This work deals with scarce chlorite schists scattered through the Ronda peridotites (Betic Cordilleras, Spain). These schists have unusually high zircon contents, which contrast with the usual lack of this mineral in ultramafic rocks. From field data and detailed petrographic, geochemical, and geothermometric studies, we focused on the origin of the zircon, a relevant issue for the interpretation of geochronological results. The chlorite schists appear as concordant sheets with granite dikes and as blackwall zones between dikes and serpentinized peridotites. As the intrusion age of the dikes and chlorite schist zircon crystallization (ca. 22 Ma) is slightly older than the age of serpentinization and related chlorite schist formation (ca. 19 Ma), we propose that the chlorite schists are tied to the intrusion of the granite dikes and the subsequent serpentinization of peridotites. Trace and rare earth elements alone are not indicative of the magmatic or hydrothermal origin of the zircon, but the combination of information about zircon morphology, melt inclusions, geothermometry, and the structural relationships between granite dikes and chlorite schists points to late magmatic melts for the zircon origin. We suggest that high-temperature melts saturated in F and Cl acted as Zr carriers under low-pH conditions. A change of the pH conditions, due to hydrothermal alkaline fluids incoming for the concomitant peridotite serpentinization, would have led to zircon crystallization and concentration at the apical zones of the dikes, and to rodingitization before the extensive observed chloritization.
Research Article| November 04, 2019
Geochemistry and origin of zircon in chlorite schists of the Ronda peridotites (Betic Cordilleras, southern Spain)
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J.J. Esteban, J. Cuevas, J.M. Tubía; Geochemistry and origin of zircon in chlorite schists of the Ronda peridotites (Betic Cordilleras, southern Spain). Lithosphere doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/L1088.1
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