High-P granulites of the Songshugou area (Qinling Orogen, east-central China): Petrography, phase relations, and U/Pb zircon geochronology

Bader, Thomas and Zhang, Lifei and Li, Xiaowei and Xia, Bin and Franz, Leander and De Capitani, Christian and Li, Quinyun. (2020) High-P granulites of the Songshugou area (Qinling Orogen, east-central China): Petrography, phase relations, and U/Pb zircon geochronology. Journal of Metamorphic Geology, 38 (4). pp. 421-450.

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High-pressure (HP) granulites provide telling records of mineral reactions at upper mantle to lower crustal levels and key information on the fate of material in subduction systems. The latter especially applies when they abut eclogite and mantle dunite because such rock associations are crucial for understanding the incompletely known processes at the interface of converging plates. A continental arc, active c. 520-395 Ma ago, formed an enigmatic example of such a rock association in the Songshugou area, Qinling Orogen. To unravel the juxtaposition of the distinct rocks, this study combines petrography, phase equilibria modelling, conventional thermobarometry, and zircon U-Th-Pb-Ti-REE analysis. Two mafic HP granulites, which contain the mineral assemblages garnet-clinopyroxene-plagioclase-rutile-mesoperthite-quartz and garnet-clinopyroxene-plagioclase-rutile, experienced peak metamorphic conditions of ≤1.4 GPa, 860°C and ~1.3 GPa, ≥910°C, respectively. During decompression and cooling, at 489 ± 4 Ma, amphibole lamellae unmixed from a clinopyroxene solid solution and orthopyroxene in part replaced garnet. A felsic HP granulite shows equilibration of garnet, perthite, antiperthite, kyanite, quartz, and rutile at 810-860°C, ~1.2 GPa, sillimanite growth during decompression, and upper amphibolite facies cooling at 510 ± 4 Ma. Though the thermobarometric data are just within the methodological errors, the U/Pb zircon ages imply the HP granulites did not evolve coherently. The HP granulites either represent foundered lower arc crust or originated from subduction erosion because their geochemistry is indistinguishable from that of the hanging-wall plate. Published and new pressure-temperature-time-deformation paths converge at ~710°C, ~0.9 GPa, and ≲470 Ma, implying exhumation tectonics juxtaposed the HP granulites with a mélange of eclogite and mantle dunite at lower crustal levels. This study highlights that lower arc crust can comprise material of diverse evolution.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften
05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Geowissenschaften > Quartärgeologie (Fleitmann)
UniBasel Contributors:Franz, Leander and De Capitani, Christian E.
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:22 Feb 2021 14:12
Deposited On:22 Feb 2021 10:15

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