In order to better understand the role of fluids during subduction and subsequent exhumation, we have investigated whole-rock and mineral chemistry (major and trace elements) and Li, B as well as O, Sr, Nd, Pb isotopes on selected continuous drill-core profiles through contrasting lithological boundaries from the Chinese Continental Scientific Drilling Program (CCSD) in Sulu, China. Four carefully selected sample sets have been chosen to investigate geochemical changes as a result of fluid mobilization during dehydration, peak metamorphism, and exhumation of deeply subducted continental crust. Our data reveal that while O and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic compositions remain more or less unchanged, significant Li and/or B isotope fractionations occur between different lithologies that are in close contact during various metamorphic stages. Samples that are supposed to represent prograde dehydration as indicated by veins formed at high pressures (HP) are characterized by element patterns of highly fluid-mobile elements in the veins that are complementary to those of the host eclogite. A second sample set represents a UHP metamorphic crustal eclogite that is separated from a garnet peridotite by a thin transitional interface. Garnet peridotite and eclogite are characterized by a 〉10% difference in MgO, which, together with the presence of abundant hydroxyl-bearing minerals and compositionally different clinopyroxene grains demonstrate that both rocks have been derived from different sources that have been tectonically juxtaposed during subduction, and that hydrous silicate-rich fluids have been added from the subducting slab to the mantle. Two additional sample sets, comprising retrograde amphibolite and relatively fresh eclogite, demonstrate that besides external fluids, internal fluids can be responsible for the formation of amphibolite. Li and B concentrations and isotopic compositions point to losses and isotopic fractionation during progressive dehydration. On the other hand, fluids with isotopically heavier Li and B are added during retrogression. On a small scale, mantle-derived rocks may be significantly metasomatized by fluids derived from the subducted slab. Our study indicates that during high-grade metamorphism, Li and B may show different patterns of enrichment and of isotopic fractionation.
Fluid/rock interaction; Elemental transfer; Isotopic fractionation; Subduction and exhumation; Sulu
Earth Sciences; Mineralogy; Mineral Resources; Geology