Millions of seamounts on modern and past seafloor end up being subducted, and only small pieces are recovered in suture zones. How they are metamorphosed and deformed is, however, critical to understand how seamount subduction can impact subduction zone geometry, fluid circulation or seismogenic conditions, and more generally to trace physical conditions along the subduction boundary. Since geophysical studies mostly reach the shallowest subducted seamounts and miss internal structures due to low resolution, there is a high need for fossil seamount exposures. We herein report on a fully exposed, 3D example of seamount that we discovered in the Siah Kuh massif, Southern Iran. Through a series of sections across the whole massif and the combination of magmatic-​metamorphic-​sedimentary petrological data, we document several distinct stages associated with seamount build-up on the seafloor and with subduction. In particular, we constrain different stages of metamorphism and associated mineralogy, with precise conditions for subduction-related metamorphism around 250 °C and 0.7 GPa, in the middle of the seismogenic zone. Extensive examination of the seismogenic potential of the Siah Kuh seamount reveals that it was not a large earthquake asperity (despite the report of a rare example of cm-scale, high-pressure pseudotachylyte in this study), and that it possibly behaved as a barrier to earthquake propagation. Finally, we discuss the nature of high-pressure fluid circulation preserved in this seamount.

Gold Open Access: This paper is published under the terms of the CC-BY-NC license.
This content is PDF only. Please click on the PDF icon to access.

Supplementary data