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Serpentinization, deformation, and seismic anisotropy in the subduction mantle wedge

Horn, C. ; Bouilhol, P. ; Skemer, P., G3

Serpentinization, deformation, and seismic anisotropy in the subduction mantle wedge

Horn, C. ; Bouilhol, P. ; Skemer, P.

Geochemistry, Geosphysics, Geosystems, 2020, 21, 4, e2020GC008950

Abstract :

Antigorite is a hydrous sheet silicate with strongly anisotropic seismic and rheological properties. Hydrous minerals such as antigorite have been invoked to explain numerous geologic observations within subduction zones including intermediate‐depth earthquakes, arc volcanism, the persistent weakness of the subduction interface, trench‐parallel S wave splitting, and episodic tremor and slip. To understand how the presence of antigorite‐bearing rocks affects observations of seismic anisotropy, three mylonites from the Kohistan palaeo‐island arc in Pakistan were analysed using electron backscatter diffraction. A fourth sample, which displayed optical evidence for crystallographically controlled replacements of olivine, was also investigated using electron backscatter diffraction to identify potential topotactic relationships. The resulting data were used to model the bulk seismic properties of antigorite‐rich rocks. The mylonitic samples exhibit incredibly strong bulk anisotropy (10–20% for the antigorite + olivine). Within the nominally undeformed protomylonite, two topotactic relationships were observed : (1) (010)ant//(100)ol with [100]ant//[001]ol and (2) (010)ant//(100)ol with [100]ant//[010]ol. However, the strength of a texture formed by topotactic replacement is markedly weaker than the strength of the textures observed in mylonitic samples. Since antigorite is thought to be rheologically weak, we hypothesise that microstructures formed from topotactic reactions will be progressively overprinted as deformation is localised in regions with greater percentages of serpentine. Regions of highly sheared serpentine, therefore, have the potential to strongly influence seismic wave speeds in subduction settings. The presence of deformed antigorite in a dipping structure is one explanation for observations of both the magnitude and splitting pattern of seismic waves in subduction zones.

Voir en ligne : https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GC008950




publié mercredi 24 juin 2020