Nitrogen recycling in subducted oceanic lithosphere: The record in high- and ultrahigh-pres sure metabasaltic rocks

Halama, R., Bebout, G. E., John, T. and Schenk, V. (2010) Nitrogen recycling in subducted oceanic lithosphere: The record in high- and ultrahigh-pres sure metabasaltic rocks Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta, 74 (5). pp. 1636-1652. DOI 10.1016/j.gca.2009.12.003.

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This paper provides the first measurements of the nitrogen (N) concentrations and isotopic compositions of high- and ultrahigh-pressure mafic eclogites, aimed at characterizing the subduction input flux of N in deeply subducting altered oceanic crust (AOC). The samples that were studied are from the Raspas Complex (Ecuador), Lago di Cignana (Italy), the Zambezi Belt (Zambia) and Cabo Ortegal (Spain), together representing subduction to 50-90 km depths. The eclogites contain 2-20 ppm N with delta(15)N(air) values ranging from -1 to +8 parts per thousand. These values overlap those of altered oceanic crust, but are distinct from values for fresh MORB (for the latter, similar to 1.1 ppm N and delta(15)N(air) similar to -4 parts per thousand). Based on N data in combination with other trace element data, the eclogite suites can be subdivided into those that are indistinguishable from their likely protolith, AOC, with or without superimposed effects of devolatilization (Lago di Cignana, Cabo Ortegal), and those that have experienced metasomatic additions during subduction-zone metamorphism (Zambezi Belt, Raspas). For the former group, the lack of a detectable loss of N in the eclogites, compared to various altered MORB compositions, suggests the retention of N in deeply subducted oceanic crust. The metasomatic effects affecting the latter group can be best explained by mixing with a (meta)sedimentary component, resulting in correlated enrichments of N and other trace elements (in particular, Ba and Pb) thought to be mobilized during HP/UHP metamorphism. Serpentinized and high-pressure metamorphosed peridotites, associated with the eclogites at Raspas and Cabo Ortegal, contain 3-15 pprn N with delta(15)N(air) values ranging from +3 to +6 parts per thousand, significantly higher than the generally accepted values for the MORB mantle (delta(15)N(air) similar to -5 parts per thousand). Based on their relatively high N contents and their homogeneous and positive delta(15)N values, admixing of sedimentary N is also indicated for the serpentinized peridotites. One possible pathway for the addition of sediment-derived N into eclogites and peridotites involves mixing with fluids along the slab-mantle wedge interface. Alternatively, sedimentary N could be incorporated into peridotites during serpentinization at bending-related faults at the outer rise and, during later deserpentinization, released into fluids that then infiltrate overlying rocks. Deep retention of N in subducting oceanic crust should be considered in any attempt to balance subduction inputs with outputs in the form of arc volcanic gases. If materials such as these eclogites and serpentinized peridotites are eventually subducted to beyond sub-are depths into the deeper mantle, containing some fraction of their forearc-subarc N inventory (documented here), they could deliver isotopically heavy N into the mantle to potentially be sampled by plume-related magmas. (c) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: cabo-ortegal complex lago di cignana raspas metamorphic complex crust-mantle interaction western alps catalina schist nd isotope metasedimentary rocks zone metamorphism trace-elements
Research affiliation: Kiel University
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.gca.2009.12.003
ISSN: 0016-7037
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2011 05:48
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2012 10:00

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