Article: article from journal or magazin.
Juxtaposition of melt impregnation and high-temperature shear zones in the upper mantle; field and petrological constraints from the Lanzo peridotite (Northern Italy)
Journal of Petrology
Results of a field and microstructural study between the northern and the central bodies of the Lanzo plagioclase peridotite massif (NW Italy) indicate that the spatial distribution of deformation is asymmetric across kilometre-scale mantle shear zones. The southwestern part of the shear zone (footwall) shows a gradually increasing degree of deformation from porphyroclastic peridotites to mylonite, whereas the northeastern part (hanging wall) quickly grades into weakly deformed peridotites. Discordant gabbroic and basaltic dykes are asymmetrically distributed and far more abundant in the footwall of the shear zone. The porphyroclastic peridotite displays porphyroclastic zones and domains of igneous crystallization whereas mylonites are characterized by elongated porphyroclasts, embedded between fine-grained, polycrystalline bands of olivine, plagioclase, clinopyroxene, orthopyroxene, spinel, rare titanian pargasite, and domains of recrystallized olivine. Two types of melt impregnation textures have been found: (1) clinopyroxene porphyroclasts incongruently reacted with migrating melt to form orthopyroxene plagioclase; (2) olivine porphyroclasts are partially replaced by interstitial orthopyroxene. The meltrock reaction textures tend to disappear in the mylonites, indicating that deformation in the mylonite continued under subsolidus conditions. The pyroxene chemistry is correlated with grain size. High-Al pyroxene cores indicate high temperatures (11001030C), whereas low-Al neoblasts display lower final equilibration temperatures (860C). The spinel Cr-number [molar Cr/(Cr Al)] and TiO2 concentrations show extreme variability covering almost the entire range known from abyssal peridotites. The spinel compositions of porphyroclastic peridotites from the central body are more variable than spinel from mylonite, mylonite with ultra-mylonite bands, and porphyroclastic rocks of the northern body. The spinel compositions probably indicate disequilibrium and would favour rapid cooling, and a faster exhumation of the central peridotite body, relative to the northern one. Our results indicate that melt migration and high-temperature deformation are juxtaposed both in time and space. Meltrock reaction may have caused grain-size reduction, which in turn led to localization of deformation. It is likely that melt-lubricated, actively deforming peridotites acted as melt focusing zones, with permeabilities higher than the surrounding, less deformed peridotites. Later, under subsolidus conditions, pinning in polycrystalline bands in the mylonites inhibited substantial grain growth and led to permanent weak zones in the upper mantle peridotite, with a permeability that is lower than in the weakly deformed peridotites. Such an inversion in permeability might explain why actively deforming, fine-grained peridotite mylonite acted as a permeability barrier and why ascending mafic melts might terminate and crystallize as gabbros along actively deforming shear zones. Melt-lubricated mantle shear zones provide a mechanism for explaining the discontinuous distribution of gabbros in oceancontinent transition zones, oceanic core complexes and ultraslow-spreading ridges.
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