Numerous studies exist on exhumed tectonic mélanges along subduction channels whereas, in accretionary wedge interiors, deformation mechanisms and related fluid circulation in tectonic mélanges are still underexplored. We combine structural and microstructural observations with geochemical (stable and clumped isotopes and isotope composition of noble gases in fluid inclusions of calcite veins) and U-Pb geochronological data to define deformation mechanisms and syn-tectonic fluid circulation within the Mt. Massico intra-wedge tectonic mélange, located in the inner part of the central-southern Apennines accretionary wedge, Italy. This mélange developed by shear deformation at the base of a clastic succession. Deformation was characterized by disruption of the primary bedding, mixing, and deformation of relicts of competent olistoliths and strata within a weak matrix of deformed clayey and marly interbeds. Recurrent cycles of mutually overprinting fracturing/veining and pressure-solution processes generated a block-in-matrix texture. The geochemical signatures of syntectonic calcite veins suggest calcite precipitation in a closed system from warm (108°-147 °C) paleofluids, with δ18O vlaues between +9‰ and 14‰, such as trapped pore waters after extensive 18O exchange with the local limestone host rock and/or derived by clay dehydration processes at T > 120 °C. The 3He/4He ratios in fluid inclusions are lower than 0.1 Ra, indicating that He was exclusively sourced from the crust. We conclude that: (1) intraformational rheological contrasts, inherited trapped fluids, and low-permeability barriers such as marly-shaly matrix, can promote the generation of intra-wedge tectonic mélanges and the development of transient fluid overpressure; (2) clay-rich tectonic mélanges, developed along intra-wedge décollement layers, may generate low-permeability barriers hindering the fluid redistribution within accretionary wedges.
Smeraglia, L., Aldega, L., Bernasconi, S.M., Billi, A., Boschi, C., Caracausi, A., et al. (2020). The role of trapped fluids during the development and deformation of a carbonate/shale intra-wedge tectonic mélange (Mt. Massico, Southern Apennines, Italy). JOURNAL OF STRUCTURAL GEOLOGY, 138, 104086 [10.1016/j.jsg.2020.104086].