Few data exist that provide insight into processes affecting the long-term carbon cycle at shallow forearc depths. To better understand the mobilization of carbon in sediments and crust of the subducting slab, we investigated carbonate materials that originate from the subduction channel at the Mariana forearc (< 20 km) and were recovered during International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 366. The calcium carbonates exist as vein precipitates within metavolcanic and metasedimentary clasts. The clasts represent portions of the subducting lithosphere, including ocean island basalt, that were altered at lower blueschist facies conditions and were subsequently transported to the forearc seafloor by serpentinite mud volcanism. Euhedral aragonite and calcite and the lack of deformation within the veins suggest carbonate formation in a strain-free environment, that is after peak metamorphism affected their hosts. Intergrowth with barite and marked negative Ce anomalies in carbonate attest the precipitation within a generally oxic environment that was not controlled by serpentinization. Strontium and O isotopic compositions in carbonate (87Sr/86Sr = 0.7052 to 0.7054, δ18OVSMOW = 20 to 24 ‰) imply precipitation from slab-derived fluids at temperatures between ~ 130 and 300 °C. These temperature estimates are consistent with the presence of blueschist facies phases, such as lawsonite coexisting with the carbonates in some veins. Incorporated carbon is inorganic (δ13CVPDB = −1 to +4 ‰) and likely derived from the decarbonation of carbonaceous sediment and/or oceanic crust. These findings provide evidence for the mobilization of carbon in the downgoing slab at depths of < 20 km. Our study for the first time shows in detail that a portion of this carbon forms carbonate precipitates in the subduction channel of an active convergent margin. This process may be an important asset in understanding the deep carbon cycle since it highlights that C is lost from the subducting lithosphere before reaching greater depths.
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
|Date made available||2019|
|Publisher||PANGAEA: Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science|
|Date of data production||2019|
|Geographical coverage||Median Latitude: 17.154030 * Median Longitude: 147.150100 * South-bound Latitude: 15.709317 * West-bound Longitude: 147.099835 * North-bound Latitude: 18.110342 * East-bound Longitude: 147.221070|