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Preservation of subduction-related prograde deformation in lawsonite pseudomorph-bearing rocks

Abstract : Lawsonite pseudomorphs are used to identify and distinguish the kinematic records of subduction and exhumation in blueschist-facies rocks from Syros (Cyclades; Greece). Lawsonite is a hydrous mineral that crystallizes at high-pressure and low-temperature conditions. During decompression, lawsonite is typically pseudomorphed by an aggregate dominated by epidote and paragonite. Such aggregates are easily deformable and if deformation occurs after the lawsonite breakdown, the pseudomorphs are difficult to distinguish from the matrix. The preservation of the lawsonite crystal shape, despite complete retrogression, indicates therefore that the host blueschist rock has not been affected by penetrative deformation during exhumation, thus providing indication of strain-free conditions. Therefore, tracking the lawsonite growth and destabilization along the P-T path followed by the rocks during a subduction/exhumation cycle provides information about the subduction/exhumation-related deformation. Using microstructural observations and P-T pseudosections calculated with thermocalc, it is inferred that top-to-the-south sense of shear preserved in lawsonite pseudomorph-bearing blueschists on Syros occurred during the prograde metamorphic path within the lawsonite stability field, and is therefore associated with subduction. On the contrary, the deformation with a top-to-the-north sense of shear is observed in surrounding rocks, where lawsonite pseudomorphs are deformed or apparently lacking. This deformation occurred after the lawsonite breakdown during exhumation. At the regional scale, exhumation-related deformation is heterogeneous, allowing the preservation of lawsonite pseudomorphs in significant volumes of blueschists of the central and southern Cyclades. It is argued that such successive shearing deformation events with opposite senses more likely correspond to an exhumation process driven by slab rollback, in which subduction and exhumation are not synchronous
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Submitted on : Thursday, July 4, 2013 - 10:56:36 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - 1:54:04 PM

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Mélody Philippon, Frédéric Gueydan, Pavel Pitra, Jean-Pierre Brun. Preservation of subduction-related prograde deformation in lawsonite pseudomorph-bearing rocks. Journal of Metamorphic Geology, Wiley-Blackwell, 2013, 31 (5), pp.571-583. ⟨10.1111/jmg.12035⟩. ⟨insu-00841214⟩

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