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Rapid formation of eclogite in a slightly wet mantle

Ahrens, Thomas J. and Schubert, Gerald (1975) Rapid formation of eclogite in a slightly wet mantle. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 27 (1). pp. 90-94. ISSN 0012-821X.

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A model, in which dissolved ions migrate through water films surrounding mineral grains to sites of reaction, predicts the geologically rapid occurrence of the gabbro-eclogite phase change in the earth's mantle at temperatures less than 600–800°C. In a water-undersaturated mantle, interstices within the rock can contain water vapor in equilibrium with small amounts of hydrous phases such as chlorite, tremolite or talc and in the presence of other gases such as CO_2, at H_2O pressures less than the lithostatic pressure of the rock. The solubility of ions in this interstitial water vapor is strongly dependent on pressure and is the rate-limiting process in the model; reaction occurs rapidly if the water pressure is at least 0.5–1 kbar. The 5 km of oceanic gabbroic crust can transform to eclogite upon subduction into the mantle at depths of several tens of kilometers, depending on the rate of heating of the descending crustal material and the nature of the minor hydrous phases present. The downward body force on the descending slab due to the eclogitization of oceanic crust is comparable to the downward forces associated with thermal contraction of the slab and the elevation of the olivine-spinel phase boundary.

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Additional Information:© 1975 Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company. Received February 20, 1975; Revised version received June 11, 1975. Supported by NSF under Grants GA21396 and GA10963. We acknowledge helpful discussions with D.L. Turcotte, J.C. Jamieson, G.C. Kennedy, D. Green and M. Margaritz. Contribution No. 2412, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91109.
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Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences2412
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Official Citation:Thomas J. Ahrens, Gerald Schubert, Rapid formation of eclogite in a slightly wet mantle, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 27, Issue 1, August 1975, Pages 90-94, ISSN 0012-821X, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:52958
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:17 Dec 2014 19:19
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 07:45

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