Abstract

Stable Cl isotope ratios, measured in marine pore waters associated with the Barbados and Nankai subduction zones, extend significantly (to ∼−8‰) the range of δ37Cl values reported for natural waters. These relatively large negative values, together with geologic and chemical evidence from Barbados and Nankai and recent laboratory data showing that hydrous silicate minerals (i.e., those with structural OH sites) are enriched up to 7.5‰ in 37Cl relative to seawater, strongly suggest that the isotopic composition of Cl in pore waters from subduction zones reflects diagenetic and metamorphic dehydration and transformation reactions. These reactions involve clays and/or other hydrous silicate phases at depth in the fluid source regions. Chlorine therefore cannot be considered geochemically conservative in these systems. The uptake of Cl by hydrous phases provides a mechanism by which Cl can be cycled into the mantle through subduction zones. Thus, stable Cl isotopes should help in determining the extent to which Cl and companion excess volatiles like H2O and CO2 cycle between the crust and mantle.

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