Water and Oxygen Fugacity in the Lithospheric Mantle Wedge beneath the Northern Canadian Cordillera (Alligator Lake) Academic Article uri icon


  • AbstractAssessing water contents of subduction zone mantle peridotites can gain insight into the compositions of slabderived fluids/melts and the active margin water cycle. Here eight mantle xenoliths from Alligator Lake (northern Canadian Cordillera) are examined to address these issues. The harzburgites have less water, on average, but are more oxidized (FMQ~0.1) than the lherzolites (FMQ~1.0). The lherzolites have major and trace element compositions close to primitive mantle, while the harzburgite major element and heavy rare earth element compositions are indicative of higher degrees of melt depletion but with light rare earth elementenriched profiles. Correlations between lherzolite pyroxene water contents and bulk rock Ba/Nb and Ba/Yb ratios likely result from interaction with subduction related fluids. The trace element compositions of the harzburgite clinopyroxenes are successfully modeled by melting of a fertile mantle lithosphere and interaction with a carbonatite melt. Correlations between the harzburgite water contents and clinopyroxene Ca/Al ratios and Mg# are also consistent with the influence of carbonatite metasomatism. Metasomatism likely resulted from opening of a slab window beneath the region, detected as a lowvelocity seismic anomaly, which heated and mobilized a heterogeneous mantle lithosphere veined with carbonatite. This study confirms that subduction zone mantle lithosphere is not necessarily more waterrich or more oxidized than oceanic lithosphere or other offcratonic settings. Moreover, local oxidation is not necessarily related to the ingress of subduction zone fluids but can also be related to melting of a heterogeneous lithosphere following heating above a slab window.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Kilgore, M. L., Peslier, A. H., Brandon, A. D., & Lamb, W. M.

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • Kilgore, McKensie L||Peslier, Anne H||Brandon, Alan D||Lamb, William M

publication date

  • October 2018