Archaean granulite facies metamorphism of the Lewisian of Tiree, Inner Hebrides, north‐west Scotland

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The Lewisian of Tiree, north‐west Scotland, underwent granulite facies metamorphism prior to 2.4 Ga. The temperatures and pressures estimated from garnet–clinopyroxene, garnet–orthopyroxene, hornblende–plagioclase and garnet–biotite geothermometers and clinopyroxene–plagioclase–garnet–quartz and orthopyroxene–plagioclase–garnet–quartz geobarometers are 810 ± 50° C and 10.5 ± 1.5 kbar. The imprecision of pressure estimates stems largely from uncertainties in garnet activity models. Calculations of blocking temperatures for Fe–Mg interdiffusion in clinopyroxene and garnet suggest that these temperatures and pressures represent only slightly reset peak‐metamorphic conditions. Down‐temperature re‐equilibration resulted in chemical zoning over the outer 50–100 μm of the mafic minerals. P–T paths calculated from this mineralogical zoning suggest nearly isobaric cooling. However, the growth of late sillimanite in metapelites requires that the retrograde P–T path had a significant decompression component, suggesting that the mineralogical zonation does not define the retrograde P–T path. The discrepancy between the P–T path calculated from mineralogical zonation and that implied by mineral reactions probably results from the net‐transfer geobarometry reactions closing at higher temperatures than the exchange geothermometers. The Tiree rocks have a similar history to the mainland Scourian complex. Granulite facies metamorphism accompanied by partial melting occurred prior to the intrusion of the Scourie dykes at c. 2.4 Ga, and the rocks underwent retrogression both prior to and after dyke emplacement. However, peak metamorphic temperatures and pressures on Tiree were lower than those recorded in the Scourian complex, and the Tiree rocks may have been at a different crustal level at that time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)727-744
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Metamorphic Geology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1992


  • geobarometry
  • geothermometry
  • granulite facies metamorphism
  • Lewisian
  • partial melting
  • P–T paths

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