Retrogressive fluids and vein formation during uplift of the Priestley metamorphic complex, north Victoria Land, Antarctica
The poly-deformed Priestley schist (Wilson Terrane) of north Victoria Land, Antarctica ranges in metamorphic grade from lower greenschist facies to upper amphibolite facies. All grades of schist have been affected by structurally controlled retrogressive H2O-CO2 fluids with 45–70 mole % CO2. The fluids have deposited quartz-carbonate veins with pyrite and chlorite or biotite in late stage structures. Veins typically constitute < 1% of the rock mass, but in one greenschist facies area > 10% of the rock is vein. Veins in higher grade schists have been boudinaged after formation, and many have been annealed. Primary fluid inclusions are preserved in veins in biotite zone schists in two localities. At one locality, entrapment of immiscible fluids (water with c. 8 and 45 mole % CO2) occurred during vein formation, at about 280–300°C and 700 ± 200 bars fluid pressure. The aqueous fluid is slightly saline (4 wt % NaCl equivalent). At the other primary fluid inclusion locality, veins were formed from a single phase fluid (c. 70 mole % CO2) at 200–350°C and 1600 ± 500 bars fluid pressure. Both these vein systems are inferred to have formed between 2 and 8 km depth, near the brittle-ductile transition. Retrogressive fluid mobility and vein formation occurred throughout schist in the Priestly metamorphic complex during uplift in the latter part of the Ross Orogeny (c. 490 Ma), following near-isobaric cooling at metamorphic depths.(Received October 26 1994)
(Accepted May 15 1995)
Key Words: Ross Orogeny; Priestley metamorphic complex; fluid inclusions; Antarctica; tectonic uplift.