his education and career, the author sketches his growth from a young engineer, educated in the sanctuary of solid state reactions, to an involved fully devoted scientific career for the study of fluids in the deep Earth. Most important in this respect was the discovery of CO2 inclusions in granulites, which triggered years of discussion on fluid-absent or fluid-assisted granulite metamorphism. To some extent, this debate is a continuation of the former granite controversy, but it shows also how the famous battle of "soaks against pontiffs" could have been easily avoided. Source

Mauger A.,CNRS Institute of Mineralogy, Materials Physics and Cosmochemistry | Julien C.,CNRS Physical Chemistry of Electrolytes and Interfacial Nanosystems
Ionics | Year: 2014

The research on the electrodes of Li-ion batteries aims to increase the energy density and the power density, improve the calendar and the cycling life, without sacrificing the safety issues. A constant progress through the years has been obtained owing to the surface treatment of the particles, in particular the coating of the particles with a layer that protects the core region from side reactions with the electrolyte, prevents the loss of oxygen, and the dissolution of the metal ions in the electrolyte, or simply improve the conductivity of the powder. The purpose of the present work is to review the different surface modifications that have been tried in the past for the different electrodes that are currently commercialized, or considered as promising, including the three families of positive electrodes (lamellar, spinel, and olivine families) and the three negative electrodes (carbon, Li4Ti5O12, and silicon). The role of the different coats used to improve either the surface conductivity, or the thermal stability, or the structural integrity is discussed. The limits in the efficiency of these different coats are also analyzed along with the understanding of the surface modifications that have been proposed. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

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