Triassic High-P Metamorphism of the central Qiangtang terrane, Tibet; constraints using mineral equilibria modelling and 40Ar/39Ar geochronology

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Lan Hui1, Adrianna Rajkumar1, Geoffrey L Clarke2, Jonathan C Aitchison2 and Margaret (Marnie) Anne Forster3, (1)University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, (2)University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia, (3)Australia National University, Research School of Earth Sciences, Canberra, Australia
The SE-trending Qiangtang metamorphic belt (QMB) stretches more than 500 km through the Qiangtang terrane in central Tibet and comprises tectonically disrupted blueschist and eclogite in lower-grade garnet-phengite-bearing schist and quartzite. These rocks record the closure of a paleo-Tethyan Triassic ocean that formerly separated Cathaysian and Gondwana components of Asia, now forming the northern and southern Qiangtang blocks. Eclogite is extensively recrystallized to high-P amphibolite and greenschist facies assemblages, formed during water ingression that accompanied terrane uplift. P-T pseudosections constructed in Na2O-CaO-FeO-MgO-Al2O3-SiO2-H2O-TiO2-O (NCKMASHTO) in the context of petrography and mineral chemistry provides the ability to recover a dynamic PT history for the eclogite facies assemblages. Prograde (S1) assemblages for the Gemu Co eclogite are predicted to have formed at P≈21.5 kbars and T≈505°C and involved garnet, glaucophane, omphacite, rutile, lawsonite and chlorite, based on garnet composition and inferred pseudomorphs after lawsonite. Peak (S2) assemblages of garnet, barroisite, omphacite, rutile, epidote and quartz reflect P≈15 kbars and T≈570°C. Based on textural relations, post-peak stages can be divided into epidote-amphibolite and greenschist facies. The geothermal gradient for the prograde S1 assemblage and the peak S2 assemblage is 7.1 and 11.5°C/km respectively.40Ar/39Ar geochronology of phengitic mica using step heating in recrystallized eclogite components and surrounding garnet-mica schist components both yield maximum ages ranging 230-220 Ma. The congruency in ages of the deeply subducted high-pressure eclogites to the surrounding garnet phengite schists indicate they were the most probable source of fluids to extensively recrystallize most of the high-pressure eclogite components in the high-pressure belt. The P-T history of the high-P rocks of the QMB records the deep subduction of paleo-Tethyan oceanic crust to depths of at least 75 km. Subduction ceased when the south Qiangtang block collided with the north Qiangtang block, resulting in exhumation of high-P rocks in central Qiangtang.