Thallium isotope compositions of subduction-zone fluids: Insights from ultra-high pressure eclogites and veins in the Dabie terrane, eastern China

Yunchao Shu, Sune G. Nielsen, Veronique Le Roux, Jerzy Blusztajn, Shun Guo, Fang Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Dehydration of the subducted slab is a crucial process in the generation of arc magmas. However, the mineralogical controls of slab dehydration remain uncertain. Thallium (Tl) isotopes have emerged as tracers of subducted slab components, but the Tl isotope characteristics of slab fluids are not known. High-pressure metamorphic veins and host eclogites in the Dabie terrane (China) provide important information on the composition and evolution of subduction zone fluids. In this study, we present the first Tl concentration and Tl isotope data for two high-pressure metamorphic epidote-rich veins formed through breakdown of lawsonite, as well as host eclogites and phengite separates, from the Ganghe and Hualiangting areas. The high Tl concentrations in phengite separates and identical Tl isotope compositions between phengites and their host bulk eclogites demonstrate that phengite controls the overall inventory of Tl in the host eclogites. Generally, the vein samples from both areas have much lower Tl concentrations than their host eclogites, suggesting that the fluids from which the veins precipitated were derived from phengite-bearing eclogites that retained Tl in the residue. The Ganghe eclogites display similar Tl isotope compositions compared with Ganghe omphacite-epidote vein. This similarity indicates that the vein-forming fluid was likely derived from the host eclogites, and that Tl isotopes did not fractionate during fluid-release. Three generations of veins in the Hualiangting area record variable Tl isotope values and were likely derived from multi-stage dehydration of heterogeneous host eclogites, some of which may have contained a sediment component. We argue that fluids derived from eclogite dehydration are likely characterized by higher Cs/Tl ratios compared to their host eclogites. Arc magmas that display high Cs/Tl (i.e. >15) that cannot be caused by variations in slab source composition, coupled with relatively low Ba/Th ratios, are likely to directly record the presence of residual phengite at subarc depths.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120843
JournalChemical Geology
Publication statusPublished - Jun 20 2022


  • Dabie orogen
  • Eclogites
  • Metamorphic vein
  • Phengite
  • Subduction-zone fluids
  • Thallium isotopes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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