Exhumation of eclogite and blueschist (Cyclades, Greece): Pressure-temperature evolution determined by thermobarometry and garnet equilibrium modelling

Laurent, Valentin; Lanari, Pierre; Naïr, Inès; Augier, Romain; Lahfid, Abdeltif; Jolivet, Laurent (2018). Exhumation of eclogite and blueschist (Cyclades, Greece): Pressure-temperature evolution determined by thermobarometry and garnet equilibrium modelling. Journal of metamorphic geology, 36(6), pp. 769-798. Wiley 10.1111/jmg.12309

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High‐P rocks such as eclogite and blueschist are metamorphic markers of palaeo‐subduction zones, and their formation at high‐P and low‐T (HP–LT) conditions is relatively well understood since it has been the focus of numerous petrological investigations in the past 40 years. The tectonic mechanisms controlling their exhumation back to the surface are, however, diverse, complex and still actively debated. Although the Cycladic Blueschist Unit (CBU, Greece) is among the best worldwide examples for the preservation of eclogite and blueschist, the proposed P–T evolution followed by this unit within the Hellenic subduction zone is quite different from one study to another, hindering the comprehension of exhumation processes. In this study, we present an extensive petrological data set that permits refinement of the shape of the P–T trajectory for different subunits of the CBU on Syros. High‐resolution quantitative compositional mapping has been applied to support the thermobarometric investigations, which involve semi‐empirical thermobarometry, garnet equilibrium modelling and P–T isochemical phase diagrams. The thermodynamic models highlight the powerful use of reactive bulk compositions approximated from local bulk compositions. The results are also combined with Raman spectrometry of carbonaceous material (RSCM) to retrieve the metamorphic peak temperature distribution at the scale of the island. A major result of this study is the good agreement between all the independent thermobarometric methods, permitting reconstruction of the prograde and retrograde P–T trajectories. Garnet compositional zoning was used to retrieve prograde, peak and retrograde growth stages in line with the results of the P–T isochemical phase diagrams, RSCM temperature and peak‐pressure crystallization of the garnet–omphacite–phengite assemblage. Our results are consistent with previous thermobarometric estimates from other occurrences of CBU rocks (Tinos, Andros), suggesting a multistage exhumation process with (1) early syn‐orogenic exhumation within the subduction channel, (2) isobaric heating at mid‐crustal depths (~10–12 kbar) following thermal re‐equilibration of the lithosphere from a cold syn‐orogenic regime in the subduction zone to a warmer post‐orogenic regime in the back‐arc domain and (3) exhumation and cooling related to a post‐orogenic phase of extension following slab retreat. Expanding to the general aspects of subduction zones, we suggest that such metamorphic evolution of HP–LT units should be regarded as a characteristic feature of exhumation driven by slab rollback.

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








Pierre Lanari

Date Deposited:

18 Jun 2019 10:18

Last Modified:

22 Oct 2019 18:04

Publisher DOI:






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