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High-temperature, high-pressure granulites (retrogressed eclogites) in the central region of the Lewisian, NW Scotland: Crustal-scale subduction in the Neoarchaean

Sajeev, K and Windley, BF and Hegner, E and Komiya, T (2013) High-temperature, high-pressure granulites (retrogressed eclogites) in the central region of the Lewisian, NW Scotland: Crustal-scale subduction in the Neoarchaean. In: GONDWANA RESEARCH, 23 (2, SI). pp. 526-538.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gr.2012.05.002


Eclogites and associated high-pressure (HP) rocks in collisional and accretionary orogenic belts preserve a record of subduction and exhumation, and provide a key constraint on the tectonic evolution of the continents. Most eclogites that formed at high pressures but low temperatures at > 10-11 kbar and 450-650 degrees C can be interpreted as a result of subduction of cold oceanic lithosphere. A new class of high-temperature (HT) eclogites that formed above 900 degrees C and at 14 to 30 kbar occurs in the deep continental crust, but their geodynamic significance and processes of formation are poorly understood. Here we show that Neoarchaean mafic-ultramafic complexes in the central granulite facies region of the Lewisian in NW Scotland contain HP/HT garnet-bearing granulites (retrogressed eclogites), gabbros, Iherzolites, and websterites, and that the HP granulites have garnets that contain inclusions of omphacite. From thermodynamic modeling and compositional isopleths we calculate that peak eclogite-facies metamorphism took place at 24-22 kbar and 1060-1040 degrees C. The geochemical signature of one (G-21) of the samples shows a strong depletion of Eu indicating magma fractionation at a crustal level. The Sm-Nd isochron ages of HP phases record different cooling ages of ca. 2480 and 2330 Ma. We suggest that the layered mafic-ultramafic complexes, which may have formed in an oceanic environment, were subducted to eclogite depths, and exhumed as HP garnet-bearing orogenic peridotites. The layered complexes were engulfed by widespread orthogneisses of tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) composition with granulite facies assemblages. We propose two possible tectonic models: (1) the fact that the relicts of eclogitic complexes are so widespread in the Scourian can be taken as evidence that a >90 km x 40 km-size slab of continental crust containing mafic-ultramafic complexes was subducted to at least 70 km depth in the late Archaean. During exhumation the gneiss protoliths were retrogressed to granulite facies assemblages, but the mafic-ultramafic rocks resisted retrogression. (2) The layered complexes of mafic and ultramafic rocks were subducted to eclogite-facies depths and during exhumation under crustal conditions they were intruded by the orthogneiss protoliths (TTG) that were metamorphosed in the granulite facies. Apart from poorly defined UHP metamorphic rocks in Norway, the retrogressed eclogites in the central granulite/retrogressed eclogite facies Lewisian region, NW Scotland have the highest crustal pressures so far reported for Archaean rocks, and demonstrate that lithospheric subduction was transporting crustal rocks to HP depths in the Neoarchaean. (C) 2012 International Association for Gondwana Research. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright for this article belongs to ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV, NETHERLANDS
Keywords: High-P-T eclogites;Archaean subduction;P-T path;Geochemistry;Sm-Nd garnet geochronology
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Earth Sciences
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2013 07:28
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2013 07:28
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/46160

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