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The Laytonville Quarry (Mendocino County California) exotic block: iron-rich blueschist-facies subduction-zone metamorphism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 July 2018

Robert Muir Wood*
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge


The Laytonville Quarry exotic block contains a series of deep-ocean sediments of varying Fe: Mn, Fe:Al and Fe2+ : Fe3+ contents, but all enriched in Fe-Mn carbonates. These sediments have a complex metamorphic history that has involved the early development of aegirine and garnet, followed by various phases of ‘secondary’ mineral growth, all of which required the addition of water to the metamorphic assemblages under high-P, low-T conditions. During the course of an early hydration episode deerite formed within most of the ironstones, and zussmanite in certain Fe-rich, Mn-poor pelites. At a later, and apparently lower pressure period in the metamorphic history, howieite, riebeckite, stilpnomelane, and a more manganous variety of zussmanite (ZU2) have overtaken much of the earlier mineralogy. Subsequent to this, and contemporaneous with the development of the tremolite-talc exotic block rind assemblage, there is a minor development of minnesotaite and ekmanite. During the course of the metamorphism the ironstones have become enriched in K and Na, necessary to form the blueschist meta-ironstone mineralogy. Such rocks therefore have the potential to reveal details of fluid expulsion within the subduction zone.

Research Article
Copyright © The Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland 1982

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