Paleohydrogeology at 5- to 50-Kilometer depths of accretionary prism: The Franciscan Complex, California

S. J. Sadofsky, G. E. Bebout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


High-P/T metamorphism of the Franciscan Complex represents evolving subduction-zone processes at depth. Varied peak P-T conditions (100-350°C and 3-10 kbar) promote differences in porosity, permeability, and rheology, potentially impacting fluid mobility and entrainment of seawater. Local-scale isotopic buffering of CaCO3 veins by exchange with adjacent host-rocks obscures assessment of fluid sources (most vein δ13CVPDB = -11.0 to -3.0%, δ18OVSMOW = +12.0 to +18.5‰). Some veins with elevated δ18O (relative to rock-buffered values) may reflect up-dip flow of H2O released at greater depths. Differences in vein δ13C in adjacent coherent greywacke and shaley mélange zones of lower-grade rocks may be due to preferential infiltration of mélange zones by deeply derived CH4-bearing fluids or to vein formation over a range of T. Calculated fluid-δ18O for lower-T veins spans the range of fluids venting in active accretionary prisms and producing forearc serpentinite seamounts. Calcite cement in the Coastal Belt is absent in higher-grade rocks, suggesting that cement is lost to decarbonation reactions like those invoked to elevate fluid alkalinity in Marianas seamounts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2309-2312
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 15 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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