«2H were measured in water present in tiny primary fluid inclusions trapped in Mesoproterozoic (»1.4 Ga) and Neoproterozoic («0.8 Ga) halite crystals. While the hydrogen concentrations range from 300 to 1500 ppm for the whole sample collection, »2H values range from -74? to -54? (VSMOW) for the Mesoproterozoic halite sampled from the Sibley Group, Ontario, Canada, and from -89 to -38? for the Neoproterozoic halite from the Browne Formation, Officer Basin, Australia. The amount of evaporation required to precipitate halite is accompanied by a deuterium-enrichment of 30? to 90’. It means that the original aqueous solutions had «2H values comprised between -140» and -90’. Considering the estimated tropical paleolatitudes for both depositional environments, surface waters were most likely significantly deuterium-depleted relative to modern ones. If such interpretation is partly at variance with the geological record, it could be reconciliated with some modelling outputs of the long-term water cycle. Indeed, several mechanisms produce a progressive deuterium-enrichment of the oceans. Those identified so far are the addition of deuterium-rich extraterrestrial water (cometary dust), the loss of H during water photodissociation by ultraviolet radiation in the upper atmosphere, and the isotopic fractionation that takes place during the hydroxylation of nominally-anhydrous mantle rock-forming minerals. We also propose that the major process able to shift through time the ‘2’ of the hydrosphere is the reduction of H2O into H2 during the serpentinization of mantle rocks at mid-ocean ridges.
Source: «2H of water from fluid inclusions in Proterozoic halite: Evidence for a deuterium-depleted hydrosphere» C. Lécuyer, F. Fourel, N. Blamey, U. Brand, P. Fralick. Chemical Geology, 2020.