Ductile shearing, hydrous fluid channelling and high-pressure metamorphism along the basement-cover contact on Sikinos, Cyclades, Greece
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On the island of Sikinos in the Cyclades a schistose carapace separates a marble-blueschist cover sequence from underlying basement rocks. The basement ‘core’, comprising metapelitic gneisses, biotite-bearing granodiorites and aplites, becomes increasingly strained towards the carapace with progressive obliteration of earlier structures and intensification of a mylonitic foliation that becomes pervasive within the carapace. Granodiorites in the ‘core’ can be traced into microcline schists within the carapace, whereas metapelitic gneisses are converted to garnet-mica schists. The carapace is therefore a simple shear zone comprising basement rocks mylonitized during overthrusting of the cover.
Biotite clusters in granodiorites of the basement ‘core’ are partially altered to phengite, whereas plagioclase shows incipient sericitization. In more strained rocks these hydration reactions show enhanced progress, until biotite and plagioclase are finally eliminated in the carapace. Rare glaucophane and chloritoid inclusions within garnets of metapelitic gneisses adjacent to the carapace are also attributed to hydration reactions. The association of higher strain with increased hydration in the basement suggests localization of fluids in the strained carapace zone, with limited percolation into underlying rocks. The restricted availability of water outside the carapace may be responsible for preservation of pre-Alpine assemblages in large parts of the Cycladic basement.