Fluid Migration above a Subducted Slab—Constraints on Amount, Pathways and Major Element Mobility from Partially Overprinted Eclogite-facies Rocks (Sesia Zone, Western Alps)
AbstractThe Western Alpine Sesia–Lanzo Zone (SLZ) is a sliver of eclogite-facies continental crust exhumed from mantle depths in the hanging wall of a subducted oceanic slab. Eclogite-facies felsic and basic rocks sampled across the internal SLZ show different degrees of retrograde metamorphic overprint associated with fluid influx. The weakly deformed samples preserve relict eclogite-facies mineral assemblages that show partial fluid-induced compositional re-equilibration along grain boundaries, brittle fractures and other fluid pathways. Multiple fluid influx stages are indicated by replacement of primary omphacite by phengite, albitic plagioclase and epidote as well as partial re-equilibration and/or overgrowths in phengite and sodic amphibole, producing characteristic step-like compositional zoning patterns. The observed textures, together with the map-scale distribution of the samples, suggest open-system, pervasive and reactive fluid flux across large rock volumes above the subducted slab. Thermodynamic modelling indicates a minimum amount of fluid of 0·1–0·5 wt % interacting with the wall-rocks. Phase relations and reaction textures indicate mobility of K, Ca, Fe and Mg, whereas Al is relatively immobile in these medium-temperature–high-pressure fluids. Furthermore, the thermodynamic models show that recycling of previously fractionated material, such as in the cores of garnet porphyroblasts, largely controls the compositional re-equilibration of the exhumed rock body.