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The fate of zircon during UHT–UHP metamorphism: isotopic (U/Pb, δ18O, Hf) and trace element constraints.
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Geology. (Nordsim)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2227-577X
2016 (English)In: Journal of Metamorphic Geology, ISSN 0263-4929, E-ISSN 1525-1314, Vol. 34, 719-739 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Garnet–clinopyroxene ultra-high-pressure (UHP) rocks from the northern Bohemian Massif contain zircon with micro-diamond inclusions. Trace element concentrations, oxygen and hafnium isotopic composition and U–Pb age of distinct textural domains in zircon characterize their growth conditions and temporal evolution. Diamond-bearing zircon mantle domains with relicts of oscillatory zoning have uniform Th/U ratios (~0.1–0.2), high-Ti contents (110–190 ppm, corresponding to temperatures of at least 1100 °C), and some (two of 17 mantle analyses) preserve steep heavy rare earth element (HREE) patterns with YbN/GdN = 10–11, with a weak negative Eu anomaly. These signatures are consistent with crystallization from a melt under UHP/ultra-high-temperature (UHT) conditions. Some of the bright-cathodoluminscence (CL) rims preserve Th/U and Ti values characteristic of the zircon mantles, but others show elevated Th/U ratios of ~0.3–0.4 and lower Ti contents (20–40 ppm; only 13 ppm in a rare low-CL outer rim). As they feature flat HREE patterns and negative Eu anomalies and commonly make embayments and truncate the mantle zoning, we suggest that they have formed through recrystallization in the solid state during exhumation of the rock, when both garnet and plagioclase were stable. The three zircon domains, that is, cores, mantles and rims, yield U–Pb concordia ages of 340.9 ± 1.5, 340.3 ± 1.5 and 341.2 ± 3.4 Ma respectively. When linked to the previously reconstructed P–T path of the rock, the error limits of the zircon mantle and rim ages constrain the exhumation of the rocks from depth of ~140 km (UHP) to ~80 km (HP) to a minimum rate of 1.5 cm yr−1. The zircon cores are heterogeneous in terms of Th/U ratio (below 0.1 but also above 0.2) and REE characteristics, and their εHf values scatter between −15.7 and +4.8 with similar values for individual domains within a single zircon grain suggesting a very localized control on hafnium isotope composition on a grain scale. The non-equilibrated εHf values as well as a large range of the Hf-depleted mantle model ages possibly reflect the presence of a heterogeneous population of old zircon. Consequently, the uniform and young 238U/206Pb ages may represent (near-)complete resetting of the U–Pb geochronometer during the UHP–UHT event at c. 340 Ma through dissolution–reprecipitation process. In contrast to Hf, the oxygen isotope composition of zircon is homogeneous, ranging between 7.8‰ and 9.6‰ VSMOW, reflecting a source containing upper crustal material and homogenization at UHP–UHT conditions. Our study documents that continental crust was subducted to mantle depths at c. 340 Ma during the Variscan orogeny and was subsequently very rapidly exhumed, implying that the sequence of events was faster than can be resolved by the secondary ion mass spectrometry technique.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 34, 719-739 p.
National Category
Geology
Research subject
The changing Earth
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-1968DOI: 10.1111/jmg.12206OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-1968DiVA: diva2:1051035
Available from: 2016-11-30 Created: 2016-11-30 Last updated: 2016-12-01Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jmg.12206/abstract

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Whitehouse, Martin J.

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