Noble gas composition and 40Ar/39Ar age in eclogites from the main hole of the Chinese Continental Scientific Drilling project

  • Jens HoppEmail author
  • Winfried H. Schwarz
  • Mario Trieloff
  • Hans-Peter Meyer
  • Michael Hanel
  • Rainer Altherr
Original Paper


We present the first comprehensive noble gas study on eclogites. The four eclogite samples were recovered during the Chinese Continental Scientific Drilling and are from two distinct profile depth sections differing in their degree of interaction with meteoric water, based on their δ 18O-values (surface related and of mantle-type). Hence, noble gas analyses offer the potential to further discriminate between shallow (meteoric) and deep (mantle) fluid sources. Noble gas compositions reveal typical crustal fluid compositions, characterized by a variable mixture of atmospheric gases with significant contributions of nucleogenic neon, radiogenic 4He*, radiogenic 40Ar*, fissiogenic 131–136Xe, and presumably bariogenic 131Xe, but no significant addition of mantle gases. This signature can be also considered to represent one endmember component of eclogitic diamonds. Concentrations of non-radiogenic noble gases are rather low, with depletion of light relative to the heavier noble gases. Eclogites from lower depth which experienced a higher degree of interaction with meteoric water also showed higher contributions of atmospheric gas compared with eclogites recovered from greater depth. This is interpreted to result from interaction with high-salinity fluids during ultrahigh pressure (UHP). It demonstrates that the atmospheric noble gas abundance is a proxy for interaction with surface related fluids. 40Ar/39Ar (inverse) isochron ages of two phengite separates (241.2 ± 0.4 Ma and 275.0 ± 1.8 Ma, 1σ-errors) predate the main phase of UHP metamorphism (ca. 220 Ma). Biotite yields an integrated age of about 1100 Ma. These age values are interpreted to reflect the likely addition of excess 40Ar without any chronological meaning.


CCSD project Eclogites Ar–Ar ages Noble gases 



We are grateful to J. Hoefs and Y. Xiao for providing the eclogite specimens, and acknowledge support from the research group of Manfred Lindner, in particular G. Zuzel, at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, Heidelberg. Several comments from unknown colleagues and constructive suggestions by J. Hoefs helped to improve this manuscript. This project was funded by DFG-Grant TR 333/9-1.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für GeowissenschaftenUniversität HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  2. 2.Klaus-Tschira-Labor für KosmochemieHeidelbergGermany

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