Abstract

The hydrothermal metamorphism of a sequence of Pliocene-age seamount extrusive and volcaniclastic rocks on La Palma, Canary Islands, is characterized by a relatively complete low-pressure-high-temperature facies series encompassing the zeolite, prehnite-pumpellyite, and greenschist facies. The observed mineral zonations imply metamorphic gradients of 200-300 °C/km. The metamorphism of the seamount, at least in its core region, is distinct from ocean-floor metamorphism: the former is characterized by a serially continuous facies series encompassing zeolite, prehnite-pumpellyite, and greenschist assemblages, and the latter by a discontinuous metamorphic gradient in which prehnite-pumpellyite assemblages are absent. These metamorphic features, presumably reflecting fundamental thermal-tectonic differences between extending oceanic crust at mid- oceanic ridges vs. the more static crust underlying seamount volcanoes, should aid in the recognition of incoherent fragments of seamount metamorphic rocks within accreted terranes which typically have undergone subsequent higher pressure-temperature regional metamorphism, albeit to comparable grades.

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