Serpentinites act as sponges for fluid-mobile elements in abyssal and subduction zone environments


International audienceSerpentinization of the oceanic lithosphere contributes significantly to the geochemical cycle from spreading ridges to subduction zones. In situ trace element analysis of oceanic serpentinites from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the Greater Antilles (Cuba, Dominican Republic) shows that all serpentine minerals are enriched in fluid-mobile elements (FME: As, Sb, B, Li, Cs, Pb, U, Ba, Sr). We observe no loss of these elements from abyssal to subduction environments during prograde metamorphism. Moreover, the transition from lizardite/chrysotile to antigorite during subduction is marked by a strong over-enrichment in As and Sb in antigorite, indicating late contamination by a sedimentary source. This suggests that a second stage of serpentinization occurs in the earlier stages of subduction, when newly formed or reactivated normal faults ease fluid penetration, and/or in the subduction channel. Our study shows that, from spreading ridges to forearc environments, serpentines act as sponges for FME. We posit that, until ultimate antigorite breakdown, serpentinites efficiently transport significant amounts of FME down to great depths in the mantle

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oai:HAL:insu-00603792v1Last time updated on 11/11/2016

This paper was published in HAL-ENS-LYON.

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