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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences

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Publication details for Professor Yaoling Niu

Wang, Shuijiong, Teng, Fang-Zhen, Li, Shu-Guang, Zhang, Li-Fei, Du, Jin-Xue, He, Yong-Sheng & Niu, Yaoling (2017). Tracing subduction zone fluid-rock interactions using trace element and Mg-Sr-Nd isotopes. Lithos 290-291: 94-103.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

Slab-derived fluids play a key role in mass transfer and elemental/isotopic exchanges in subduction zones. The exhumation of deeply subducted crust is achieved via a subduction channel where fluids from various sources are abundant, and thus the chemical/isotopic compositions of these rocks could have been modified by subduction-zone fluid–rock interactions. Here, we investigate the Mg isotopic systematics of eclogites from southwestern Tianshan, in conjunction with major/trace element and Sr-Nd isotopes, to characterize the source and nature of fluids and to decipher how fluid–rock interactions in subduction channel might influence the Mg isotopic systematics of exhumed eclogites. The eclogites have high LILEs (especially Ba) and Pb, high initial 87Sr/86Sr (up to 0.7117; higher than that of coeval seawater), and varying Ni and Co (mostly lower than those of oceanic basalts), suggesting that these eclogites have interacted with metamorphic fluids mainly released from subducted sediments, with minor contributions from altered oceanic crust or altered abyssal peridotites. The positive correlation between 87Sr/86Sr and Pb* (an index of Pb enrichment; Pb* = 2*PbN/[CeN + PrN]), and the decoupling relationships and bidirectional patterns in 87Sr/86Sr-Rb/Sr, Pb*-Rb/Sr and Pb*-Ba/Pb spaces imply the presence of two compositionally different components for the fluids: one enriched in LILEs, and the other enriched in Pb and 87Sr/86Sr. The systematically heavier Mg isotopic compositions (δ26Mg = − 0.37 to + 0.26) relative to oceanic basalts (− 0.25 ± 0.07) and the roughly negative correlation of δ26Mg with MgO for the southwestern Tianshan eclogites, cannot be explained by inheritance of Mg isotopic signatures from ancient seafloor alteration or prograde metamorphism. Instead, the signatures are most likely produced by fluid–rock interactions during the exhumation of eclogites. The high Rb/Sr and Ba/Pb but low Pb* eclogites generally have high bulk-rock δ26Mg values, whereas high Pb* and 87Sr/86Sr eclogites have mantle-like δ26Mg values, suggesting that the two fluid components have diverse influences on the Mg isotopic systematics of these eclogites. The LILE-rich fluid component, possibly derived from mica-group minerals, contains a considerable amount of isotopically heavy Mg that has shifted the δ26Mg of the eclogites towards higher values. By contrast, the 87Sr/86Sr- and Pb-rich fluid component, most likely released from epidote-group minerals in metasediments, has little Mg so as not to modify the Mg isotopic composition of the eclogites. In addition, the influence of talc-derived fluid might be evident in a very few eclogites that have low Rb/Sr and Ba/Pb but slightly heavier Mg isotopic compositions. These findings represent an important step toward a broad understanding of the Mg isotope geochemistry in subduction zones, and contributing to understanding why island arc basalts have averagely heavier Mg isotopic compositions than the normal mantle.