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Formation and alteration of plagiogranites in an ultramafic-hosted detachment fault at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (ODP Leg 209)

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Abstract

We examined small-scale shear zones in drillcore samples of abyssal peridotites from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. These shear zones are associated with veins consisting of chlorite + actinolite/tremolite assemblages, with accessory phases zircon and apatite, and they are interpreted as altered plagiogranite melt impregnations, which originate from hydrous partial melting of gabbroic intrusion in an oceanic detachment fault. Ti-in-zircon thermometry yields temperatures around 820°C for the crystallization of the evolved melt. Reaction path modeling indicates that the alteration assemblage includes serpentine of the adjacent altered peridotites. Based on the model results, we propose that formation of chlorite occurred at higher temperatures than serpentinization, thus leading to strain localization around former plagiogranites during alteration. The detachment fault represents a major pathway for fluids through the oceanic crust, as evidenced by extremely low δ18O of altered plagiogranite veins (+3.0–4.2‰) and adjacent serpentinites (+ 2.6–3.7‰). The uniform oxygen isotope data indicate that fluid flow in the detachment fault system affected veins and adjacent host serpentinites likewise.

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Acknowledgments

We thank P. Appel and B. Mader for help with the microprobe analyses, H. Anders and A. Klügel for support during LA-ICP-MS work, W. Hale for help during sampling, A. Weinkauf for XRF analyses, A. Pack for oxygen isotope data and D. Garbe-Schönberg for whole-rock trace element measurements. M. Hentscher and F. Klein provided invaluable support during EQ3/6 database compilation and modeling. J. Koepke is thanked for providing the compilation of chemical data of plagiogranites. Reviews by B. R. Frost and an anonymous reviewer significantly improved the quality of the paper. J. Hoefs is thanked for the editorial handling. This research used samples supplied by the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP), which is sponsored by the U.S. National Science foundation (NSF) and participating countries under management of Joint Oceanographic Institutions (JOI). Funding was provided by the Marum Excellence Cluster “The Ocean in the Earth System” and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft through grant BA 1605/2-1.

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Jöns, N., Bach, W. & Schroeder, T. Formation and alteration of plagiogranites in an ultramafic-hosted detachment fault at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (ODP Leg 209). Contrib Mineral Petrol 157, 625–639 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00410-008-0357-2

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