Trace element and oxygen isotope study of eclogites and associated rocks from the Münchberg Massif (Germany) with implications on the protolith origin and fluid-rock interactions

Pohler, Johannes E.; El Korh, Afifé; Klemd, Reiner; Grobety, Bernard; Pettke, Thomas; Chiaradia, Massimo (2021). Trace element and oxygen isotope study of eclogites and associated rocks from the Münchberg Massif (Germany) with implications on the protolith origin and fluid-rock interactions. Chemical geology, 579(120352), p. 120352. Elsevier 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2021.120352

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Eclogites, metagabbros, and paragneisses from the Variscan Münchberg Massif record a complex succession of
igneous, hydrothermal and metamorphic processes. The geodynamic setting related to the protolith formation
and the impact of different types of fluid-rock interactions have been uncertain up to now. We use major and
trace element chemistry as well as oxygen isotopes to disentangle the geochemical signatures related to the
different stages of the rocks' history.
In the Münchberg Massif, dark eclogites (kyanite-free; Fe-Ti-MORB signature) are distinguished from light
eclogites (kyanite-bearing; higher Mg#, Al2O3, and Cr; lower incompatible element contents; positive Eu
anomalies; MORB to arc basalt signature). The δ18O values for both types (+5.0 to +10.8‰) are equal to, or
higher than those of MORB. Amphibolite facies metagabbros have a more enriched, almost OIB-like trace
element signature and high δ18O values (+9.4 to +10.3‰).
Good linear correlations between fluid-immobile elements throughout the eclogite types confirm their derivation
from a common, N-MORB to E-MORB-like parental magma. We interpret the light eclogites as former
plagioclase-rich cumulates and the dark eclogites as their complementary differentiates. This relationship is
partly obscured by variable degrees of magma contamination by sediments, which also affected the metagabbros.
However, the metagabbros originated from a more enriched mantle source than the eclogites. Following
intrusion, the eclogites were subjected to hydrothermal alteration under the influence of seawater, as indicated
by positive correlations between Li, B, Sb, and δ18O. Metamorphic fluid-rock interactions appear to be mostly of
limited extent, probably due to the lack of lawsonite dehydration as a fluid source. Nevertheless, the contents at
least of some fluid-mobile elements, such as LILE, Li, and Pb, were probably modified during the subductionexhumation
cycle of the eclogites.
The crustal contamination of the protolith magmas argues against derivation of the eclogites and metagabbros
from typical oceanic crust. Instead, a rift-drift transition setting related to the opening of the Rheic or Saxothuringian
Ocean seems most likely. The eclogites and metagabbros, alongside with similar rocks in the Mari
´ansk´e L´aznˇe complex and other resembling high-pressure massifs, may record different stages of this rift-drift

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Pettke, Thomas


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology






[4] Swiss National Science Foundation




Thomas Pettke

Date Deposited:

26 Nov 2021 17:32

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:54

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Eclogites Variscan Orogeny Subduction Fluid-rock interactions




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