Carbon dioxide and methane are major components in geofluids; however, there is little evidence showing how C-H-O fluids evolve in a subduction zone. We investigated fluid inclusions in quartz veins from the Eocene-Oligocene Shimanto belt (Murotohanto subbelt) on Muroto Peninsula, SW Japan using microthermometry and laser Raman spectroscopy. Quartz veins that cut the cleavage of the host rocks in the Murotohanto subbelt contain one-phase carbonic inclusions (CH4) and two-phase aqueous inclusions (CH4 ± CO2 vapor and H2O liquid). The vapor in the two-phase inclusions is essentially CH4 in the northern part of the belt and a CO2-CH4 mixture in the southern part; values of [InlineEquation not available: see fulltext.] (=CO2 / (CO 2 + CH4)) vary from 0 to 0.9. Within a single CO 2-bearing vein, [InlineEquation not available: see fulltext.] values decrease from the vein wall ([InlineEquation not available: see fulltext.] = 0.5 to 0.9) to the vein center ([InlineEquation not available: see fulltext.] = 0), and the homogenization temperature increases from approximately 180°C to 240°C-250°C, indicating a transition of the carbonic species from CO2-CH4 to CH4 during vein formation. CO 2-dominant fluids are rare in most accretionary prisms formed under low-grade metamorphic conditions, and the generation of CO2 cannot be explained by diagenesis of organic matter in sediments under the P-T conditions of formation of the CO2-bearing veins (235°C to 245°C, 165 to 200 MPa). The CO2 fluids are distributed preferentially near an out-of-sequence thrust that brings the Murotohanto subbelt into contact with the late Oligocene-early Miocene Nabae subbelt and its many volcanic and intrusive rocks. We therefore suggest that the CO2 fluids were generated in association with near-trench magmatism during the middle Miocene and that the fluids were injected and mixed with the CH4 pore fluids of the sediments in the accretionary prism.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Space and Planetary Science