Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 95, Issue 1, pp 55–70 | Cite as

Serpentinization and infiltration metasomatism in the Trinity peridotite, Klamath province, northern California: implications for subduction zones

  • Simon M. Peacock


The Trinity peridotite was emplaced over metabasalts and metasedimentary rocks of the central metamorphic belt along the Devonian Trinity thrust zone. Three metamorphic events can be recognized in the Trinity peridotite: (1) antigorite (δD= −63 to −65%.) formation related to regional underthrusting of the central metamorphic belt; (2) contact metamorphism associated with Mesozoic dioritic plutons; and (3) late-stage formation of lizardite ± brucite and chrysotile (δD= −127 to −175%.) due to infiltration of meteoric waters. Abundant relict phases indicate incomplete reactions and strongly suggest that the availability of H2O was a controlling factor during serpentinization.

Antigorite (event 1) formed as a result of infiltration into the Trinity peridotite of mixed H2O-CO2 fluids derived from the underlying central metamorphic belt. Foliation defined by magnetite veins and shear zones within antigorite serpentinites are subparallel to the Trinity thrust. The assemblage Fo + Atg + Chl + Mag ± Tr ± Carb reflects partial hydration of peridotite at 425–570° C. Talc-rich serpentinite formed along the thrust as a result of the infiltration of silica-bearing fluids. Metasomatic mass-balance calculations based on silica solubilities and the extent of antigorite serpentinization suggest that 80–175 volumes of fluid have passed through a given volume of original peridotite at the Trinity thrust.

The Trinity thrust probably represents a Devonian subduction zone. Thermodynamic calculations suggest that hydration reactions account for ∼30–35% of the total heat released by the cooling Trinity peridotite. By analogy, similar hydration reactions are to be expected in the overlying mantle wedge of a subduction zone which act to retard cooling of the hanging wall, just as dehydration reactions delay heating of the downgoing slab. Metasomatic zones formed in peridotite at the Trinity thrust may reflect similar metasomatic processes to those proposed to occur in the mantle wedge above a subducting slab.


Devonian Subduction Zone Hanging Wall Mantle Wedge Brucite 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon M. Peacock
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Earth and Space SciencesUniversity of California at Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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