The timing of high-temperature retrogression in the Reynolds Range, central Australia: Constraints from garnet and epidote Pb-Pb dating

Ian S. Buick, Robert Frei, Ian Cartwright

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Lower Calcsilicate Unit metasediments and underlying migmatitic Napperby Gneiss metagranite at Conical Hill in the Reynolds Range, central Australia, underwent regional high-grade (~680 to 720 °C), low-pressure/high-temperature metamorphism at 1594 ± 6 Ma. The Lower Calcsilicate Unit is extensively quartz veined and epidotised, and discordant grandite garnet + epidote quartz veins may be traced over tens of metres depth into pegmatites that pooled at the Lower Calcsilicate Unit-Napperby Gneiss contact. The quartz veins were probably precipitated by water-rich fluids that exsolved from partial melts derived from the Napperby Gneiss during cooling from the peak of regional metamorphism to the wet granite solidus. Pb stepwise leaching (PbSL) on garnet from three discordant quartz veins yielded comparable single mineral isochrons of 1566 ± 32 Ma, 1576 ± 3 Ma and 1577 ± 5 Ma, which are interpreted as the age of garnet growth in the veins. These dates are in good agreement with previous Sensitive High Resolution Ion Microprobe (SHRIMP) ages of zircon and monazite formed during high-temperature retrogression (1586 ± 5 to 1568 ± 4 Ma) elsewhere in the Reynolds Range. The relatively small age difference between peak metamorphism and retrograde grade veining suggests that partial melting and melt crystallisation controlled fluid recycling in the highgrade rocks. However, PbSL experiments on epidote intergrown with, and partially replacing, garnet in two of the veins yielded isochrons of 1454 ± 34 and 1469 ± 26 Ma. The ~100-120 Ma age difference between intergrown garnet and late epidote from the same vein suggests that the vein systems may have experienced multiple episodes of fluid flow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-254
Number of pages11
JournalContributions of Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 1999

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