A crustal origin for eclogites and a mantle origin for garnet peridotites: Strontium isotopic evidence from clinopyroxenes

Hannes K. Brueckner*

*Corresponding author for this work

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43 Citations (Scopus)


Strontium isotopic data suggest that the classic eclogite-facies rocks of western south Norway described by Eskola (1921) formed from several parental materials in a variety of environments. Mineral separates from essentially basic, bi-minerallic (clinopyroxene and garnet) eclogites that occur as lens-shaped masses within high grade gneisses (country rock eclogites) have Sr87/Sr86 values that range from 0.704 for fine-grained varieties to 0.716 for coarse-grained, orthopyroxene-bearing varieties. These high, varied ratios contrast with the very low, restricted ratios (0.701 to 0.704) of similar minerals from ultrabasic, garnet-clinopyroxene-orthopyroxene-olivine assemblages (garnet peridotites) that occur as lenses within large peridotite bodies. The eclogite-facies metamorphism that generated the garnet peridotites may have occurred in the mantle. However, the metamorphism that generated at least the more radiogenic country-rock eclogites must have occurred in the crust. The high Sr87/Sr86 ratios of these eclogites could be generated either by forming them from crustal parental rocks or by contaminating mantle-derived parental rocks with radiogenic strontium from the country rocks. If this contamination occurred after intrusion and before eclogite-facies metamorphism, a rather contrived history must be postulated that involves intrusion, contamination accompanied by hydration, subsequent dehydration, and finally eclogite-facies metamorphism. These processes could have occurred within the long, complicated history of the enclosing country rocks. Alternatively, if the contamination occurred during eclogite-facies metamorphism, the presence of some hydrous fluid appears to be required to transport the radiogenic strontium from the enclosing country rocks. The eclogites with the highest Sr87/Sr86 ratios are also the most coarse-grained and it is possible that the presence of some intergranular fluid enabled these eclogites to recrystallize to a much larger grain size than would have been possible in a totally anhydrous environment. The garnet peridotites and fine-grained country rock eclogites may have formed from mantle material in the crust but escaped contamination by radiogenic strontium as a result of their position in a dry environment in the crust.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1977
Externally publishedYes


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