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Structural Channelling of Metamorphic Fluids on Islay, Scotland: Implications for Paleoclimatic Reconstruction
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geological Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geological Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geological Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geological Sciences.
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Number of Authors: 5
2015 (English)In: Journal of Petrology, ISSN 0022-3530, E-ISSN 1460-2415, Vol. 56, no 11, 2145-2171 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Analysis of the delta O-18 and delta C-13 values of carbonate rocks from Islay, Scotland reveals structural channelling of metamorphic fluids through the axial region of a major en echelon anticlinal fold system. Metamorphic fluid flow produced axial planar veins with higher vein density in the axial region of the fold. Fluid: rock ratios were more than 30: 1 within this axial region, at least four times greater than the regional mean ratio of 7.6 +/- 1.5:1 for carbonate rocks on Islay. This supports the interpretation that metamorphic fluids were channelled through the axial region of the Islay Anticline. Fluid: rock ratios were calculated using a model for coupled delta O-18 and delta C-13 exchange with a metamorphic fluid. The metamorphic fluid was calculated to have delta O-18 and delta C-13 values of 15.3 parts per thousand and -6.1 parts per thousand, respectively and X-CO2 of 0.2. This is in isotopic and chemical equilibrium with chlorite- and graphite-bearing metamudstones that are structurally below the folded metacarbonate rocks on Islay. Devolatilization of these metamudstones is therefore a likely source mechanism for this metamorphic fluid. Removal of the effects of metamorphic fluid flow on delta C-13 values recorded by metacarbonate rocks on Islay allows us to re-evaluate evidence used to reconstruct Neoproterozoic climate. This evidence includes a large negative delta C-13 excursion reported from the Lossit Limestone Formation. This unit underlies the Port Askaig Formation, which is dominated by diamictites that have been interpreted as glacial tillites. This 'Islay anomaly' has been correlated with other such anomalies worldwide and together with overlying tillites has been cited as evidence of major (worldwide) glaciation events. In this study, we show that the magnitude of this negative delta C-13 anomaly can partly be explained by exchange with metamorphic fluids. However, we also show that extremely negative delta C-13 values in the Bonahaven Dolomite Formation, which overlies the Port Askaig Formation and has been interpreted as a 'cap carbonate', cannot be attributed to metamorphic fluid flow.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 56, no 11, 2145-2171 p.
Keyword [en]
metamorphic fluids, fluid:rock ratios, structural channelling, veins, oxygen and carbon isotopes, Neoproterozoic glaciation
National Category
Geology
Research subject
Geology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-126856DOI: 10.1093/petrology/egv067ISI: 000368432300003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-126856DiVA: diva2:906323
Available from: 2016-02-24 Created: 2016-02-16 Last updated: 2017-08-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Fluid-induced alteration of metasedimentary rocks in the Scottish Highlands
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Fluid-induced alteration of metasedimentary rocks in the Scottish Highlands
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Fluids, mainly H2O and CO2, are released from H- and C-bearing phases during prograde metamorphism. Because of the buoyancy of these fluids, they rise within the crust towards the surface of the Earth. Metamorphic fluids take advantage of permeable horizons, shear zones, fold hinges, fractures, and are channelled into high-flux zones. Fluid fluxes for channelized fluid flow may exceed background pervasive fluxes by several orders of magnitude. Metamorphic fluids react with the surrounding rock during fluid flow, and altered zones are commonly observed adjacent to high-flux conduits. Fluid-altered rock is texturally, mineralogically, chemically, and isotopically different from rock unaffected by fluid flow. In this thesis, fluid-rock interaction is studied at two localities in the Scottish Highlands: Glen Esk and the Isle of Islay.

Glen Esk is one of the type localities used by George Barrow (1853-1932) to propose the concept of metamorphic zones and metamorphic index minerals as an approximate determination of metamorphic grade. In several of the metamorphic zones in Glen Esk, index mineral distribution is highly dependent on proximity to veins. The occurrence of index minerals is therefore not only controlled by pressure and temperature, but also by the availability of metamorphic fluids. Evidence of a retrograde fluid flow event from the North Esk Fault is observed in Glen Esk, for which a time-averaged fluid flux of 0.0003 – 0.0126 m3∙m-2∙yr-1 is calculated. The duration of the fluid event is estimated to between 16 and 334 kyr.

On the Isle of Islay, kyanite is observed in rocks of chlorite or lower-biotite metamorphic grade, i.e. much lower temperatures than usually associated with kyanite formation. The favoured explanation for this is retrograde infiltration of extremely high-CO2 fluids, at least locally XCO2 > 0.7, at ~340°C, which altered these rocks and stabilised kyanite in a carbonate-bearing assemblage. Oxygen and carbon stable isotope profiles across the Islay Anticline reveals highly channelized fluid flow along the axial region of this fold, with fluid:rock ratios at least four times higher than in rock farther away from the fold. Although carbon and oxygen isotope ratios of metacarbonate rocks were altered along the Islay Anticline, negative anomalies observed below and above the Port Askaig Tillite Formation cannot solely be attributed to metamorphic fluid flow, which implies that these rocks to varying degree retain their primary paleoclimatological isotopic signatures.

Abstract [sv]

Stora volymer H2O och CO2 frigörs som fluider under prograd metamorfos. Metamorfa fluider har lägre densitet än det omgivande berget, varför de stiger genom jordskorpan mot jordytan. Metamorfa fluider kanaliseras i permabla lager, skjuvzoner, veckaxlar, sprickor och andra högflödeszoner. Kanaliserade fluidflöden kan vara flera storleksordningar högre än bakgrundsvärdet för fluidflöde inom en bergart. Metamorfa fluider reagerar under transport med det omgivande berget och bildar fluidomvandlade zoner i anslutning till högflödeskanaler. Fluidomvandlat berg uppvisar texturella, mineralogiska, kemiska och isotopsammansättningsmässiga skillnader i jämförelse med berg som inte utsatts för fluidomvandling. I denna avhandling behandlas reaktioner mellan fluid och berg som studerats i två lokaler i de skotska högländerna: Glen Esk och Islay.

Glen Esk är en av de typlokaler som George Barrow (1853-1932) använde för att lägga fram konceptet om metamorfa zoner och metamorfa indexmineral som används för att ungefärligt uppskatta metamorf grad. I flera av de metamorfa zonerna är förekomsten av indexmineral i hög grad beroende av närhet till kvartsådror, vilket visar att bildandet av indexmineral inte bara styrs av tryck och temperatur, utan också av åtkomst till metamorfa fluider. I Glen Esk finns också spår av ett fluidflöde från North Esk-förkastningen, under retrograda metamorfa förhållanden, för vilket mededfluidflödet över tid uppgår till 0.0003 – 0.0126 m3∙m-2∙år-1. Denna fluidflödeshändelse beräknas ha pågått mellan 16 000 och 334 000 år.

På ön Islay i de sydvästra högländerna återfinns bergarter, som trots sin låga metamorfa grad i klorit- eller biotitzonen innehåller mineralet kyanit, dvs. temperaturer långt under vad som vanligen associeras med kyanitbildning. Detta förklaras med infiltration av fluider med extremt hög CO2-halt, åtminstone lokalt så högt som XCO2 > 0.7, vid ca. 340°C. Fluidomvandling av dessa bergarter stabiliserade kyanit tillsammans med karbonatmineral. Syre- och kolisotopprofiler över Islayantiklinen påvisar hög kanalisering av fluider längs dess veckaxeln. Förhållandet mellan fluid och berg var mer än fyra gånger så högt i närheten av veckaxeln jämfört lokaler längre ifrån densamma. Påverkan av metakarbonatbergarters isotopförhållanden har skett längs Islayantiklinen, men fluidpåverkan kan inte ensamt förklara de isotopanomalier som observerats under och ovan Port Askaig-tilliten, varför dessa bergarter kan ha bibehållit sin primära paleoklimatologiska isotopsignatur.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Geological Sciences, Stockholm University, 2017
Series
Meddelanden från Stockholms universitets institution för geologiska vetenskaper, 368
Keyword
metamorphic fluids, metamorphic fluid flow, fluid-rock interaction, metamorphic fluid fluxes
National Category
Geology
Research subject
Geology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-146121 (URN)978-91-7649-885-9 (ISBN)978-91-7649-886-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-10-06, William-Olssonsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Submitted. Paper 3: Manuscript.

Available from: 2017-09-13 Created: 2017-08-23 Last updated: 2017-09-05Bibliographically approved

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