Oxide‑silicate petrology and geochemistry of subducted hydrous ultramafic rocks beyond antigorite dehydration (Central Alps, Switzerland)

Vieira Duarte, Joana Filipa; Pettke, Thomas; Hermann, Jörg; Piccoli, Francesca (2023). Oxide‑silicate petrology and geochemistry of subducted hydrous ultramafic rocks beyond antigorite dehydration (Central Alps, Switzerland). Contributions to mineralogy and petrology, 178(60), pp. 1-29. Springer-Verlag 10.1007/s00410-023-02032-w

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Oxide minerals contained in ultramafic rocks are useful tools to assess the redox conditions of the rock and fluids liberated upon progressive serpentinite dehydration during subduction, as these minerals contain a relevant redox-sensitive element, iron. Previous studies have revealed that magnetite predominates across the antigorite-out reaction. However, the fate of magnetite and other oxides at higher pressure and temperature conditions has remained underexplored. We present a comprehensive petrological and geochemical study of oxide-sulfide-silicate mineral assemblages in metaperidotites beyond antigorite- and chlorite-out reactions (T = 650–850 °C and P = 1–3 GPa). Several ultramafic lenses, covering different bulk rock compositions and extents of oxidation upon oceanic serpentinization, were investigated from the Central Alps, Switzerland. Results point to two endmember scenarios: (i) Most frequently, metaperidotites have olivine with a Mg# of 89–91 (defined as molar Mg/(Mg + Fetot) × 100) and contain low oxide modes (0.06–1.41 vol.%), hematite is absent, and redox conditions are weakly oxidized and buffered by orthopyroxene-olivine-magnetite. (ii) Rare occurrence, high olivine Mg# > 94.5 metaperidotites display coexisting hematite and magnetite, high oxide modes (up to 4 vol.%), and redox conditions are hematite-magnetite (HM) buffered (Δlog10fO2,QFM of + 3 to + 4). Spinel displays evolving compositions from magnetite over chromite to Al-Cr-spinel, roughly correlating with increasing temperature. Most of the samples buffered by the olivineorthopyroxene-magnetite assemblage contain coexisting pentlandite ± pyrrhotite, thus identifying stable sulfides beyond antigorite dehydration for these weakly oxidized samples (Δlog10fO2,QFM < 2.5). No sulfides were recognized in the highly oxidized sample. The transition of magnetite to chromite at around 700 °C goes along with a shift in fO2 to lower values. At the prevailing oxygen fugacity in the weakly oxidized metaperidotites sulfur in a coexisting fluid is always present in its reduced form. However, oxidized sulfur can be stable in the dehydration fluids released from highly oxidized serpentinites.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Vieira Duarte, Joana Filipa, Pettke, Thomas, Hermann, Jörg, Piccoli, Francesca


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology






[4] Swiss National Science Foundation




Thomas Pettke

Date Deposited:

14 Mar 2024 09:49

Last Modified:

14 Mar 2024 09:58

Publisher DOI:






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