Partial eclogitisation of gabbroic rocks in a late Precambrian subduction zone (Zambia): prograde metamorphism triggered by fluid infiltration

John, T. and Schenk, Volker (2003) Partial eclogitisation of gabbroic rocks in a late Precambrian subduction zone (Zambia): prograde metamorphism triggered by fluid infiltration Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 146 (2). pp. 174-191. DOI 10.1007/s00410-003-0492-8.

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Gabbros and eclogites occur closely associated in a 200-km-long and up to 40-km-wide area of the Zambezi Belt in central Zambia. This area is interpreted to represent part of a late Precambrian suture zone, with the mafic rocks being relics of subducted oceanic crust. Gradual stages of prograde transformation from gabbro to eclogite are preserved by disequilibrium textures of incomplete reactions. This resulted in kyanite-omphacite-bearing assemblages for eclogites that have Al-poor bulk compositions. Undeformed eclogites typically preserve features of a former gabbroic texture, reflected by replacements of plagioclase and magmatic pyroxene by eclogite facies minerals. Textures of deformed eclogites range from sheared porphyroclastic to porphyroblastic. Relics of magmatic pyroxene are common and complete eclogitisation occurred only in millimetre to centimetre-scale domains in most of the rocks. No evidence for prograde blueschist or amphibolite facies mineral assemblages was found in eclogites. In contrast, the fine grained intergrowth of omphacite, garnet, kyanite and quartz, which replace former plagioclase or was formed in the pressure shadow of magmatic pyroxene relics, indicates that eclogitisation might have affected the gabbroic protoliths directly without any significant intervening metamorphic reactions. Eclogitisation took place under P-T conditions of 630-690 degreesC and 26-28 kbar, suggesting a large overstepping (>10 kbar) of reaction boundaries. Eclogitisation was initialised and accompanied by a channelised fluid flow resulting in veins with large, subhedral grains of omphacite, kyanite and garnet. The gabbro-to-eclogite transformation was enhanced by a fluid which allowed the necessary material transport for the dissolution-precipitation mechanism that characterises the metamorphic mineral replacements. The process of eclogitisation was limited by reaction kinetics and dissolution-precipitation rates rather than by the metamorphic P-T conditions. Even though ductile deformation occurred and equilibrium phase boundaries were overstepped, the infiltration of fluids was necessary for triggering the gabbro-to-eclogite transformation.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: OceanRep > SFB 574 > C1
Kiel University
OceanRep > SFB 574
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1007/s00410-003-0492-8
ISSN: 0010-7999
Contribution Number:
SFB 57429
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2010 11:42
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2016 11:25

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