Lawsonite vorticity and subduction kinematics

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The exceptional preservation of lawsonite in eclogite and blueschist in a subduction complex (Sivrihisar, Turkey) allows evaluation of high-pressure (HP) deformation and exhumation using vorticity analysis of a HP index mineral. The Sivrihisar HP rocks were deformed during HP metamorphism and initial decompression by oblique (normal and/or dextral) shearing beneath serpentinized peridotite. We evaluated kinematic vorticity (Wm pure shear = 0, Wm simple shear = 1) using the shape fabric of lawsonite crystals in blueschist layers and meter-scale eclogite pods. Pods record dominant simple shear (Wm > 0.8) in their eclogitic core and at pod margins partially transformed to blueschist; map-scale blueschist layers record a large component of pure shear (Wm = 0.4-0.6), consistent with oblique extrusion at depth in the subduction zone, and local simple shear (Wm = 0.8) at the fault contact with serpentinite. A combination of oblique unroofing from beneath a weak serpentinized hanging wall and pure shear extrusion in the subduction channel accounts for rapid exhumation along a low geothermal gradient and the rare preservation of lawsonite eclogite during exhumation to the Earth's surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1123-1126
Number of pages4
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010


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