Fingerprinting a multistage metamorphic fluid-rock history: Evidence from grain scale Sr, O and C isotopic and trace element variations in high-grade marbles from East Antarctica

M. Satish-Kumar, J. Hermann, T. Miyamoto, Y. Osanai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Granulite grade marble layers interlayered with metapelitic granulites from Lützow Holm Bay, East Antarctica, provide insight into fluid-rock interactions during burial to and exhumation from lower crustal levels. Sub-millimeter scale strontium, oxygen and carbon isotope variations along with LA-ICPMS trace element geochemistry and mineral chemistry of texturally characterized carbonates and associated minerals helped to reconstruct the multistage metamorphic fluid history. Fluid-rock interaction dating back to prograde metamorphism are still preserved in consistently low oxygen and high strontium isotope compositions (δ18O = 12‰; 87Sr/86Sr(550Ma) = 0.7248) within a massif dolomitic marble layer that escaped significant later metasomatism. In most marbles, total re-crystallization and isotopic resetting occurred in the presence of "externally derived" hyper-saline fluids that circulated along the carbonate layers during the early stages of prograde metamorphism. This leads to a trend of increased radiogenic Sr in marbles towards the value of associated metapelitic rocks that have 87Sr/86Sr(550Ma) of 0.764. LA-ICPMS studies on trace elements in carbonate and associated silicate minerals at different textural settings, distinguished using cathodoluminescence microscopy, revealed multiple metasomatic events during retrograde metamorphism. Trace element contents of Ba, Sr, Pb and U gave compelling evidence for metasomatic alteration that postdate the exsolution of carbonate at ~ 600 oC, which can be correlated with the fluids released from the crystallization of anatectic melts and pegmatites. Subsequently, meteoric fluid infiltration occurred at a shallower level of the crust and caused extreme oxygen isotopic heterogeneity (δ18O = 14.7 ~ - 4.9‰) and imprinted high concentration of fluid mobile elements. Taken together our results emphasize the importance of integrating textural and chemical heterogeneities to reveal the multiple episodes of fluid-rock interaction processes in a dynamic continental crust, which has major implications on migration of fluids and material and help in formulating models on the geodynamic evolution of crust.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-228
Number of pages12
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2010


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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