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Geology covers multiple disciplines and substantial territory in April's new postings
Date:4/18/2013

gments of subcontinental lithospheric mantle have played an important role in the development of the present architecture of the Mediterranean lithosphere.


A simple mechanism for mid-crustal shear zones to record surface-derived fluid signatures
Tom Raimondo et al., School of Natural and Built Environments, University of South Australia, GPO Box 2471, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia. Published online ahead of print on 4 April; http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/G34043.1.

This paper by Tom Raimondo and colleagues challenges a widely accepted notion about how surface-derived fluids can penetrate to deep levels (deeper than 15 km) in Earth's crust. Most models for deep fluid transport argue that infiltration occurs over very long distances through permeable pathways such as fractures and fault zones. However, these models must grapple with very tight mechanical restrictions that should prevent this from happening. They also have difficulty explaining how such fluids are able to retain a chemical signature diagnostic of surficial reservoirs - chemical interactions with the surrounding rock during downward migration should result in its eradication. Raimondo and colleagues use high precision and high spatial resolution analysis of oxygen isotopes in garnet to reconstruct the fluid-rock interaction history of deeply buried rocks that have interacted with a surface-derived fluid. Using this evidence, they propose a new model whereby such fluid is implanted at the surface during the exposure and alteration of preexisting fault panels. These altered packages of rock are subsequently buried by thick sedimentary deposits in a rift basin and then undergo structural reactivation during mountain building. Surface-derived fluids are thus imposed on the deep crust as a result of the exposure, weathering and reburial of preexisting fault structures.


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Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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