3 years ago

B-type olivine fabric induced by low temperature dissolution creep during serpentinization and deformation in mantle wedge

The B-type olivine fabric (i.e., the [010] axes subnormal to foliation and the [001] axes subparallel to the lineation) has been regarded as an important olivine fabric for interpreting global trench-parallel S-wave polarization in fore-arc regions. However, strong serpentinization and cold temperature environment in the mantle wedge should inhibit development of the B-type olivine fabric that requires high temperature to activate solid-state plastic deformation. Here we report fabrics of olivine and antigorite generated at low temperatures (300–370°C) during serpentinization in a fossil mantle wedge of the Val Malenco area, Central Alps. Olivine in the serpentine matrix develops a pronounced B-type fabric, while antigorite in the same matrix displays a strong crystallographic orientation (CPO) with the (001) planes and the [010] axes subparallel to foliation and lineation, respectively. The following evidence leads to the conclusion that the B-type olivine fabric results from dissolution creep assisted by grain boundary sliding (GBS) and grain rotation, rather than solid-state plastic deformation: (1) serpentinization took place at low temperatures and a fluid-enriched environment, ideal for dissolution-precipitation creep; (2) the voids and zigzag boundaries along the interface between antigorite and olivine suggest a fluid dissolution reaction; (3) the primary coarse olivine develops a nearly random fabric, indicating the B-type fabrics in the fine-grained olivine may not be inherited fabrics. These results document for the first time the B-type olivine CPO formed by dissolution creep at low temperatures during serpentinization and provide a mechanism to reconcile petrofabric observations with geophysical observations of trench parallel fast S-wave seismic anisotropy in fore-arc mantle wedge regions.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S004019511730450X

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