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Trace-element record in zircons during exhumation from UHP conditions, North-East Greenland Caledonides

January 1, 2009

Coesite-bearing zircon formed at ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) conditions share general characteristics of eclogite-facies zircon with trace-element signatures characterized by depleted heavy rare earth elements (HREE), lack of an Eu anomaly, and low Th/ U ratios. Trace-element signatures of zircons from the Caledonian UHP terrane in North-East Greenland were used to examine the possible changes in signature with age during exhumation. Collection and interpretation of age and trace-element analyses of zircon from three samples of quartzofeldspathic gneiss and two leucocratic intrusions were guided by core vs. rim zoning patterns as imaged by cathodoluminesence. Change from igneous to eclogite-facies metamorphic trace-element signature in protolith zircon is characterized by gradual depletion of HREE, whereas newly formed metamorphic rims have flat HREE patterns and REE concentrations that are distinct from the recrystallized inherited cores. The signature associated with eclogite-facies metamorphic zircon is observed in coesite-bearing zircon formed at 358 ?? 4 Ma, metamorphic rims formed at 348 ?? 5 Ma during the initial stages of exhumation, and metamorphic rims formed at 337 ?? 5 Ma. Zircons from a garnet-bearing granite emplaced in the neck of an eclogite boudin and a leucocratic dike that cross-cuts amphibolite-facies structural fabrics have steeply sloping HREE patterns, variably developed negative Eu anomalies, and low Th/U ratios. The granite records initial decompression melting and exhumation at 347 ?? 2 Ma and later zircon rim growth at 329 ?? 5. The leucocratic dike was likely emplaced at amphibolite-facies conditions at 330 ?? 2 Ma, but records additional growth of compositionally similar zircon at 321 ??2 Ma. The difference between the trace-element signature of metamorphic zircon in the gneisses and in part coeval leucocratic intrusions indicates that the zircon signature varies as a function of lithology and context, thus enhancing its ability to aid in the interpretation of U-Pb data and track the exhumation history of UHP terranes. The differences may reflect variation in elemental availability through breakdown reactions in quartzofeldpathic gneiss vs. availability during melt production and/or crystallization. UHP rocks in North-East Greenland began exhumation by 347 ?? 2 Ma, were still at HP eclogite-facies conditions at 337 ?? 5 Ma and were at amphibolite-facies conditions by 330 ?? 2 Ma. ?? 2009 E. Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2009
Title Trace-element record in zircons during exhumation from UHP conditions, North-East Greenland Caledonides
DOI 10.1127/0935-1221/2009/0021-2000
Authors W.C. McClelland, J.A. Gilotti, F.K. Mazdab, J. L. Wooden
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title European Journal of Mineralogy
Index ID 70035305
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse