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Polymetamorphism, zircon growth and retention of early assemblages through the dynamic evolution of a continental arc in Fiordland, New Zealand

Scott, J. M., Palin, J. M., Cooper, A. F., Fagereng, Ake ORCID: and King, R. P. 2009. Polymetamorphism, zircon growth and retention of early assemblages through the dynamic evolution of a continental arc in Fiordland, New Zealand. Journal of Metamorphic Geology 27 (4) , pp. 281-294. 10.1111/j.1525-1314.2009.00817.x

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The Marguerite Amphibolite and associated rocks in northern Fiordland, New Zealand, contain evidence for retention of Carboniferous metamorphic assemblages through Cretaceous collision of an arc, emplacement of large volumes of mafic magma, high-P metamorphism and then extensional exhumation. The amphibolite occurs as five dismembered aluminous meta-gabbroic xenoliths up to 2 km wide that are enclosed within meta-leucotonalite of the Lake Hankinson Complex. A first metamorphic event (M1) is manifest in the amphibolite as a pervasively lineated pargasite–anorthite–kyanite or corundum ± rutile assemblage, and as diffusion-zoned garnet in pelitic schist xenoliths within the amphibolite. Thin zones of metasomatically Al-enriched leucotonalite directly at the margins of each amphibolite xenolith indicate element redistribution during M1 and equilibration at 6.6 ± 0.8 kbar and 618 ± 25 °C. A second phase of recrystallization (M2) formed patchy and static margarite ± kyanite–staurolite–chlorite–plagioclase–epidote assemblages in the amphibolite, pseudomorphs of coronas in gabbronorite, and thin high-grossular garnet rims in the pelitic schists. Conditions of M2, 8.8 ± 0.6 kbar and 643 ± 27 °C, are recorded from the rims of garnet in the pelitic schists. Cathodoluminescence imaging and simultaneous acquisition of U-Th-Pb isotopes and trace elements by depth-profiling zircon grains from one pelitic schist reveals four stages of growth, two of which are metamorphic. The first metamorphic stage, dated as 340.2 ± 2.2 Ma, is correlated with M1 on the basis that the unusual zircon trace element compositions indicate growth from a metasomatic fluid derived from the surrounding amphibolite during penetrative deformation. A second phase of zircon overgrowth coupled with crosscutting relationships date M2 to between 119 and 117 Ma. The Early Carboniferous event has not previously been recognized in northern Fiordland, whereas the latter event, which has been identified in Early Cretaceous batholiths, their xenoliths, and rocks directly at batholith margins, is here shown to have also affected the country rock. However, the effects of M2 are fragmentary due to limited element mobility, lack of deformation, distance from a heat source and short residence time in the lower crust during peak P and T. It is possible that many parts of the Fiordland continental arc achieved high-P conditions in the Early Cretaceous but retain earlier metamorphic or igneous assemblages.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Fiordland; metamorphism; metastability; zircon REE; zircon U–Pb
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISSN: 1525-1314
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 08:53

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