Metasomatic formation and petrology of blueschist-facies hybrid rocks from Syros (Greece): Implications for reactions at the slab–mantle interface Academic Article uri icon


  • Chemical disparities at the interface between subducting oceanic crustal rocks and the harzburgitic mantle lead to the formation of reaction zones in the mantle above the subducting slabs composed of hybrid rocks that may carry exotic trace-element patterns and isotopic signatures. Subsequent burial of these metasomatised rocks as part of the progressively subducted slab could deliver trace elements and volatiles to the source region of arc magma. A natural laboratory to study reactions at the slab-mantle interface maybe found in exhumed high-pressure melanges, where sedimentary, mafic and ultramafic lithologies are juxtaposed and metamorphosed at high-P/T conditions. A melange zone of that type is found in northern Syros, where metasomatic reaction zones (”blackwalls”) formed on a metre scale at the contact of metasedimentary blueschists and serpentinite. Five different zones within such a contact display the assemblages (I) glaucophane+garnet+phengite+epidote, (II) glaucophane+epidote+chlorite, (III) chlorite+epidote+omphacite+albite (IV) chlorite+titanite +/- rutile +/- apatite and (V) serpentine+chromite. Accessory phases, such as apatite. allanite, rutile, titanite, tourmaline, zircon and monazite are abundant in zones II to IV. The observed succession of assemblages together with whole-rock major and trace-element compositions reflect the two dominant processes that are thought to have operated along the lithological contact: (A) diffusion of chemical components driven by the compositional contrast of the juxtaposed rocks, and (B) flux of hydrous fluids along the contact, which depleted (e.g., LILE, SiO(2)) or enriched (e.g., B, LREE) certain elements in various zones. Thermodynamic modelling is able to closely predict the succession of mineral assemblages as they are expected from diffusion of Mg and Ca across the contact zone. Employed to various P-T conditions and different juxtaposed rock types, this type of modelling could be used to access and evaluate larger portions of the subduction system. Our results support existing models that suggest that mixing and redistribution of major and trace elements in subduction zones may be related to the formation of hybrid rocks in melange zones. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • January 2009

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