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Supplementary material from Chemical and isotopic analyses of hydrocarbon-bearing fluid inclusions in olivine-rich rocks

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posted on 06.12.2019 by Niya G. Grozeva, Frieder Klein, Jeffrey S. Seewald, Sean P. Sylva
We examined the mineralogical, chemical and isotopic compositions of secondary fluid inclusions in olivine-rich rocks from two active serpentinization systems: the Von Damm hydrothermal field (Mid-Cayman Rise) and the Zambales ophiolite (Philippines). Peridotite, troctolite and gabbroic rocks in these systems contain abundant CH4-rich secondary inclusions in olivine, with less abundant inclusions in plagioclase and clinopyroxene. Olivine-hosted secondary inclusions are chiefly composed of CH4 and minor H2, in addition to secondary minerals including serpentine, brucite, magnetite and carbonates. Secondary inclusions in plagioclase are dominated by CH4 with variable amounts of H2 and H2O, while those in clinopyroxene contain only CH4. We determined hydrocarbon abundances and stable carbon isotope compositions by crushing whole rocks and analysing the released volatiles using isotope ratio monitoring—gas chromatography mass spectrometry. Bulk rock gas analyses yielded appreciable quantities of CH4 and C2H6 in samples from Cayman (4–313 nmol g−1 CH4 and 0.02–0.99 nmol g−1 C2H6), with lesser amounts in samples from Zambales (2–37 nmol g−1 CH4 and 0.004–0.082 nmol g−1 C2H6). Mafic and ultramafic rocks at Cayman exhibit δ13CCH4 values of −16.7‰ to −4.4‰ and δ13CC2H6 values of −20.3‰ to +0.7‰. Ultramafic rocks from Zambales exhibit δ13CCH4 values of −12.4‰ to −2.8‰ and δ13CC2H6 values of −1.2‰ to −0.9‰. Similarities in the carbon isotopic compositions of CH4 and C2H6 in plutonic rocks, Von Damm hydrothermal fluids, and Zambales gas seeps suggest that leaching of fluid inclusions may provide a significant contribution of abiotic hydrocarbons to deep-sea vent fluids and ophiolite-hosted gas seeps. Isotopic compositions of CH4 and C2H6 from a variety of hydrothermal fields hosted in olivine-rich rocks that are similar to those in Von Damm vent fluids further support the idea that a significant portion of abiotic hydrocarbons in ultramafic-influenced vent fluids is derived from fluid inclusions.This article is part of the theme issue ‘Serpentinite in the Earth system’.

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