Enrichment of trace elements in garnet amphibolites from a paleo-subduction zone: Catalina Schist, southern California

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta



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The abundance, P-T stability, solubility, and element-partitioning behavior of minerals such as rutile, garnet, sphene, apatite, zircon, zoisite, and allanite are critical variables in models for mass transfer from the slab to the mantle wedge in deep regions of subduction zones. The influence of these minerals on the composition of subduction-related magmas has been inferred (and disputed) from inverse modelling of the geochemistry of island-arc basalt, or by experiment. Although direct samples of the dehydration + partial-melting region of a mature subduction zone have not been reported from subduction complexes, garnet amphibolites from melanges of circumpacific and Caribbean blueschist terranes reflect high T (>600??C) conditions in shallower regions. Such rocks record geochemical processes that affected deep-seated, high-T portions of paleo-subduction zones. In the Catalina Schist, a subduction-zone metamorphic terrane of southern California, metasomatized and migmatitic garnet amphibolites occur as blocks in a matrix of meta-ultramafic rocks. This mafic and ultramafic complex may represent either slab-derived material accreted to the mantle wedge of a nascent subduction zone or a portion of a shear zone closely related to the slab-mantle wedge contact, or both. The trace-element geochemistry of the complex and the distribution of trace elements among the minerals of garnet amphibolites were studied by INAA, XRF, electron microprobe, and SEM. In order of increasing alteration from a probable metabasalt protolith, three common types of garnet amphibolite blocks in the Catalina Schist are: (1) non-migmatitic, clinopyroxene-bearing blocks, which are compositionally similar to MORB that has lost an albite component; (2) garnet-amphibolite blocks, which have rinds that reflect local interaction between metabasite, metaperidotite, and fluid; and (3) migmatites that are extremely enriched in Th, HFSE, LREE, and other trace elements. These trace-element enrichments are mineralogically controlled by rutile, garnet, sphene, apatite, zircon, zoisite, and allanite. Alkali and alkaline earth elements are much less enriched in the solid assemblage, and thus appear to be decoupled from the other elements in the inferred metasomatic process(es). The compositions of migmatitic garnet amphibolite blocks seem to complement that of "average" island-arc tholeiite. Trace-element metasomatism reflects fluid-solid, rather than melt-solid, interaction. The metasomatic effects indicate that H2O-rich fluid, perhaps with a significant component of Na-Al silicate and alkalis, carried Th, U, Sr, REE, and HFSE. Fractionations of LREE in migmatites resemble those of migmatitic metasedimentary rocks underlying the mafic and ultramafic complex. "Exotic" LREE deposited in allanite in migmatites could have been derived from fluids in equilibrium with subducted sediment. If the paleo-subduction zone represented by the mafic and ultramafic complex of the Catalina Schist had continued its thermal and fluid evolution, a selvage of similarly enriched rocks might have been generated along the slab-mantle wedge contact between ~30 and 85 km depth. Rocks affected by "subduction-zone metasomatism," although rarely recognized at the surface, could be volumetrically significant products of the initiation of subduction and may prove to be geochemical probes of convergent margins that approach the significance of xenoliths in the study of other magmatic environments. ?? 1989.

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Enrichment of trace elements in garnet amphibolites from a paleo-subduction zone: Catalina Schist, southern California
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Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
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