- Top of page
- Geological setting
- Veining during progressive deformation
- Microthermometry and fluid composition
- Oxygen isotope and total organic carbon analyses
- Interpretation and discussion
Quartz veins in the early Variscan Monts d’Arrée slate belt (Central Armorican Terrane, Western France), have been used to determine fluid-flow characteristics. A combination of a detailed structural analysis, fluid inclusion microthermometry and stable isotope analyses provides insights in the scale of fluid flow and the water–rock interactions. This research suggests that fluids were expelled during progressive deformation and underwent an evolution in fluid chemistry because of changing redox conditions. Seven quartz-vein generations were identified in the metasedimentary multilayer sequence of the Upper Silurian to Lower Devonian Plougastel Formation, and placed within the time frame of the deformation history. Fluid inclusion data of primary inclusions in syn- to post-tectonic vein generations indicate a gradual increase in methane content of the aqueous–gaseous H2O–CO2–NaCl–CH4–N2 fluid during similar P–T conditions (350–400°C and 2–3.5 kbar). The heterogeneous centimetre- to metre-scale multilayer sequence of quartzites and phyllites has a range of oxygen-isotope values (8.0–14.1‰ Vienna Standard Mean Ocean Water), which is comparable with the range in the crosscutting quartz veins (10.5–14.7‰ V-SMOW). Significant differences between oxygen-isotope values of veins and adjacent host rock (Δ = −2.8‰ to +4.9‰ V-SMOW) suggest an absence of host-rock buffering on a centimetre scale, but based on the similar range of isotope values in the Plougastel Formation, an intraformational buffering and an intermediate-scale fluid-flow system could be inferred. The abundance of veins, their well-distributed and isolated occurrence, and their direct relationship with the progressive deformation suggests that the intermediate-scale fluid-flow system primarily occurred in a dynamically generated network of temporarily open fractures.