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Serpentinization

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Encyclopedia of Marine Geosciences

Part of the book series: Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series ((EESS))

Synonyms

Abyssal peridotite; Abyssal serpentinite; Bastite; Mesh texture; Serpentine minerals; Serpentinite

Definition

“Serpentinization” is the process leading to the formation of serpentinites, metamorphic rocks derived from hydrous alteration of olivine-rich ultramafic rocks and consisting mainly of serpentine group minerals.

Introduction

Serpentinization denotes the hydrous alteration of olivine-rich ultramafic rocks, which can occur everywhere, where these rocks and aqueous solutions react under suitable pressure and temperature conditions. In the oceanic realm, seawater-derived fluids are abundant; however, ultramafic rocks (peridotites) are typically found in the Earth’s upper mantle. Serpentinization will only take place where these rocks get in contact with seawater fluids, either by deep fluid infiltration in fracture zones and bend faults or by uplift and exposure of peridotites at or near the seafloor. During serpentinization, the primary minerals contained in a peridotite...

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Correspondence to Niels Jöns .

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Jöns, N., Bach, W. (2016). Serpentinization. In: Harff, J., Meschede, M., Petersen, S., Thiede, J. (eds) Encyclopedia of Marine Geosciences. Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6238-1_119

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