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Journal Articles Lithos Year : 2018

Intermediate-depth brecciation along the subduction plate interface (Monviso eclogite, W. Alps)


The Monviso meta-ophiolite complex (Northern Italy, Western Alps) represents an almost intact fragment of Tethyan oceanic lithosphere metamorphosed at 80 km depth ( 2.6GPa-550 °C) during the Alpine subduction. We focus our study on a major shear zone cutting across this slab fragment at low angle (the Lower Shear Zone; LSZ). Here, in its talc and tremolite-rich serpentinite matrix, are embedded (together with metasedimentary lenses) variously brecciated Fe-Ti and Mg-Al metagabbro blocks. The latter were either interpreted as eclogitic breccias resulting from intermediate-depth rupture or as inherited, overprinted oceanic core complex features. Our new field, structural and petrographic data testify the genesis of this metagabbro breccia blocks at eclogite-facies conditions. Three types of eclogitic blocks can be distinguished, with non-random distribution (and decreasing size from top to base) throughout the 200-m-thick and 15 km-long LSZ: (1) Fe-Ti-metagabbros, brecciated and scattered in the upper to intermediate levels of the LSZ; (2) meter-size blocks and decameter-scale slivers of intact Mg-Al metagabbros, locally brecciated; (3) dm- to m-scale blocks of intact Fe-Ti metagabbros without breccia fabrics. Brecciation at eclogite facies conditions (at 80 km depth) is documented by: i) the eclogitic foliation of intact Mg-Al-rich metagabbros (composed of omphacite + clinozoisite ± rutile and locally garnet) cut by breccia planes (cemented by omphacite + garnet ± lawsonite) and ii) the occurrence in breccia clasts of minerals that are fractured and offset along peak P-T omphacite-bearing planes. Rupture preferentially affected the Fe-Ti metagabbros, suggesting that rheological contrasts controlled the locus of brecciation. The occurrence of a first omphacite-rich matrix (M1, 2.7GPa - 580 °C) crosscut by omphacite + garnet-bearing matrix M2 ( 2.4GPa - 560 °C), witnesses multiple brittle rupture events, prior to a stage of eclogite facies fluid ingression marked by massive lawsonite recrystallization (matrix M3).

Dates and versions

insu-03589314 , version 1 (25-02-2022)



Michele Locatelli, Anne Verlaguet, Philippe Agard, L. Federico, Samuel Angiboust. Intermediate-depth brecciation along the subduction plate interface (Monviso eclogite, W. Alps). Lithos, 2018, 320, pp.378-402. ⟨10.1016/j.lithos.2018.09.028⟩. ⟨insu-03589314⟩
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