Amphibolite Facies Conditions (amphibolite + facy_condition)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Formation of eclogite, and reaction during exhumation to mid-crustal levels, Snowbird tectonic zone, western Canadian Shield

Abstract A re-evaluation of the P,T history of eclogite within the East Athabasca granulite terrane of the Snowbird tectonic zone, northern Saskatchewan, Canada was undertaken. Using calculated pseudosections in combination with new garnet,clinopyroxene and zircon and rutile trace element thermometry, peak metamorphic conditions are constrained to ,16 kbar and 750 C, followed by near-isothermal decompression to ,10 kbar. Associated with the eclogite are two types of occurrences of sapphirine-bearing rocks preserving a rich variety of reaction textures that allow examination of the retrograde history below 10 kbar. The first occurs as a 1,2 m zone adjacent to the eclogite body with a peak assemblage of garnet,kyanite,quartz interpreted to have formed during the eclogite facies metamorphism. Rims of orthopyroxene and plagioclase developed around garnet, and sapphirine,plagioclase and spinel,plagioclase symplectites developed around kyanite. The second variety of sapphirine-bearing rocks occurs in kyanite veins within the eclogite. The veins involve orthopyroxene, garnet and plagioclase layers spatially organized around a central kyanite layer that are interpreted to have formed following the eclogite facies metamorphism. The layering has itself been modified, with, in particular, kyanite being replaced by sapphirine,plagioclase, spinel,plagioclase and corundum,plagioclase symplectites, as well as the kyanite being replaced by sillimanite. Petrological modelling in the CFMAS system examining chemical potential gradients between kyanite and surrounding quartz indicates that these vein textures probably formed during further essentially isothermal decompression, ultimately reaching ,7 kbar and 750 C. These results indicate that the final reaction in these rocks occurred at mid-crustal levels at upper amphibolite facies conditions. Previous geochronological and thermochronological constraints bracket the time interval of decompression to <5,10 Myr, indicating that ,25 km of exhumation took place during this interval. This corresponds to minimum unroofing rates of ,2,5 mm year,1 following eclogite facies metamorphism, after which the rocks resided at mid-crustal levels for 80,100 Myr. [source]

Up-temperature flow of surface-derived fluids in the mid-crust: the role of pre-orogenic burial of hydrated fault rocks

Abstract The Walter-Outalpa shear zone in the southern Curnamona Province of NE South Australia is an example of a shear zone that has undergone intensely focused fluid flow and alteration at mid-crustal depths. Results from this study have demonstrated that the intense deformation and ductile shear zone reactivation, at amphibolite facies conditions of 534 20 C and 500 82 MPa, that overprint the Proterozoic Willyama Supergroup occurred during the Delamerian Orogeny (c. 500 Ma) (EPMA monazite ages of 501 16 and 491 19 Ma). This is in contrast to the general belief that the majority of basement deformation and alteration in the southern Curnamona Province occurred during the waning stages of the Olarian Orogeny (c. 1610,1580 Ma). These shear zones contain hydrous mineral assemblages that cut wall rocks that have experienced amphibolite facies metamorphism during the Olarian Orogeny. The shear zone rock volumes have much lower ,18O values (as low as 1,) than their unsheared counterparts (7,9,), and calculated fluid ,18O values (5,8,) consistent with a surface-derived fluid source. Hydrous minerals show a decrease in ,D(H2O) from ,14 to ,22,, for minerals outside the shear zones, to ,28 to ,40,, for minerals within the shear zones consistent with a contribution from a meteoric source. It is unclear how near-surface fluids initially under hydrostatic pressure penetrate into the middle crust where fluid pressures approach lithostatic, and where fluid flow is expected to be dominantly upward because of pressure gradients. We propose a mechanism whereby faulting during basin formation associated with the Adelaidean Rift Complex (c. 700 Ma) created broad hydrous zones containing mineral assemblages in equilibrium with surface waters. These panels of fault rock were subsequently buried to depths where the onset of metamorphism begins to dehydrate the fault rock volumes evolving a low ,18O fluid that is channelled through shear zones related to Delamerian Orogenic activity. [source]

Separate or shared metamorphic histories of eclogites and surrounding rocks?

An example from the Bohemian Massif
Abstract Eclogite boudins occur within an orthogneiss sheet enclosed in a Barrovian metapelite-dominated volcano-sedimentary sequence within the Velk Vrbno unit, NE Bohemian Massif. A metamorphic and lithological break defines the base of the eclogite-bearing orthogneiss nappe, with a structurally lower sequence without eclogite exposed in a tectonic window. The typical assemblage of the structurally upper metapelites is garnet,staurolite,kyanite,biotite,plagioclase,muscovite,quartz,ilmenite rutile silli-manite and prograde-zoned garnet includes chloritoid,chlorite,paragonite,margarite, staurolite,chlorite,paragonite,margarite and kyanite,chlorite,rutile. In pseudosection modelling in the system Na2O,CaO,K2O,FeO,MgO,Al2O3,SiO2,H2O (NCKFMASH) using THERMOCALC, the prograde path crosses the discontinuous reaction chloritoid + margarite = chlorite + garnet + staurolite,+,paragonite (with muscovite + quartz + H2O) at 9.5 kbar and 570 C and the metamorphic peak is reached at 11 kbar and 640 C. Decompression through about 7 kbar is indicated by sillimanite and biotite growing at the expense of garnet. In the tectonic window, the structurally lower metapelites (garnet,staurolite,biotite,muscovite,quartz plagioclase sillimanite kyanite) and amphibolites (garnet,amphibole,plagioclase epidote) indicate a metamorphic peak of 10 kbar at 620 C and 11 kbar and 610,660 C, respectively, that is consistent with the other metapelites. The eclogites are composed of garnet, omphacite relicts (jadeite = 33%) within plagioclase,clinopyroxene symplectites, epidote and late amphibole,plagioclase domains. Garnet commonly includes rutile,quartz,epidote clinopyroxene (jadeite = 43%) magnetite amphibole and its growth zoning is compatible in the pseudosection with burial under H2O-undersaturated conditions to 18 kbar and 680 C. Plagioclase + amphibole replaces garnet within foliated boudin margins and results in the assemblage epidote,amphibole,plagioclase indicating that decompression occurred under decreasing temperature into garnet-free epidote,amphibolite facies conditions. The prograde path of eclogites and metapelites up to the metamorphic peak cannot be shared, being along different geothermal gradients, of about 11 and 17 C km,1, respectively, to metamorphic pressure peaks that are 6,7 kbar apart. The eclogite,orthogneiss sheet docked with metapelites at about 11 kbar and 650 C, and from this depth the exhumation of the pile is shared. [source]

Reaction localization and softening of texturally hardened mylonites in a reactivated fault zone, central Argentina

Abstract The Tres Arboles ductile fault zone in the Eastern Sierras Pampeanas, central Argentina, experienced multiple ductile deformation and faulting events that involved a variety of textural and reaction hardening and softening processes. Much of the fault zone is characterized by a (D2) ultramylonite, composed of fine-grained biotite + plagioclase, that lacks a well-defined preferred orientation. The D2 fabric consists of a strong network of intergrown and interlocking grains that show little textural evidence for dislocation or dissolution creep. These ultramylonites contain gneissic rock fragments and porphyroclasts of plagioclase, sillimanite and garnet inherited from the gneissic and migmatitic protolith (D1) of the hangingwall. The assemblage of garnet + sillimanite + biotite suggests that D1-related fabrics developed under upper amphibolite facies conditions, and the persistence of biotite + garnet + sillimanite + plagioclase suggests that the ultramylonite of D2 developed under middle amphibolite facies conditions. Greenschist facies, mylonitic shear bands (D3) locally overprint D2 ultramylonites. Fine-grained folia of muscovite + chlorite biotite truncate earlier biotite + plagioclase textures, and coarser-grained muscovite partially replaces relic sillimanite grains. Anorthite content of shear band (D3) plagioclase is c. An30, distinct from D1 and D2 plagioclase (c. An35). The anorthite content of D3 plagioclase is consistent with a pervasive grain boundary fluid that facilitated partial replacement of plagioclase by muscovite. Biotite is partially replaced by muscovite and/or chlorite, particularly in areas of inferred high strain. Quartz precipitated in porphyroclast pressure shadows and ribbons that help define the mylonitic fabric. All D3 reactions require the introduction of H+ and/or H2O, indicating an open system, and typically result in a volume decrease. Syntectonic D3 muscovite + quartz + chlorite preferentially grew in an orientation favourable for strain localization, which produced a strong textural softening. Strain localization occurred only where reactions progressed with the infiltration of aqueous fluids, on a scale of hundreds of micrometre. Local fracturing and microseismicity may have induced reactivation of the fault zone and the initial introduction of fluids. However, the predominant greenschist facies deformation (D3) along discrete shear bands was primarily a consequence of the localization of replacement reactions in a partially open system. [source]

Chemical and physical responses to deformation in micaceous quartzites from the Tauern Window, Eastern Alps

J. Selverstone
Abstract Micaceous quartzites from a subvertical shear zone in the Tauern Window contain abundant quartz clasts derived from dismembered quartz-tourmaline veins. Bulk plane strain deformation affected these rocks at amphibolite facies conditions. Shape changes suggest net shortening of the clasts by 11,64%, with a mean value of 35%. Quartz within the clasts accommodated this strain largely via dislocation creep processes. On the high-stress flanks of the clasts, however, quartz was removed via solution mass transfer (pressure solution) processes; the resulting change in bulk composition allowed growth of porphyroblastic staurolite + chlorite kyanite on the clast flanks. Matrix SiO2 contents decrease from c. 83 wt% away from the clasts to 49,58% in the selvages on the clast flanks. The chemical changes are consistent with c. 70% volume loss in the high-stress zones. Calculated shortening values within the clast flanks are similar to the volume-loss estimates, and are greatly in excess of the shortening values calculated from the clasts themselves. Flow laws for dislocation creep versus pressure solution imply large strain-rate gradients and/or differential stress gradients between the matrix and the clast selvages. In a rock containing a large proportion of semirigid clasts, weakening within the clast flanks could dominate rock rheology. In our samples, however, weakening within the selvages was self limiting: (1) growth of strong staurolite porphyroblasts in the selvages protected remaining quartz from dissolution; and (2) overall flattening of the quartz clasts probably decreased the resolved shear stress on the flanks to values near those of the matrix, which would have reduced the driving force for solution-transfer creep. Extreme chemical changes nonetheless occurred over short distances. The necessity of maintaining strain compatibility may lead to significant localized dissolution in rocks containing rheologic heterogeneities, and overall weakening of the rocks may result. Solution-transfer creep may be a major process whereby weakening and strain localization occur during deep-crustal metamorphism of polymineralic rocks. [source]

Isograds and P,T evolution in the eastern Lepontine Alps (Graubnden, Switzerland)

T. Nagel
Abstract Reactions producing Al-rich index minerals in the south-eastern part of the Lepontine Dome (Central Alps, Switzerland) are investigated using mineral distribution maps, microstructural observations and equilibrium phase diagrams. The apparent staurolite mineral zone boundary corresponds to the paragonite breakdown reaction Pg + Grt + Qtz = Pl + Al2O3 + W. Equilibrium phase diagrams show that most natural metapelites do not contain staurolite or alumosilicates as long as univalent cations are predominantly accommodated in white mica. For a wide range of metapelitic compositions the paragonite breakdown releases sufficient Al for the formation of these minerals. Rare occurrences of staurolite and kyanite, north of the formerly mapped mineral zone boundaries, coexist with paragonite and are restricted to extremely Al-rich bulk compositions. The stable branch of the kyanite-forming paragonite breakdown reaction above 660 C yields an additional mapable isograd. The second set of Al-releasing reactions is biotite-producing phengite breakdown. However, these reactions are less suitable to produce well defined reaction isograds in the field as they are more continuous and their progress is strongly dependent on bulk composition. Well developed fibrolite in metapelites does not appear until staurolite starts to breakdown. We conclude that amphibolite facies conditions in the study area were attained by decompression, without substantial heating at low pressures. [source]

P,T evolution of glaucophane,omphacite bearing HP,LT rocks in the western Tianshan Orogen, NW China:new evidence for ,Alpine-type' tectonics

R. Klemd
Abstract The late Palaeozoic western Tianshan high-pressure /low-temperature belt extends for about 200 km along the south-central Tianshan suture zone and is composed mainly of blueschist, eclogite and epidote amphibolite/greenschist facies rocks. P,T conditions of mafic garnet omphacite and garnet,omphacite blueschist, which are interlayered with eclogite, were investigated in order to establish an exhumation path for these high-pressure rocks. Maximum pressure conditions are represented by the assemblage garnet,omphacite,paragonite,phengite,glaucophane,quartz,rutile. Estimated maximum pressures range between 18 and 21 kbar at temperatures between 490 and 570 C. Decompression caused the destabilization of omphacite, garnet and glaucophane to albite, Ca-amphibole and chlorite. The post-eclogite facies metamorphic conditions between 9 and 14 kbar at 480,570 C suggest an almost isothermal decompression from eclogite to epidote,amphibolite facies conditions. Prograde growth zoning and mineral inclusions in garnet as well as post-eclogite facies conditions are evidence for a clockwise P,T path. Analysis of phase diagrams constrains the P,T path to more or less isothermal cooling which is well corroborated by the results of geothermobarometry and mineral textures. This implies that the high-pressure rocks from the western Tianshan Orogen formed in a tectonic regime similar to ,Alpine-type' tectonics. This contradicts previous models which favour ,Franciscan-type' tectonics for the southern Tianshan high-pressure rocks. [source]

P,T conditions of decompression of the Limpopo high-grade terrane: record from shear zones

C. A. Smit
Abstract The Southern Marginal Zone of the late Archean Limpopo Belt of southern Africa is an example of a high-grade gneiss terrane in which both upper and lower crustal deformational processes can be studied. This marginal zone consists of large thrust sheets of complexly folded low-strain gneisses, bound by an imbricate system of kilometre-wide deep crustal shear zones characterized by the presence of high-strain gneisses (,primary straight gneisses'). These shear zones developed during the decompression stage of this high-grade terrane. Low- and high-strain gneisses both contain similar reaction textures that formed under different kinematic conditions during decompression. Evidence for the early M1/D1 metamorphic phase (> 2690 Ma) is rarely preserved in low-strain gneisses as a uniform orientation of relict Al-rich orthopyroxene in the matrix and quartz and plagioclase inclusions in the cores of early (M1) Mg-rich garnet porphyroblasts. This rare fabric formed at >,820 C and >,7.5 kbar. The retrograde M2/D2 metamorphic fabric (2630,2670 Ma) is well developed in high-strain gneisses from deep crustal shear zones and is microscopically recognized by the presence of reaction textures that formed synkinematically during shear deformation: M2 sigmoid-shaped reaction textures with oriented cordierite,orthopyroxene symplectites formed after the early M1 Mg-rich garnet porphyroblasts, and syn-decompression M2 pencil-shaped garnet with oriented inclusions of sillimanite and quartz formed after cordierite under conditions of near-isobaric cooling at 750,630 C and 6,5 kbar. The symplectites and pencil-shaped garnet are oriented parallel to the shear fabric and in the stretching direction. Low-strain gneisses from thrust sheets show similar M2 decompression cooling and near-isobaric cooling reaction textures that formed within the same P,T range, but under low-strain conditions, as shown by their pseudo-idioblastic shapes that reflect the contours of completely replaced M1 garnet and randomly oriented cordierite,orthopyroxene symplectites. The presence of similar reaction textures reflecting low-strain conditions in gneisses from thrust sheets and high-strain conditions in primary straight gneisses suggests that most of the strain during decompression was partitioned into the bounding shear zones. A younger M3/D3 mylonitic fabric (< 2637 Ma) in unhydrated mylonites is characterized by brittle deformation of garnet porphyroclasts and ductile deformation of the quartz,plagioclase,biotite matrix developed at <,600 C, as the result of post-decompression shearing under epidote,amphibolite facies conditions. [source]

The effect of TiO2 and Fe2O3 on metapelitic assemblages at greenschist and amphibolite facies conditions: mineral equilibria calculations in the system K2O,FeO,MgO,Al2O3,SiO2,H2O,TiO2,Fe2O3

Mineral equilibria calculations in the system K2O,FeO,MgO,Al2O3,SiO2,H2O,TiO2,Fe2O3 (KFMASHTO) using thermocalc and its internally consistent thermodynamic dataset constrain the effect of TiO2 and Fe2O3 on greenschist and amphibolite facies mineral equilibria in metapelites. The end-member data and activity,composition relationships for biotite and chloritoid, calibrated with natural rock data, and activity,composition data for garnet, calibrated using experimental data, provide new constraints on the effects of TiO2 and Fe2O3 on the stability of these minerals. Thermodynamic models for ilmenite,hematite and magnetite,ulvospinel solid solutions accounting for order,disorder in these phases allow the distribution of TiO2 and Fe2O3 between oxide minerals and silicate minerals to be calculated. The calculations indicate that small to moderate amounts of TiO2 and Fe2O3 in typical metapelitic bulk compositions have little effect on silicate mineral equilibria in metapelites at greenschist to amphibolite facies, compared with those calculated in KFMASH. The addition of large amounts of TiO2 to typical pelitic bulk compositions has little effect on the stability of silicate assemblages; in contrast, rocks rich in Fe2O3 develop a markedly different metamorphic succession from that of common Barrovian sequences. In particular, Fe2O3 -rich metapelites show a marked reduction in the stability fields of staurolite and garnet to higher pressures, in comparison to those predicted by KFMASH grids. [source]

Mineralogical and Petrological Characteristics of the Neoproterozoic Orthoamphibolite and Orthogneisses in the Mutki Area, the Bitlis Massif, Southeast Turkey

Abstract: The rocks form as amphibolite garnet epidote and orthogneisses in the Pan-African basement of the Bitlis Massif. The petrochemical data of the studied metamorphic rocks suggest different igneous protoliths ranging from calcalkaline basalt to andesite in composition. Petrochemically, the rocks can be classified as group 1 (low Zr and La) and group 2 (high Zr and La), all showing various enrichments in large ion lithophiles and light rare earth elements, and a depletion in high-field strength elements, suggestive of a destructive plate margin setting. The protoliths of the all samples might have formed mostly by the partial melting of an enriched source, possibly coupled with the fractional crystallization of plagioclase, apatite, and titaniferous magnetite olivine clinopyroxene amphibole in relation with subduction-related magmatism neighboring the Andean-type active margins of Gondwana. The group 2 samples could, however, be generated by a relatively lower degree of the partial melting of an inhomogeneous source with a preponderance of a high-level, fractional crystallization process in comparison to group 1. The protoliths of the samples were metamorphosed up to amphibolite facies conditions, which destroys original igneous texture and mineral assemblages. Geothermobarometric calculations show that the metamorphic rocks are finally equilibrated between 540 and 610C and ,5 kbars, following a clockwise P-T-t path. [source]