Unraveling the polymetamorphic history of garnet-bearing metabasites: Insights from the North Motagua Mélange (Guatemala Suture Zone)

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Guillaume Bonnet1,2, Kennet E Flores2, Celine Martin2 and George E Harlow2, (1)Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris, Paris, France, (2)American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY, United States
The Guatemala Suture Zone is the fault-bound region in central Guatemala that contains the present North American–Caribbean plate boundary. This major composite geotectonic unit contains a variety of ophiolites, serpentinite mélanges, and metavolcano-sedimentary sequences along with high-grade schists, gneisses, low-grade metasediments and metagranites thrusted north and south of the active Motagua fault system (MFS). The North Motagua Mélange (NMM) outcrops north of the MFS and testifies the emplacement of exhumed subduction assemblages along a collisional tectonic setting. The NMM is composed of a serpentinite-matrix mélange that contains blocks of metabasites (subgreenschist facies metabasalt, grt-blueschist, eclogite, grt-amphibolite), vein-related rocks (jadeitite, omphacitite, albitite, mica-rock), and metatrondhjemites.

Our new detailed petrographic and thermobarometric study on the garnet-bearing metabasites reveals a complex polymetamorphic history with multiple tectonic events. Eclogites show a classical clockwise PT path composed of (a) prograde blueschist/eclogite facies within garnet cores, (b) eclogite facies metamorphic peak at ~1.7 GPa and 620°C, (c) post-peak blueschist facies, (d) amphibolite facies overprint, and (e) late stage greenschist facies. Two types of garnet amphibolite blocks can be found, the first consist of (a) a relict eclogite facies peak at ~1.3 GPa and 550°C only preserved within anhedral garnet cores, and (b) surrounded by a post-peak amphibolite facies. In contrast, the second type displays a prograde amphibolite facies at 0.6-1.1 GPa and 400-650°C.

The eclogites metamorphic peak suggests formation in a normal subduction zone at ~60 km depth, a subsequent exhumation to the middle section of the subduction channel (~35 km), and a later metamorphic reworking at lower P and higher T before its final exhumation. The first type of garnet amphibolite shows a similar trajectory as the eclogites but at warmer conditions. In contrast, the second type of garnet amphibolite recorded a single prograde evolution along a hotter thermal gradient. These different PT paths suggest multiple metamorphic events that may be related to subduction initiation, partial exhumation and storage of HP–LT rocks, subduction of buoyant crust, final exhumation and obduction.