On topotaxy and compaction during antigorite and chlorite dehydration: an experimental and natural study

Abstract : Dehydration reactions result in minerals’ replacement and a transient fluid-filled porosity. These reactions involve interface-coupled dissolution–precipitation and might therefore lead to fixed crystallographic orientation relations between reactant (protolith) and product phases (i.e. topotaxy). We investigate these two phenomena in the dehydration of a foliated antigorite (atg) serpentinite by comparing the crystallographic preferred orientation (CPO) developed by olivine (ol), orthopyroxene (opx) and chlorite (chl) during high-pressure antigorite and chlorite dehydration in piston-cylinder experiments and in natural samples recording the dehydration of antigorite (Cerro del Almirez, Betic Cordillera, Spain). Experiments were performed under undrained conditions resulting in fluid-filled porosity and in strong CPO of the prograde minerals, controlled by the pre-existing antigorite CPO in the reactant foliated serpentinite. The orientation of a ol,opx and c∗chl is parallel to c∗atg from the protolith. The Cerro del Almirez samples show similar, locally well-developed topotactic relations between orthopyroxene, chlorite and antigorite, but the product CPOs are weaker and more complex at the thin section scale. In contrast to the experiments, olivine from natural samples shows a weak correlation between b ol and the former c∗atg. We relate the strengthening of local topotactic relations and the weakening of the inherited CPO at a larger scale in natural samples to compaction and associated fluid migration. Microstructural features that might be related to compaction in the natural samples include: (1) smooth bending of the former foliation, (2) gradual crystallographic misorientation (up to 16°) of prismatic orthopyroxene due to buckling by dislocation creep, (3) inversion of enstatite to low clinoenstatite (P21/c) along lamellae and (4) brittle fracturing of prismatic orthopyroxene enclosed by plastically deformed chlorite. The coexistence of orthopyroxene buckling and clinoenstatite lamellae enables estimating the local strain rates and shear stresses generated during compaction. An lower bound for the strain rates in the order of 10−12 to 10−13 s−1 and shear stresses of 60–70 MPa are estimated based on creep data. Lower shear stresses (20–40 MPa) are retrieved using a theoretical approach. These data point to slow compaction (and fluid extraction) in nature if the system is not perturbed by external forces, with rates only marginally higher than the viscoplastic deformation of the solid matrix.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, July 8, 2015 - 2:48:11 PM
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Jose Alberto Padron Navarta, Andrea Tommasi, C. J. Garrido, David Mainprice. On topotaxy and compaction during antigorite and chlorite dehydration: an experimental and natural study. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, Springer Verlag, 2015, 169 (4), pp.35. ⟨10.1007/s00410-015-1129-4⟩. ⟨hal-01174158⟩

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