Contrasting response of monazite and zircon to a high-T thermal overprint

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Contact metamorphism in the aureole of the 1322 Ma Makhavinekh Lake Pluton, northern Labrador, affected monazite and zircon in the adjacent 1850 Ma metapelitic gneisses. Transformation of regional garnet and sillimanite to lower-pressure symplectitic intergrowths of cordierite, orthopyroxene, and spinel was accompanied by resorption of inherited monazite inclusions in garnet coupled with the appearance of coronitic high-Y monazite rims. In situ ion-microprobe dating is used to show that high-Y rims formed during contact metamorphism. Liberation of Y and HREE from garnet also gave rise to new xenotime growth. The coronitic nature of monazite overgrowths reflects the diffusion-controlled nature of net-transfer reactions whereas its higher Y composition reflects equilibration with xenotime at peak T (> 800 °C) conditions in the inner aureole. Very thin overgrowths on inherited zircon were also encountered, but only where zircon is surrounded by the symplectitic assemblage, reflecting liberation of Zr from garnet. Although these overgrowths are too thin to date using conventional ion-microprobe techniques, well-developed triple junctions between zircon and orthopyroxene suggests that they grew in textural equilibrium with the contact metamorphic assemblage. In contrast to monazite, inherited zircon remained intact during contact metamorphism, exhibiting no change in morphology (other than the growth of thin rims) or internal zoning throughout the aureole. However, inherited sector-zoned zircons of anatectic origin display evidence for intracrystalline Pb redistribution in the inner aureole. In these samples, ion-microprobe analyses encountered heterogeneous Pb signals and a dispersion of 207Pb / 206Pb dates away from the well constrained 1850 Ma age of regional metamorphism. Whereas analyses from the outer aureole faithfully record the age of regional metamorphism, those from the inner aureole are normally and reversely discordant and distributed along a line collinear with a 1850 to 1322 Ma discordia. This disturbance is correlated with proximity to the pluton implying that Pb was mobile in the zircon lattice during contact metamorphism. Most grains are characterized by apparent Pb loss from low-U domains and apparent Pb gain in higher-U domains. These data are interpreted to reflect recovery of strained crystalline domains leading to expulsion of Pb* that was able to efficiently diffuse into higher-U domains that were partly amorphous prior to rapid reheating in the inner aureole.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number1-4
Pages (from-to)135-149
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by NSF Grant EAR-0087564 to J.N.C. and W.D.C., by the Geological Society of America, and by the Geology Foundation of the University of Texas at Austin. The authors also acknowledge the support of B. Ryan and W. Tuttle (Geological Survey of Newfoundland and Labrador), D. Lee and C. Mackenzie (Voisey's Bay Nickel, Inc.), and K. Manser for all of their help in the field. Many thanks to M. Hamilton and T. Ireland for SHRIMP help.

    Research areas

  • Diffusion, Geochronology, Granulite, Monazite, Zircon

ID: 333882125