Petrologic characterization of Guatemalan lawsonite eclogite: Eclogitization of subducted oceanic crust in a cold subduction zone


Early Cretaceous lawsonite eclogites and related high-pressure rocks occur as tectonic inclusions within serpentinite mélange south of the Motagua fault zone, Guatemala. Petrologic and microtextural analyses of mafic high-pressure rocks reveal three metamorphic stages linked to several deformational textures. The prograde stage represents an incipient eclogitization and is preserved in prograde garnet, along with an older S1–S2 foliation. The prograde assemblage is garnet (X Mg = ∼0.22) + omphacite (∼52 mol% jadeite) or jadeite (∼83 mol % jadeite) + lawsonite + chlorite + rutile + quartz ± phengite (3.6 Si p.f.u.); some rocks also have ilmenite and rare ferro-glaucophane. Lawsonite in garnet of some lawsonite eclogites contains rare pumpellyite inclusions. The presence of synmetamorphic brittle deformation, inclusions of pumpellyite, Fe2+-Mg distribution coefficients between omphacite inclusions and adjacent garnet with Ln(K D) = 2.7–4.5, and garnet-clinopyroxene-phengite thermobarometry suggest that eclogitization initiated at temperature (T) = ∼300 °C and pressure (P) > 1.1 GPa, and continued to T = ∼480 °C and P = ∼2.6 GPa. In contrast, the retrograde eclogite-facies assemblage is characterized by reversely zoned garnet rims and omphacite ± glaucophane + lawsonite + rutile + quartz ± phengite (3.5 Si p.f.u.) along the S3 foliation. Garnet-phengite-clinopyroxene thermobarometry yields P = ∼1.8 GPa and T = ∼400 °C. The youngest, blueschist-facies assemblage (glauco-phane + lawsonite + chlorite + titanite + quartz ± phengite) locally replaces earlier mineral assemblages along S4 crenulations. The inferred prograde P-T trajectory lies near a geotherm of ∼5 °C km−1, comparable to the calculated thermal and petrologic structure of the NE Japan subduction zone. These petrologic characteristics indicate: (1) the basalt-eclogite transformation may occur at T = ∼300 °C in cold subduction zones, (2) glaucophane-bearing prograde assemblages are rare during incipient eclogitization in cold subduction zones, and (3) the chlorite-consuming reactions that form Fe-Mg-Mn garnet are more effective than the lawsonite-consuming reaction that forms a grossular component. At depths of ∼100 km in cold subduction zones, dehydration embrittlement may be caused by such chlorite-consuming reactions.

Special Paper of the Geological Society of America, 403, p. 147-168 doi:10.1130/2006.2403(09)