In the Appalachian Mountains of Vermont, USA, variably serpentinized ultramafic rocks mark the Ordovician Taconic orogenic suture zone. These ultramafic rocks provide evidence for several alteration events that occurred during Appalachian orogenesis. The largest of these ultramafic bodies occurs as a partially serpentinized meta-dunite located in East Dover, Vermont. Whole-rock X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy and electron microprobe data on variably serpentinized meta-dunite samples are interpreted with respect to several processes including fluid/melt-rock interaction in the mantle, serpentinization, and subsequent regional metamorphism. We report the first discovery of nickel arsenide minerals hosted in this meta-dunite, as well as rare occurrences of platinum-group mineral inclusions in chromitite. Although the platinum-group minerals and chromitite are rare, their occurrence and chemistry suggest that they formed by fluid/melt-rock interaction during partial melting events that produced the dunite, likely in a supra-subduction zone setting. Arsenic minerals are rare in un-serpentinized samples but are ubiquitous in highly serpentinized samples, which suggests that most of the arsenic was introduced into the ultramafic rocks during serpentinization. Whole-rock geochemical analyses also indicate that highly serpentinized samples contain the highest concentrations of arsenic. The discovery of arsenic minerals identifies a potential source to explain elevated arsenic in groundwater in Vermont, which is a serious health concern in places where wells have been drilled in serpentinite bedrock.

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