Mantle peridotite in newly discovered far-inland subduction complex, southwest Arizona: Initial report

International Geology Review
By: , and 

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Abstract

The latest Cretaceous to early Palaeogene Orocopia Schist and related units are generally considered a low-angle subduction complex that underlies much of southern California and Arizona. A recently discovered exposure of Orocopia Schist at Cemetery Ridge west of Phoenix, Arizona, lies exceptionally far inland from the continental margin. Unexpectedly, this body of Orocopia Schist contains numerous blocks, as large as ~300 m, of variably serpentinized mantle peridotite. These are unique; elsewhere in the Orocopia and related schists, peridotite is rare and completely serpentinized. Peridotite and metaperidotite at Cemetery Ridge are of three principal types: (1) serpentinite and tremolite serpentinite, derived from dunite; (2) partially serpentinized harzburgite and olivine orthopyroxenite (collectively, harzburgite); and (3) granoblastic or schistose metasomatic rocks, derived from serpentinite, made largely of actinolite, calcic plagioclase, hercynite, and chlorite. In the serpentinite, paucity of relict olivine, relatively abundant magnetite (5%), and elevated Fe3+/Fe indicate advanced serpentinization. Harzburgite contains abundant orthopyroxene, only slightly serpentinized, and minor to moderate (1–15%) relict olivine. Mantle tectonite fabric is locally preserved. Several petrographic and geochemical characteristics of the peridotite at Cemetery Ridge are ambiguously similar to either abyssal or mantle-wedge (suprasubduction) peridotites and serpentinites. Least ambiguous are orthopyroxene compositions. Orthopyroxene is distinctively depleted in Al2O3, Cr2O3, and CaO, indicating mantle-wedge affinities. Initial interpretation of field and petrologic data suggests that the peridotite blocks in the Orocopia Schist subduction complex at Cemetery Ridge may be derived from the leading corner or edge of a mantle wedge, presumably in (pre-San Andreas fault) southwest California. However, derivation from a subducting plate is not precluded.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Mantle peridotite in newly discovered far-inland subduction complex, southwest Arizona: Initial report
Series title International Geology Review
DOI 10.1080/00206814.2014.928916
Volume 57
Issue 5-8
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Contributing office(s) Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center
Description 22 p.
First page 871
Last page 892
Country United States
State Arizona
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