The Chemical Behavior of Fluids Released during Deep Subduction Based on Fluid Inclusions

Monday, 15 December 2014
Maria-Luce Frezzotti, University of Milan - Bicocca, Milan, Italy and Simona Ferrando, University of Torino, Torino, Italy
We present a review of current research on fluid inclusions in (HP-) UHP metamorphic rocks that, combined with existing experimental research and thermodynamic models, allow us to investigate the chemical and physical properties of fluids released during deep subduction, their solvent and element transport capacity, and the subsequent implications for the element recycling in the mantle wedge. An impressive number of fluid inclusion studies indicate three main populations of fluid inclusions in HP and UHP metamorphic rocks: i) aqueous and/or non-polar gaseous fluid inclusions (FI), ii) multiphase solid inclusions (MSI), and iii) melt inclusions (MI). Chemical data from preserved fluid inclusions in rocks match with and implement “model” fluids by experiments and thermodynamics, revealing a continuity behind the extreme variations of physico-chemical properties of subduction-zone fluids. From fore-arc to sub-arc depths, fluids released by progressive devolatilization reactions from slab lithologies change from relatively diluted chloride-bearing aqueous solutions (± N2), mainly influenced by halide ligands, to (alkali) aluminosilicate-rich aqueous fluids, in which polymerization probably governs the solubility and transport of major (e.g., Si and Al) and trace elements (including C). Fluid inclusion data implement the petrological models explaining deep volatile liberation in subduction zones, and their flux into the mantle wedge.