Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 152, Issue 4, pp 443–458 | Cite as

Ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic rocks from the Chinese Continental Scientific Drilling Project: II Oxygen isotope and fluid inclusion distributions through vertical sections

  • Yilin XiaoEmail author
  • Zeming Zhang
  • Jochen Hoefs
  • Alfons van den Kerkhof
Original Paper


In order to reconstruct the formation and exhumation mechanisms of UHP metamorphic terrains, the Chinese Continental Scientific Drilling Program (CCSD) has been carried out in Donghai of the Dabie-Sulu ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) metamorphic belt, East China. Eclogite, gneiss, amphibolite (retrograded from eclogite), ultramafic rocks, and minor schist and quartzite have been drilled. Aiming to reveal the fluid behaviour in a vertical sequence of an UHP slab, we investigated fluid inclusion and oxygen isotope characteristics of selected drillcores from the main hole and the pilot-holes PP2 and ZK 703 of the CCSD. More than 540 laser-ablation oxygen isotope analyses on garnet, omphacite, quartz, kyanite, amphibole, phengite, rutile, epidote, amphibole, plagioclase, and biotite from various rocks in the depth range of 0–3,000 m (mainly eclogite and gneiss) show that the investigated rocks can be divided into two groups: 18O-depleted rocks (as low as δ18O = −7.4‰ for garnet) indicate interaction with cold climate meteoric waters, whereas 18O-normal rocks (with bulk δ18O > +5.6‰) have preserved the O-isotopic compositions of their protoliths. Meteoric water/rock interaction has reached depths of at least 2,700 m. Oxygen isotope equilibrium has generally been achieved. Isotopic compositions of mineral phases are homogeneous on a mm to cm scale regardless of lithology, but heterogeneous on the scale of a few metres. Oxygen isotope distributions in the vertical sections favour an “in situ” origin of the UHP metamorphic rocks. The very negative δ18O eclogites usually have higher hydroxyl-mineral contents than the normal δ18O rocks, indicating higher water content during UHP metamorphism. Fluid inclusion data suggest that rocks with depleted 18O compositions have had different fluid histories compared to those with normal δ18O values. Rocks with depleted 18O mainly have primary medium-to-high salinity inclusions in omphacite, kyanite and quartz, and abundant secondary low-salinity or pure water inclusions in quartz, indicating a high-salinity-brine-dominated fluid system during peak UHP metamorphism; no carbonic inclusions have been identified in these rocks. By contrast, primary very high-density CO2 inclusions are commonly found in the rocks with normal δ18O values. These observations suggest that fluid and oxygen isotope composition of minerals are related and reflect variable degrees of alterations of the Dabie-Sulu UHP metamorphic rocks.


Fluid Inclusion Oxygen Isotope Meteoric Water Kyanite Oxygen Isotope Composition 
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.



This study was supported by the National Science Foundation of Germany (DFG, HO 375/22), and partly by the National Science Foundation of China (For Z Z, 2003CB716501). We thank R. Przybilla for assistance during oxygen isotope analysis. Reviews by Dr. U. Wiechert and an anonymous reviewer, and editorial comments by Prof. Grove have improved the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yilin Xiao
    • 1
    Email author
  • Zeming Zhang
    • 2
  • Jochen Hoefs
    • 1
  • Alfons van den Kerkhof
    • 1
  1. 1.Geowissenschaftliches Zentrum der Universität GöttingenGottingenGermany
  2. 2.Institute of GeologyChinese Academy of Geological ScienciesBeijingChina

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