Earth Institute Research Projects

Collaborative Research: Fluid Transport and Fluid-Rock Interactions Preserved in Two Serpentinite Melanges in Guatemala Suture Zone

Lead PI: Dr. Hannes K. Brueckner

Unit Affiliation: Geochemistry, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO)

July 2011 - June 2016
South America ; Guatemala
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: The team will detail major, minor, and trace-element geochemistry as well as Sr-Nd-Hf isotopic systematics to examine the serpentinite mélanges of the Guatemala Suture Zone to elucidate the record of mass transport by fluid recorded in the rocks.

OUTCOMES: The mélage underwent HP-LT metamorphism throughout most of the Cretaceous suggesting continuous subduction. Fluids hydrated most assemblages and generally show a sedimentary signature imposed on MORB trace element and isotopic pattern. Jadeitites and other vein assemblages crystallized out of trace element rich hydrothermal systems.


National Science Foundation (NSF)




George Harlow, Kennet Flores, Yue Cai, Celine Martin, Horst Marschall, Jinny Sisson, Sorena Sorensen


American Museum of Natural History, Brooklyn College of CUNY



1). Harlow, GE, Flores, KE, Marschall, HR, 2016, Fluid-mediated mass transfer from a paleosubduction channel to its mantle wedge: Evidence from jadeitite and related rocks from the Guatemala Suture Zone. LITHOS 258, 15-36.

2). Martin, C., Flores, K..E., Harlow, G. E., 2016, Boron isotopic discrimination for subduction-related serpentinites. GEOLOGY 44/11, 899-902.

3). Flores, K.E.; Martens, U.C.; Harlow, G.E. 2013, Jadeitite formed during subduction: In situ zircon geochronology constraints from two different tectonic events within the Guatemala Suture Zone, EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS 371, 67-81. 2013

4). Brueckner, H. K., Lallemant, H. G. A., Sisson, V.B.; et al., 2009, Metamorphic reworking of a high pressure-low temperature melange along the Motagua fault, Guatemala: A record of Neocomian and Maastrichtian transpressional tectonics. EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS. 284/1-2, 228-235.


geochemistry strontium hafnium geology and tectonics major and trace elements fluid transport neodymium isotopes fluid-rock interactions