Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Chemical Geology

Volume

417

Publisher

Elsevier

Publication Date

12-6-2015

First Page

200

Last Page

209

DOI

10.1016/j.chemgeo.2015.10.003

Abstract

Fault-controlled hot springs in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru provide geochemical evidence of mantle-derived fluids in a modern flat-slab subduction setting. The Cordillera Blanca is an ~200km-long mountain range that contains the highest peaks in the Peruvian Andes, located in an amagmatic reach of the Andean arc. The Cordillera Blanca detachment defines the southwestern edge of the range and records a progression of top-down-to-the-west ductile shear to brittle normal faulting since ~5Ma. Hot springs, recording temperatures up to 78°C, issue along this fault zone and are CO2-rich, near neutral, alkaline-chloride to alkaline-carbonate waters, with elevated trace metal contents including arsenic (≤11ppm). Water δ18OSMOW (-14.2 to -4.9‰) and δDSMOW (-106.2 to -74.3‰), trends in elemental chemistry, and cation geothermometry collectively demonstrate mixing of hot (200-260°C) saline fluid with cold meteoric water along the fault. Helium isotope ratios (3He/4He) for dissolved gases in the waters range from 0.62 to 1.98 RA (where RA=air 3He/4He), indicating the presence of up to 25% mantle-derived helium. Given the long duration since, and large distance to active magmatism in the region, and the possible presence of a tear in the flat slab south of the Cordillera Blanca, we suggest that mantle helium may originate from asthenosphere entering the slab tear, or from the continental mantle-lithosphere, mobilized by metasomatic fluids derived from slab dehydration. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

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