2002: Oscillatory zoning in eclogitic garnet and amphibole, northern serpentinite melange, Cuba: A record of tectonic instability during subduction?

Oscillatory zoning in eclogitic garnet and amphibole, Northern Serpentinite Melange, Cuba: a record of tectonic instability during subduction?

Abstract

Exotic blocks of eclogite from distant localities along the Northern Serpentinite Melange of Cuba have comparable P–T histories that include high-pressure prograde sections (450–600 °C, >15 kbar) associated with subduction of oceanic lithosphere, and retrograde sections within the albite–epidote amphibolite facies (<500 °C, <10 kbar) related to melange uplift. 40Ar/39Ar and Rb/Sr cooling ages (118–103 Ma) of one of the blocks indicate pre-Aptian subduction and Aptian–Albian uplift. Detailed X-ray imaging and profiling further reveals that minerals in these eclogite blocks (notably garnet and amphibole) display subtle but well defined oscillatory zoning that developed along the prograde trajectory of the rocks, previous to attainment of peak eclogitic conditions. The chemistry (e.g. coupled changes of Mg# and Mn in garnet, and of Si, Ti, Al and Na in amphibole) and geometry (euhedral to anhedral shapes) of the oscillations can be interpreted in terms of subtle fluctuations in P–T during the general prograde subduction-related metamorphic path. A (near-) equilibrium model is presented for the formation of oscillations at near peak conditions by means of recurrent dissolution-growth reaction processes. This model for near-peak conditions, and the chemical signatures of earlier oscillations (notably in amphibole), suggest that episodes of retrogression (upward movement?) affected parts of the subducting slab. It is proposed that these retrograde episodes record the tectonic rupture of the subducting slab and, probably, of the upper plate mantle, either due to the intrinsic dynamic behaviour of subduction systems or to the effects of the plate-tectonic rearrangement of the Caribbean region during the Early Cretaceous.

Keywords: amphibole; Caribbean; eclogite; garnet; oscillatory zoning.

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To Cite this article: García Casco, A., Torres Roldan, R.L., Millán Trujillo, G., Monié, P., Schneider, J. (2002): Oscillatory zoning in eclogitic garnet and amphibole, northern serpentinite melange, Cuba: A record of tectonic instability during subduction?. Journal of Metamorphic Geology, 20, 581-598.

DOI: 10.1046/j.1525-1314.2002.00390.x

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