Transitional Granulite-Eclogite Facies Metamorphism of Basic Supracrustal Rocks in a Shear Zone Complex in the Precambrian Shield of South India

Biswajit Mukhopadhyay and Mihir K. Bose
Department of Geological Sciences, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas 75275, U.S.A.
Department of Geology, Presidency College, Calcutta 700073, India

Abstract: The phase petrology of two bodies of basic granulites occurring in association with supracrustal sequences within a dextral oblique-slip shear complex in the high-grade terrain of south India, have been studied. Some metabasites are characterized by garnet + clinopyroxene assemblages such as Grt + Cpx + PI ± Hbl ± Opx ± Qtz + Fe-Ti oxide(s) which are high-pressure granulites (garnet-clinopyroxene subfacies) transitional between the intermediate-pressure granulites (orthopyroxene-plagioclase subfacies) and eclogite. Mineralogical characteristics suggest that metamorphic conditions did not reach the eclogite facies but certainly approached that level. Close spatial association of the garnetiferous varieties with garnet-free assemblages (Opx + Hbl + Pl ± Cpx) and intimate juxtaposition of anhydrous and hydrous assemblages indicate a complex interplay of variable μH2O and bulk composition, especially αSiO2. Due to variable and low closure temperature of Fe-Mg exchange reactions between coexisting pyroxene and garnet, reliable estimation of peak temperatures during this near eclogite-facies metamorphism is problematic. A combination of a garnet-clinopyroxene barometer and various temperature estimates suggests P-T conditions of 875 ± 25°C and 8 ± 1 kbar for the Mettuppalaiyam samples and 900 ± 50°C and 14 ± 2 kbar for the Kanjamalai samples. Bulk rock chemical differences in terms of SiO2-content can account for the development of similar mineral assemblages along a near adiabatic metamorphic gradient between these two localities. These assemblages represent some of the highest grade granulite facies rocks in south India. The high-pressure granulites are not in situ samples of ancient lower continental crust, but low-pressure protoliths buried at depth. Textural features suggest that the high-pressure garnet-clinopyroxene subfacies rocks evolved from an amphibolitic assemblage by formation of garnet at the expense of hornblende and plagioclase and this high-pressure assemblage underwent an isothermal decompression indicating a clockwise P-T-t path resulting from crustal thickening and exhumation. A later isobaric cooling, possibly accompanying shearing and high H2O influx (αH2O≈0.78) gave rise to the coexisting orthopyroxeneplagioclase subfacies rocks (intermediate pressure granulites).

Keywords: metamorphism • granulite-eclogite facies • Precambrian • India

Mineralogical Magazine; March 1994 v. 58; no. 390; p. 97-118; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1994.058.390.10
© 1994, The Mineralogical Society
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