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Jade Research

Jadeitites, albitites, eclogites, metabasites and related rocks from Guatemala and elsewhere

This is a long-term field, petrographic and mineralogical study of the occurrence of jadeite rock and other metasomatic inclusions in serpentinite along the Motagua Fault Zone of Guatemala. The study was started to learn about the unusual provenance and mineralogy of jadeite rocks (and associated lithologies) in their limited (8 or so) occurrences world-wide but particularly from the heretofore inadequately studied localities in Guatemala. The goal of this research is to develop an understanding of the crystal chemistry and phase relations of extant minerals and to determine the petrogenesis of these rocks (and their relationship to blueschists and eclogites), the P-T path, the degree of metasomatism/fluid-rock interactions, and the tectonic controls involved (Harlow, 1994a). The study has also extended to the nature and provenance of Middle American jade, the archaeological context of Guatemalan jadeitites (Harlow, 1993). A study was completed on Ba-enrichments in micas that occur in many metasomatic inclusions in serpentinite along the Motagua Fault Zone of Guatemala (Harlow, 1995). More recent developments have been crystallographic studies of the rare Na-Mg mica preiswerkite and taramitic amphiboles, examination of stable isotope systematics (with Craig A. Johnson, U.S.G.S.), and discovery of an eclogite stage of metamorphism in the metabasites from the western end of the metasomatized terrane. A field excursion in the Western Alps in September has led to new interpretations of Guatemalan metabasites; these are now being worked on.

This work has also resulted in a contribution of a short section for The Olmec World exhibition at Princeton University Art Museum (Harlow, 1995). The manuscript addresses the identification and nomenclature of carving materials (rocks) of the artifacts in the exhibition.

References
  • Harlow, G.E. (1993) Middle American Jade: Geologic and Petrologic Perspectives on Its Variability and Source. p. 9-29. In Precolumbian Jade: New geological and cultural interpretations, F.W. Lange, ed., Salt Lake City, UT, University of Utah Press, pp. 378.
  • Harlow, G.E. (1994) Jadeitites, albitites and related rocks from the Motagua Fault Zone, Guatemala. Journal of Metamorphic Geology 12, 49-68.
  • Harlow, G. E. (1995) Rocks and minerals employed by the Olmec as carvings. In The Olmec World: Ritual and Rulership , The Art Museum, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, pp. 123-4.
  • Harlow, G.E. and Sorensen, S.S. (2005) Jade (nephrite and jadeitite) and serpentinite: Metasomatic connections. International Geology Review 47, 113-146.
  • Sorensen, S., Harlow, G.E. and Rumble, D. (2006) The origin of jadeitite-forming subduction zone fluids: CL-guided SIMS oxygen isotope and trace element evidence. American Mineralogist 91, 979-996. ( PDF )
  • Harlow, G.E,. Murphy, A.R., Hozjan, D.J., de Mille, C.N. and Levinson, A.A. (2006) Pre-Columbian jadeite axes from Antigua, West Indies: Description and possible sources. Canadian Mineralogist 44, 305-321. ( PrePrint ).
  • Tsujimori, T., Sisson, V.B., Liou, J.G., Harlow, G.E., and Sorensen, S.S. (2006) Petrologic characterization of Guatemalan lawsonite-eclogite: Direct information on eclogitization of subducted oceanic crust in a cold subduction zone. In: Ultrahigh-Pressure Metamorphism: Deep Continental Subduction (eds: B.H. Hacker, W.C. McClelland and J.G. Liou), Geological Society of America Special Paper 403, 147-168.
  • Tsujimori, T., Sisson, V.B., Liou, J.G., Harlow, G.E., and Sorensen, S.S. (2006) Very low-temperature record in subduction process: a review of global lawsonite-eclogites. Lithos 92, 609-624. (doi:10.1016/j.lithos.2006.03.054)
  • Harlow, G.E., Sorensen, S.S., and Sisson, V.B. (2007) Jade. In: The Geology of Gem Deposits (ed., Lee A. Groat), Short Course Handbook Series 37, Mineralogical Association of Canada, Quebec, pp. 207-254.
  • Brueckner, H.K., Avé Lallemant, H.G., Sisson, V.B., Harlow, G.E., Hemming, S.R., Sorensen, S. S., Tsujimori, T. and Martens, U. (2009) Metamorphic reworking of a high-pressure-low temperature mélange along the Motagua fault, Guatemala: A revised record of Neocomian and Maastrichtian transpressional tectonics. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 284, 228-235.
  • Fu, B. Valley, J.W., Kita, N.T., Spicuzza, M.J., Paton, C., Tsujimori, T., Bröcker, M., and Harlow, G.E. (2010) Origin of zircons in jadeitite. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 159, 769–780.
  • Simons, K.K., Harlow, G.E., Sorensen, S.S. Brueckner, H.K., Goldstein, S.L., Hemming, N.G., and Langmuir, C.H. (2010) Lithium isotopes in Guatemala and Franciscan HP-LT Rocks: insights into the role of sediment-derived fluids in the mantle wedge. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 74, 3621-3641.
  • Fu, B. Valley, J.W., Kita, N.T., Spicuzza, M.J., Paton, C., Tsujimori, T., Bröcker, M., and Harlow, G.E. (2010) Origin of zircons in jadeitite. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 159, 769–780.
  • Sorensen, S.S., Sisson, V.B., Harlow, G.E., and Avé Lallemant, H.G. (2010) Element Residence and Transport During Subduction Zone Metasomatism: Evidence from a Jadeitite-Serpentinite Contact, Guatemala. International Geology Review 52 (9), 899-940.
  • Harlow, G.E., Sisson, V.B., and Sorensen, S.S. (2010) Jadeitite from Guatemala: Distinctions among multiple occurrences. Geologica Acta. ( Preprint )

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