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  1. Abstract

    A model is presented whereby metamorphic parageneses are governed by local, nano-scale reactions among adjacent phases along grain boundaries that are driven by local disequilibrium between the solid phases and the grain boundary composition. These reactions modify the grain boundary composition setting up compositional gradients that drive diffusion and change the grain boundary composition elsewhere in the rock, which drive local reactions in these locations. The process may be triggered by the nucleation of a new phase that is out of equilibrium with the existing assemblage and an example is presented based on the transformation of kyanite (Ky) to sillimanite (Sil). Model results reveal that a simple polymorphic transformation (Ky→Sil) can result in local reactions among all phases in the rock and some phases may grow in one locale and be consumed in another. An implication of these results is that interpretation of metamorphic parageneses based on growth or resorption and compositional changes of phases requires careful evaluation of nano-scale processes.

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  2. Abstract

    New results that employ Zr‐in‐rutile thermometry (ZiR) and quartz‐inclusion‐in‐garnet (QuiG) barometry constrain the P–T conditions of garnet formation in blueschists and eclogites from the island of Syros, Greece. QuiG barometry reveals that garnet from different regions across the island formed at pressures ranging from 1.1 to 1.8 GPa and ZiR thermometry on rutile inclusions in garnet constrains the minimum temperature of garnet formation to have been 475–550°C. Most importantly, there is no systematic difference in the conditions of garnet formation from different regions across the island and these results are nearly identical to those obtained from the islands of Sifnos and Ios, Greece. A model is proposed whereby the rocks from all three islands were initially metamorphosed along a relatively shallow geotherm of around 11°C/km to a depth of around 45 km and were then subjected to metamorphism along a geotherm of around 7–8°C/km, which could have been caused by either an increase in the dip of the subduction zone or an increase in the rate of subduction. Garnet formed along this steeper geotherm was accompanied by the release of significant H2O from the breakdown of chlorite over a duration of 1 Ma or less based on thermal and diffusion modeling. It is concluded that rocks from Syros, Sifnos and Ios all followed a similar, roughly counter‐clockwise prograde P–T path and that the present outcrop configuration is largely due to a complex exhumation history.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 25, 2025
  3. Abstract

    High‐pressure rocks from the island of Ios in the Greek Cyclades were examined to resolve the P–T conditions reached during subduction of the two distinct lithotectonic units that are separated by the South Cycladic Shear Zone (SCSZ)—the footwall complex composed of Hercynian basement gneisses, schists and amphibolites, and the hangingwall complex composed of blueschists and eclogites. A combination of elastic tensor quartz inclusion in garnet (QuiG) barometry and Zr‐in‐rutile (ZiR) trace element thermometry was used to constrain minimum garnet growth conditions. Garnet from the hangingwall (blueschist) unit record formation pressures that range from 1.5 to 1.9 GPa and garnet from the footwall basement complex record garnet formation pressures of 1.65–2.05 GPa. ZiR thermometry on rutile inclusions within garnet establishes the minimum temperature for garnet formation to be ~480–500°C. That is, there is no evidence in the QuiG and ZiR results that the rocks of the blueschist hangingwall and basement experienced different metamorphic histories during subduction. This is the first reported observation of blueschist facies metamorphism in the Hercynian basement complex. A model is proposed in which initial subduction occurred along a relatively shallow P–T trajectory of ~11°C/km and then transitioned to a steeper, nearly isothermal trajectory at a depth of ~45 km reaching similar peak metamorphic conditions of ~500–525°C at 2.0 GPa for all samples. Such a change in the subduction path could be accomplished by either an increase in the rate of subduction or an increase in the angle of the subduction zone. The present juxtaposition of samples with contrasting mineral assemblages and garnet growth histories is interpreted to have arisen from differences in bulk compositions and variations in the preservation of high‐pressure prograde mineral assemblages during exhumation. The existence of similar P–T conditions and prograde paths in the two units does not require that the rocks were all metamorphosed at the same time and that the SCSZ experienced little movement. Rather, it is suggested that the two units experienced prograde and peak metamorphism at different times and were subsequently juxtaposed along the SCSZ.

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  4. Abstract A comparative analysis of Raman shifts of quartz inclusions in garnet was made along two traverses across the Connecticut Valley Trough (CVT) in western New England, USA, to examine the regional trends of quartz inclusion in garnet (QuiG) Raman barometry pressure results and to compare this method with conventional thermobarometry and the method of intersecting garnet core isopleths. Overall, Raman shifts of quartz inclusions ranged from 1·2 to 3·5 cm–1 over all field areas and displayed a south to north decrease, matching the overall decrease in mapped metamorphic grade. Raman shifts of quartz inclusions typically did not show systematic variation with respect to their radial position within a garnet crystal, and indicate that garnet probably grew at nearly isothermal and isobaric pressure–temperature (P–T) conditions. The P–T conditions inferred from conventional thermobarometry were in the range of ∼500–575 °C and ∼7·4–10·3 kbar over the sample suite and are in good agreement with previous published thermobarometry throughout the CVT. These P–T results are broadly consistent with QuiG barometry and also suggest that garnet grew isothermally and isobarically at near peak P–T conditions. However, P–T conditions and P–T paths inferred using either garnet core thermobarometry or garnet core intersecting isopleths yield results that are internally inconsistent and generally disagree with the pressure results from QuiG barometry. Garnet core isopleth intersections consistently plotted between the nominal garnet-in curve on mineral assemblage diagrams and the P–T conditions constrained by QuiG isomekes for the majority of the sample suite. Additionally, most samples’ P–T results from QuiG barometry and rim thermobarometry show marked disagreement from those derived from garnet core thermobarometry, compared with the minority that showed agreement within uncertainty. Pressures calculated from QuiG barometry ranged from 8·5 to 9·5 kbar along the traverses in western Massachusetts (MA) and central Vermont (VT) and from 6·5 to 7·5 kbar in northern VT indicating an increase in peak burial of 3–6 km from north to south. Along the western end of the central VT traverse, there are differences in measured Raman shifts and inferred peak pressures of up to 1 kbar across the Richardson Memorial Contact (RMC), indicating a possible fault contact with minor post-peak metamorphic shortening of up to ∼3 km. In contrast, along an east–west traverse in the vicinity of the Goshen Dome, MA, there was little observed variation in Raman shifts across the contact. By contrast, QuiG barometry clearly indicates significant discontinuities in peak pressure east of the Strafford Dome in central VT. This supports the interpretation that post-peak metamorphic shortening was necessary to juxtapose upper staurolite–kyanite zone rocks next to lower garnet zone pelites. Overall, it is concluded that garnet core thermobarometry and garnet core isopleths may provide unreliable results for the P–T conditions of garnet nucleation and inferred P–T paths during garnet growth unless independently verified. The consistency of QuiG results with rim thermobarometry indicates that peak metamorphic conditions previously reported for the CVT using garnet rim thermobarometry are robust and that variation in QuiG barometry results is a valuable tool to analyze structural features within a metamorphic terrane. 
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  5. Abstract

    Metamorphic rocks from the Connecticut Valley Trough (CVT), Vermont, and Massachusetts, have been examined using quartz‐in‐garnet (QuiG) and conventional thermobarometry, thermodynamic reaction modelling, diffusion modelling, and40Ar/39Ar thermochronology to constrain theirP–T–tpaths during Acadian metamorphism and subsequent exhumation. Numerous samples, collected in the vicinity of the Acadian domes, contain garnet porphyroblasts that display cloudy zones characterized by numerous fluid inclusions and modified garnet compositions associated with the replacement of the original garnet by biotite±muscovite±plagioclase±quartz±lowXgrs/enrichedXsps. QuiG and conventional thermobarometry constrain both the conditions of garnet nucleation and peakP–Tconditions to have occurred at ~0.85–1.05 GPa, ~550–600°C. Most notably, QuiG barometry was performed on inclusions adjacent to these reaction zones in conjunction with Gibbs method reaction modelling to reveal that these dissolution–reprecipitation reactions occurred during nearly isothermal decompression from the peakP–Tconditions to around ~0.3 GPa, 550°C. Diffusion modelling reveals that the Mn zoning profiles created during garnet resorption that accompanied decompression formed in less thanc. 3 Ma, which constrains the tectonic exhumation to have occurred at 8–10 mm/year. Subsequent cooling to 500°C occurred rapidly at a rate of 100°C/Ma, followed by slower cooling reaching 1.7°C /Ma by the mid Carboniferous. This is the first reported example of QuiG barometry revealing a multi‐stage metamorphic history and highlights the utility of this method for unravelling complex metamorphic terranes.

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