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Pervasive subduction zone devolatilization recycles CO₂ into the forearc

Stewart, E. M. and Ague, Jay J. (2020) Pervasive subduction zone devolatilization recycles CO₂ into the forearc. Nature Communications, 11 . Art. No. 6220. ISSN 2041-1723. PMCID PMC7718257.

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The fate of subducted CO₂ remains the subject of widespread disagreement, with different models predicting either wholesale (up to 99%) decarbonation of the subducting slab or extremely limited carbon loss and, consequently, massive deep subduction of CO₂. The fluid history of subducted rocks lies at the heart of this debate: rocks that experience significant infiltration by a water-bearing fluid may release orders of magnitude more CO₂ than rocks that are metamorphosed in a closed chemical system. Numerical models make a wide range of predictions regarding water mobility, and further progress has been limited by a lack of direct observations. Here we present a comprehensive field-based study of decarbonation efficiency in a subducting slab (Cyclades, Greece), and show that ~40% to ~65% of the CO₂ in subducting crust is released via metamorphic decarbonation reactions at forearc depths. This result precludes extensive deep subduction of most CO₂ and suggests that the mantle has become more depleted in carbon over geologic time.

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Stewart, E. M.0000-0002-5092-3140
Alternate Title:Pervasive subduction zone devolatilization recycles CO2 into the forearc
Additional Information:© The Author(s) 2020. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit Received 11 May 2020. Accepted 09 November 2020. Published 04 December 2020. We thank A. Haws, B. Hess, D.S. Keller, D. Levy, S.A. Menemenlis, and M. Wyatt for contributing to fieldwork on Syros and Tinos; F. Piccoli, A. Vitale Brovarone, O. Beyssac, D. Rumble, J-L. Li, M.E. Galvez, E.F. Baxter, M.J. Caddick, B. Dragovic, F. Klein, S.C. Penniston-Dorland, G.E. Bebout, E.A. Codillo, and G.S. Epstein for thoughtful and stimulating discussions; and D.K. Tinkham for assistance with computer code and thermodynamic database files. J.J.A. thanks the Deep Carbon Observatory for their support of a Reservoirs and Fluxes Community workshop on Tectonic Fluxes of Carbon. We gratefully acknowledge funding from the Yale Analytical and Stable Isotope Center to E.M.S. and National Science Foundation grant EAR-1650329 to J.J.A. Author Contributions. Both authors were responsible for broad study design, sample collection and processing, data analysis, and interpretation. E.M.S. carried out numerical modeling and calculations and was the primary author of the paper and figures. J.J.A. secured funding, contributed to writing and figure design, and prepared thin sections. Data availability. The authors declare that the data supporting the findings of this study are available within the paper and its supplementary information files. The authors declare no competing interests. Peer review information. Nature Communications thanks Craig Manning and Oliver Pluemper for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
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Deep Carbon ObservatoryUNSPECIFIED
Yale UniversityUNSPECIFIED
PubMed Central ID:PMC7718257
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20201204-110358190
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Official Citation:Stewart, E.M., Ague, J.J. Pervasive subduction zone devolatilization recycles CO₂ into the forearc. Nat Commun 11, 6220 (2020).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:106919
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:05 Dec 2020 01:15
Last Modified:09 Dec 2020 17:59

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