Lawsonite composition and zoning as tracers of subduction processes: A global review

Whitney D. L. , Fornash K. F. , Kang P., Ghent E. D. , Martin L., Okay A., ...More

LITHOS, vol.370, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 370
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.lithos.2020.105636
  • Journal Name: LITHOS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), Chemical Abstracts Core, Geobase, INSPEC, Pollution Abstracts
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Lawsonite is an abundant hydrous mineral in oceanic crust, sediments, andmetasomatic rocks at depths of similar to 45 to 300 km in most subduction zones, but it is rarely preserved in the geologic record because it commonly transforms to epidote and other minerals during prograde or retrograde metamorphism. Owing to the significance of lawsonite for water and element cycling in subduction zones, occurrences of fresh lawsonite in blueschist and, more rarely, eclogite provide important opportunities to determine lawsonite composition, zoning, and inclusion suites and to use this information to reconstruct reaction history during subduction and exhumation. In this review, we use new and published data to document lawsonite composition in eight of the nine known lawsonite eclogite localities in which fresh lawsonite coexists with garnet + omphacite in the rock matrix, as well as the composition of lawsonite inclusions in six of seven known sites inwhich lawsonite occurs only as inclusions in garnet in eclogite-facies rocks that lack matrix lawsonite. As lawsonite blueschist ismuch more common than lawsonite eclogite, we survey the composition of lawsonite in representative localities of blueschist, including blueschist associatedwith eclogite (lawsonite-bearing, epidote-bearing), and blueschist not associated with eclogite at current exposure levels. Included in this review aremetabasaltic rocks, silica- and carbonate-rich metasedimentary rocks, metasomatic rocks, and lawsonite-rich veins. This dataset demonstrates that lawsonite composition is a sensitive indicator of reaction history during subduction and exhumation, and specifically of fluid-rock interaction, with implications for element cycling in subduction zones. Furthermore, most exhumed lawsonite eclogite records slab-surface conditions that correspond to the location where the slab-mantle interface transitions from decoupled to coupled, and therefore provides key insights into the thermal history and dynamics of subduction zones. (c) 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (