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Extraneous argon in high-pressure metamorphic rocks: Distribution, origin and transport in the Cycladic Blueschist Unit (Greece)

Valentin Laurent 1, 2 Benjamin Huet 3 Loic Labrousse 4 Laurent Jolivet 1, 2 Patrick Monie 5 Romain Augier 1, 2
2 Géodynamique - UMR7327
INSU - CNRS - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers, UO - Université d'Orléans : UMR7327, BRGM - Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM), ISTO - Institut des Sciences de la Terre d'Orléans - UMR7327 : UMR7327
4 LSD - Lithosphère, structure et dynamique
iSTeP - Institut des Sciences de la Terre de Paris
Abstract : The 40Ar/39Ar geochronological technique has significantly contributed to the study of crustal deformation. However, the frequent occurrence of extraneous argon in high-pressure terrains can make the interpretation of 40Ar/39Ar ages problematic. This contribution attempts to: i) characterize the distribution and origin of extraneous argon in the Cycladic Blueschist Unit (CBU, Greece) by applying the 40Ar/39Ar dating technique on three Cycladic islands, Syros, Tinos and Ios, which span a complete transect of the CBU and ii) discuss regional implications for the tectonometamorphic evolution of the CBU. Our results, combined with ages available in the literature, show that periods of peak-burial conditions (55–49 Ma) and syn- (45–38 Ma) to post-orogenic exhumation (37–21 Ma) are well constrained in the CBU by the 40Ar/39Ar method. Moreover, Variscan apparent ages are preserved in the Cycladic basement of Ios, indicating that the 40Ar/39Ar system was not completely reset during the Eocene metamorphic episode. Additionally, our 40Ar/39Ar data show that the occurrence of extraneous argon is heterogeneously distributed in the CBU. While high-pressure rocks of Syros and Tinos are only locally affected, extraneous argon is clearly evidenced in the CBU of Ios, yielding geologically meaningless ages up to 900 Ma. On each island, the most affected ages were obtained in microstructures where fluid circulation is enhanced such as shear bands or strain shadows around garnets. We suggest that the Cycladic Basement, a polymetamorphic continental unit, behaved as an argon reservoir that has been mobilized by fluid circulation at the Eocene. These argon-enriched fluids have then heterogeneously contaminated metamorphic rocks when percolating through the CBU. Finally, we claim that a minimum closure temperature of 550 °C must be accepted for the phengites of the CBU and conclude that volume diffusion is not the main process resetting the argon isotopic system in high-pressure rocks compare to recrystallization enhanced by fluid circulation and deformation.
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Valentin Laurent, Benjamin Huet, Loic Labrousse, Laurent Jolivet, Patrick Monie, et al.. Extraneous argon in high-pressure metamorphic rocks: Distribution, origin and transport in the Cycladic Blueschist Unit (Greece). Lithos, Elsevier, 2017, 272-273, pp.315-335. ⟨10.1016/j.lithos.2016.12.013⟩. ⟨insu-01424268⟩

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