Schumacher John C.
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PreprintArc magmas sourced from melange diapirs in subduction zones( 2012-10-11) Marschall, Horst R. ; Schumacher, John C.At subduction zones, crustal material is recycled back into the mantle. A certain proportion, however, is returned to the overriding plate via magmatism. The magmas show a characteristic range of compositions that have been explained by three-component mixing in their source regions: hydrous fluids derived from subducted altered oceanic crust and components derived from the thin sedimentary veneer are added to the depleted peridotite in the mantle beneath the volcanoes. However, currently no uniformly accepted model exists for the physical mechanism that mixes the three components and transports them from the slab to the magma source. Here we present an integrated physico-chemical model of subduction zones that emerges from a review of the combined findings of petrology, modelling, geophysics, and geochemistry: Intensely mixed metamorphic rock formations, so-called mélanges, form along the slab-mantle interface and comprise the characteristic trace-element patterns of subduction-zone magmatic rocks. We consider mélange formation the physical mixing process that is responsible for the geochemical three-component pattern of the magmas. Blobs of low-density mélange material, so-called diapirs, rise buoyantly from the surface of the subducting slab and provide a means of transport for well-mixed materials into the mantle beneath the volcanoes, where they produce melt. Our model provides a consistent framework for the interpretation of geophysical, petrological and geochemical data of subduction zones.
PreprintExtreme magnesium isotope fractionation at outcrop scale records the mechanism and rate at which reaction fronts advance( 2014-10) Pogge von Strandmann, Philip A. E. ; Dohmen, Ralf ; Marschall, Horst R. ; Schumacher, John C. ; Elliott, TimIsotopic fractionation of cationic species during diffusive transport provides novel means of constraining the style and timing of metamorphic transformations. Here we document a major (~1‰) decrease in the Mg isotopic composition of the reaction front of an exhumed contact between rocks of subducted crust and serpentinite, in the Syros mélange zone. This isotopic perturbation extends over a notable length-scale (~1 m), implicating diffusion of Mg through an intergranular fluid network over a period of ~100 kyr. These novel observations confirm models of diffusion-controlled growth of reaction zones formed between rocks of contrasting compositions, such as found at the slab-mantle interface in subduction zones. The results also demonstrate that diffusive processes can result in exotic stable isotope compositions of major elements with implications for mantle xenoliths and complex intrusions.