Abstract

Ultramafic rocks in the Ulten Zone (UZ) high-pressure mélange, in the Eastern Italian Alps, embedded in crustal gneisses, preserve a series of metasomatic hybrid bands generated by infiltration of aqueous fluids. These hybrid bands at the peridotite–gneiss contact comprise phlogopite and anthophyllite with accessory zircon, apatite and allanite. Here, we report the rare occurrence of centimeter-sized crystals of metasomatic tourmaline in two different UZ outcrops, at Mt. Hochwart and Malga Preghena. Tourmaline has a dravite–uvite-rich composition and shows optical and chemical zoning, with slightly variable Ti, Ca and Fe contents. Secondary-ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) analyses provide information on the intragrain B-isotopic zonation of the grains, which is correlated with optical and chemical zoning. The range in δ11B is from −7.4 to +0.3‰ for the Mt. Hochwart tourmaline, generally with an isotopically lighter core and heavier rim. The δ11B range for Malga Preghena tourmaline is from +1.2‰ in the core to −3.9‰ in the rim. Variable proportions of fluids derived from both the local crustal gneisses and a subducting slab control the B-isotope composition in the metasomatic tourmaline from the UZ. Fluid mixing in hybrid crustal–ultramafic bands can be monitored by metasomatic tourmaline, which may also have a significant impact on the B isotope budget of the subducted slab and the slab–mantle interface.

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