4 years ago

Petrologic and stable isotopic studies of a fossil hydrothermal system in ultramafic environment (Chenaillet ophicalcites, Western Alps, France): processes of carbonate cementation

The Late Jurassic Chenaillet ophiolitic complex (Western Alps) represents parts of an oceanic core-complex of the Liguria-Piemonte domain. A model for the origin and evolution of the Chenaillet ophicalcites based on textural and isotopic characterization is presented. The Chenaillet ophicalcites correspond to brecciated serpentinized peridotites that record seafloor shallow serpentinization at a minimum temperatures of 150 °C followed by authigenic carbonation. Carbonation starts with a network of micrometric to millimetric pre- or syn- clast formation calcite veins accompanied by a pervasive carbonation of residual olivine and serpentine inside the serpentinite mesh core. A matrix of small calcite (< 50 μm, 12 μm in average) cemented clasts after their individualization. Texture of the breccia, grain size distribution within the matrix, and chrysotile clusters support rapid cementation from a strongly oversaturated fluid due most likely to hydrothermal fluid cooling and decompression. Later fluids infiltrated by multiple crack formation and some dolomite locally formed along serpentinite-calcite interfaces. Carbonates have δ13C (VPDB) values that range between -5 ‰ and +0.4 ‰. The lower values were obtained for calcite within the serpentinite clasts. The δ18O (VSMOW) values have a range between +11 ‰ and +16 ‰ in carbonated clasts. The δ18O values in the matrix are fairly homogeneous with an average at +12 ‰ and the late calcite veins have values between +12.5 and +15.5 ‰. These values suggest a relatively high temperature of formation for all the carbonates. Carbonates within clast are mainly characterized by a formation temperature in the range of 110 °C to 180 °C assuming a δ18O value of seawater of 0 ‰, the matrix forms at a temperature of ca. 165 °C. Late veins are characterized by a formation temperature ranging between 120 and 155 °C. We propose a model where serpentinization is followed by discrete carbonation then brecciation and cementation as a consequence of continuous hydrothermal fluid circulation in the serpentinite basement. This is comparable to observations made in the stockwork of present-day long-lived oceanic hydrothermal systems.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0024493717303493

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