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Anticlockwise P-T evolution at ∼280 Ma recorded from ultrahigh-temperature metapelitic granulite in the Chinese Altai orogenic belt, a possible link with the Tarim mantle plume?

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Laixi Tong, Yi-Gang Xu, Peter A. Cawood, Xin Zhou, Yibing Chen, Zhao Liu

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An ultrahigh-temperature (UHT) metapelitic granulite assemblage consisting of garnet(g)–spinel(sp)–orthopyroxene(opx)-sillimanite(sil)–cordierite(cd)–ilmenite(ilm)–biotite(bi)–plagioclase(pl)–quartz(q) occurs within migmatitic paragneiss near Kalasu in the Chinese Altai, NW China. Textural relations, mineral compositions and P-T estimates, indicate three stages of mineral assemblages: (1) pre-peak prograde stage (M1) consisting of a sp–sil-bearing or sp–opx-bearing inclusion assemblage, with low-Al2O3 contents (4–5 wt.%) in orthopyroxene and P-T conditions of ∼7 kbar and ∼890 °C, (2) peak UHT stage (M2) comprising a g–opx–cd-bearing coarse-grained assemblage, with high-Al2O3 contents (8–9 wt.%) in orthopyroxene and peak conditions of ∼8 kbar and ∼970 °C, and (3) post-peak HT stage (M3) containing an oriented opx–bi–sil-bearing assemblage in matrix, with moderate amounts of Al2O3 (6–7 wt.%) in orthopyroxene and P-T conditions of 8–9 kbar and ∼870 °C. The three discrete stages define an anticlockwise P-T path involving initial prograde heating and post-peak near isobaric cooling. Such a near
isobaric cooling anticlockwise P-T path suggests that UHT metamorphism likely occurred in an overall extensional tectonic setting with associated underplating of mantle-derived mafic magma. A SHRIMP zircon U–Pb age of 278 ± 2 Ma obtained from the metapelitic granulite indicates UHT metamorphism in the Altai orogen occurred during the Permian, coeval with spacially associated mantle-derived mafic intrusions (∼280 Ma) and the Tarim mantle plume (∼275 Ma). Thus, the Permian UHT metamorphism of the Chinese Altai is likely associated with underplating and heating of mantle-derived mafic magma as a result of the Tarim mantle plume.



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Asian Earth Sciences
Early online date10 Aug 2014
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014

    Research areas

  • Ultrahigh-temperature metamorphism, The Chinese Altai, P-T path, U-Pb age, Mantle plume, Zircon U-PB, NW China, Tectonic evolution, Central-Asia, Continental growth, Northwest China, Accretionary orogenesis, Geological implications, Crustal metamorphism, Isotopic composition

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