EGU24-14322, updated on 09 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The metamorphic dehydration of subducted metabasalts in the Catalina Schist: Does epidote record fluid production at the depths of deep slow slip and tremor?

Peter Lindquist1, Cailey Condit1, William Hoover1, and Victor Guevara2
Peter Lindquist et al.
  • 1University of Washington, Earth & Space Sciences, Seattle, United States of America (
  • 2Amherst College, Department of Geology, Amherst, United States of America

Dehydration reactions in the subducting slab have been suggested as a fluid source for high pore fluid pressures that are inferred in the environment that hosts deep slow slip and tremor in subduction zones. Using petrography, major and trace element geochemistry, and petrologic modeling, we study the record of dehydration reactions in exhumed metabasalt from the Catalina Schist in southern California, USA to explore potential sources of the fluids that produce high pore fluid pressures at the plate interface. The Catalina Schist comprises tectonic slices that were underplated in a subduction zone at lawsonite blueschist to amphibolite facies conditions. Metabasalts from the epidote-amphibolite facies unit here represent a coherent section of oceanic crust that was underplated during subduction at ~550°C and ~1 GPa, and are  ~100 m structurally below an ultramafic-metasedimentary mélange unit interpreted to be a paleosubduction interface from ~35 km paleodepth. Previous thermodynamic modelling suggests that epidote minerals may be common reaction products during prograde dehydration reactions along typical warm subduction geotherms, particularly at the conditions of slow slip and tremor. We therefore focus on epidote textures and trace-element compositions to provide insights into the metamorphic reactions experienced by these metabasalts, and by extension reconstruct the dehydration history of this subducted slab. Pairing these analyses with phase equilibrium modeling, we estimate the P-T path experienced by these metabasalts and the conditions at which epidote may be growing or reacting out. Epidote textures vary significantly across outcrops and appear in various settings including: epidote-rich veins and vein-like dehydration networks, and porphyroblastic epidote in surrounding host rocks. Oscillatory zoning in synkinematic epidote porphyroblasts further suggests episodic growth under varying conditions or fluid compositions. Variations in the major element and trace element geochemistry of epidote across these domains, coupled with petrologic modeling helps to reveal the metamorphic reactions that occurred in these rocks, and allows us to begin quantifying the volumes of fluids that may be released during prograde metamorphism near the conditions of deep slow slip and tremor.

How to cite: Lindquist, P., Condit, C., Hoover, W., and Guevara, V.: The metamorphic dehydration of subducted metabasalts in the Catalina Schist: Does epidote record fluid production at the depths of deep slow slip and tremor?, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-14322,, 2024.