Rates of burial and exhumation of lawsonite blueschist/eclogite in subduction zones from in situ UV laser ablation 40Ar/39Ar phengite geochronology

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Katherine Fornash, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, United States, Michael A Cosca, USGS, Denver, CO, United States, Donna L Whitney, Univ Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, United States and Christian P Teyssier, Univ of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, United States
Lawsonite eclogites and blueschists are accessible records of processes that occur at depth in subducting slabs and can therefore provide information about the chemical and physical evolution of subduction zones. In composite blueschist-eclogite terranes, blueschists may have formed (1) by prograde metamorphism (pre-eclogite), (2) at the same P-T conditions as eclogite-facies metamorphism as a result of differences in bulk composition, H2O content, or oxidation state, or (3) from retrogression of eclogite, e.g. during exhumation. Field and petrologic observations of lawsonite eclogite and blueschist in the Sivrihisar Massif, Turkey, suggest that some blueschist formed from eclogite during exhumation in the subduction channel, whereas results from thermobarometry suggest that some blueschist formed at the same P-T conditions as eclogite. To test the age, petrologic, and tectonic relationship of coexisting eclogite and blueschist, we applied in situ UV laser ablation 40Ar/39Ar phengite geochronology to eclogite- and blueschist-facies rocks representing different structural positions and displaying different phengite textures and coexisting mineral assemblages.

Phengite from fresh lawsonite eclogite yield an age of 93 ± 2 Ma and have the narrowest spread in ages (<12 Ma) of any rock type analyzed. Retrogressed (epidote) eclogite yields a mean weighted age of 82 ± 2 Ma. In contrast to the tightly constrained ages obtained in eclogite pods, blueschists and blueschist-facies quartzite exhibit discrete age populations ranging from 82 Ma to 110 Ma. Deformed phengite clusters from lawsonite garnet blueschist record age populations at 82 Ma and 92 Ma. Phengite from lawsonite-garnet veins and glaucophane-rich margins of eclogite pods also record 92 Ma. Omphacite-bearing lawsonite blueschist and a blueschist-facies quartzite from the same structural position contain age populations at 97 Ma and 110 Ma. These results document a sequence of events from prograde blueschist-facies (> 93 Ma) to peak eclogite-facies metamorphism and vein formation (~93 Ma) to retrograde metamorphism (< 90 Ma). Combined with P-T estimates, these new results distinguish prograde from retrograde blueschist assemblages and allow calculation of burial/exhumation rates over the depth range ~80–45 km in a subduction zone.