Fluid composition changes in crystalline basement rocks from ductile to brittle regimes

Cantarero, Irene; Alías, Gemma; Cruset, David; Carola, Eloi; Lanari, Pierre; Travé, Anna (2018). Fluid composition changes in crystalline basement rocks from ductile to brittle regimes. Global and planetary change, 171, pp. 273-292. Elsevier Science 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2018.03.002

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The relationships between deformation and fluid flow have been investigated in the Paleozoic basement of an isolated horst of the Catalan Coastal Ranges. A structural, petrological and geochemical study has been performed in a complex fracture network that resulted from a long-lived tectonic history (from Carboniferous to Miocene).

Nine fracture types, developed from a ductile regime in the greenschist facies to a shallow brittle regime, have been characterized in order to establish P, T and fluid compositions during the evolution of the horst. Syn-cleavage and late-cleavage quartz veins (qtz1-chl1 ± mu and late qtz2-chl2-dol1) formed during the Hercynian ductile deformation. These minerals precipitated from metamorphic fluids, possibly evolved from seawater, at temperatures between 240 and 340 °C. En-echelon albite vein arrays (ab-qtz3-chl3 ± ti-an) and NE-SW normal faults generating breccias mark the change from ductile to brittle, from compression to extension and from a closed to an open hydrologic regime. This paragenesis precipitated from the mixing of metamorphic and magmatic fluids at temperatures between 180 and 290 °C during the early Permian extension. Dolomite veins (dol2-chl4-qtz4), precipitated at 210–280 °C from the mixing of previous fluids with hypersaline oxidizing external brines, possibly during the late stage of the early Permian extension. Reverse faults and calcite veins (Cc1-ba) formed either during the Paleogene compression or during the Langhian to early Serravallian minor compression. Calcite and barite precipitated from meteoric or marine waters in an open hydrological system at temperatures below 50 °C. The Miocene extension is represented by NE-SW normal faults with fault gouges and NNW-SSE normal faults cemented by calcite 2 that precipitated at temperatures below 50 °C from meteoric fluids in an open basin-scale hydrological system.

The studied horst was part of a relay zone between two segments of the NNW-SE Llobregat fault during the early Permian, explaining the high fracture density and the fast upflowing of hydrothermal fluids at that time, thus controlling the development of albite veins exclusively in this area.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences > Petrology

UniBE Contributor:

Lanari, Pierre


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology




Elsevier Science




Pierre Dominique Louis Lanari

Date Deposited:

18 Jun 2019 08:34

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:27

Publisher DOI:






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