Jadeitites and plate tectonics

George E. Harlow, Tatsuki Tsujimori, Sorena S. Sorensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Jadeitite is a relatively rare, very tough rock composed predominantly of jadeite and typically found associated with tectonic blocks of high-pressure/low-temperature metabasaltic rocks (e.g., eclogite, blueschist) in exhumed serpentinite-matrix mélanges. Studies over the past ∼20 years have interpreted jadeitite either as the direct hydrous fluid precipitate from subduction channel dewatering into the overlying mantle wedge or as the metasomatic replacement by such fluids of oceanic plagiogranite, graywacke, or metabasite along the channel margin. Thus, jadeitites directly sample and record fluid transport in the subduction factory and provide a window into this geochemical process that is critical to a major process in the Earth system. They record the remarkable transport of large ion lithophile elements, such as Li, Ba, Sr, and Pb, as well as elements generally considered more refractory, such as U, Th, Zr, and Hf. Jadeitite is also the precious form of jade, utilized since antiquity in the form of tools, adornments, and symbols of prestige.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-138
Number of pages34
JournalAnnual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2015 May 30
Externally publishedYes


  • Fluid-mediated transport
  • High-pressure/low-temperature rocks
  • Serpentinite mélange
  • Subduction processes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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