Episodic fluid overpressure and escape is invoked as a cause or consequence of many subduction-zone seismic phenomena but can be challenging to constrain in exhumed high-pressure metamorphic rocks. In situ measurements of lithium isotopes in garnet reveal evidence of episodic fluid transport in a subduction shear zone now exposed in the Monviso ophiolite (Western Alps). Garnet from an eclogite block and associated metasomatic reaction rind was analyzed by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). All analyzed garnet preserves core-rim zoning in δ7Li and large negative δ7Li excursions (NEs) in mantles. These excursions cannot be explained by instrumental mass fractionation during analysis, equilibrium fractionation, or intracrystalline diffusion of Li within garnet. Instead, NEs were produced by kinetic fractionation of Li isotopes during bulk diffusion through a pore fluid, and the fractionated isotopic compositions were incorporated into garnet by syn-diffusion growth. Disequilibrium garnet growth textures associated with negative δ7Li support this interpretation and suggest metasomatism drove rapid garnet growth. Four distinct NEs were identified requiring that at least four pulses of fluid were transported within the adjacent shear zone. This evidence of episodic fluid transport along a subduction shear zone at eclogite facies supports models of intermediate-depth seismicity that rely on cyclic fluid overpressure and escape.

You do not have access to this content, please speak to your institutional administrator if you feel you should have access.