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REE partition among zircon, orthopyroxene, amphibole and garnet in a high-grade metabasic system


A mafic amphibole-bearing granulite with porphyroblastic garnet was investigated to evaluate: (1) the rare earth element (REE) partition among garnet, zircon, orthopyroxene and amphibole during the metamorphic evolution; (2) the significance of the REE distribution along lobes and bights of reabsorbed garnet rim; and (3) REE distribution coefficient values (DREE) suggestive of chemical equilibrium, assuming garnet as a reference. The results have been compared with those deriving from an intermediate granulite containing porphyroblastic garnet, without amphibole. Porphyroblastic garnet from both samples is rimmed by a continuous corona formed during post-peak decompression characterized by REE-enriched lobes and REE-poor bights. The amphiboles from corona have various REE abundances, reflecting a different dissolution rate of original garnet rim. The initial slow rate of garnet dissolution caused high REE concentration in the new garnet rim due to intra-crystalline diffusion, leading to the formation of REE-poorer amphiboles in corona. Subsequently, under an increasing geothermal gradient and fluid-present conditions, the faster dissolution of garnet determined the formation of bights and the transfer of REEs towards the corona. The timing of garnet growth and its dissolution were checked by U–Pb zircon ages. The zircons dated from 339 Ma to 303 Ma in two rock types combined with the garnet domains (core, outer core, rim) show similar distribution of patterns relative to heavy rare earth elements for zircon and garnet (DHREEzrn/grt), suggesting chemical equilibrium. Zircons dated at c. 300 Ma do not appear in equilibrium with REE-rich garnet lobes, and younger zircons (278 Ma) show a new equilibrium with REE-poor garnet bights. On this basis, the DHREEamph/grt values obtained in specific textural sites might be interpreted as suggestive of equilibrium under granulite conditions.

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