Preservation of Permian allanite within an Alpine eclogite facies shear zone at Mt Mucrone, Italy: mechanical and chemical behavior of allanite during mylonitization

Cenki-Tok, B., Oliot, E., Rubatto, D., Berger, A., Engi, M., Janots, E., Thomsen, T.B., Manzotti, P., Regis, D., Spandler, C., Robyr, M., and Goncalves, P. (2011) Preservation of Permian allanite within an Alpine eclogite facies shear zone at Mt Mucrone, Italy: mechanical and chemical behavior of allanite during mylonitization. Lithos, 125 (1-2). pp. 40-50.

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This study addresses the mechanical and chemical behavior of allanite during shear zone formation under high-pressure metamorphism. Understanding physico-chemical processes related to the retention or resetting of Pb isotopes in allanite during geological processes is essential for robust petrochronology.

Dating of allanite in meta-granodiorite showing variable amounts of strain (from an undeformed protolith to mylonite) at Monte Mucrone (Sesia Zone, NW Italy) gave surprising results. Based on structural and petrographic observations the shear zones at Mt Mucrone are Alpine, yet allanite located within an eclogite facies mylonite yielded Permian ages (208Pb/232Th average age: 287 ± 7 Ma). These mm-sized allanite grains are rimmed by an aggregate of coarse-grained garnet + phengite, thought to derive from former epidote. These aggregates were immersed in a weak matrix that experienced granular flow, and they were thus chemically and mechanically shielded during Alpine mylonitization. In undeformed samples (8a and 8b), two populations of epidote group minerals were found. Allanite forms either coronas around Permian monazite or individual grains with patchy zoning. Both types yield Permian ages (208Pb/232Th age: 291 ± 5 Ma). On the other hand, grains of REE-rich clinozoisite of Cretaceous age are found in undeformed rocks. These grains appear as small fragments with embayed surface outlines and minute satellites or rims around Permian allanite. These (re)crystallized grains are Sr-rich and show mosaic zoning.

These results indicate that allanite crystals retained their chemical and isotopic characteristics, and thus their Permian age, as a result of strong strain partitioning between the epidote group porphyroclasts and the eclogite facies matrix in HP-mylonites. The observed partial mobilization of Pb isotopes, which lead to the Cretaceous-aged rims or grains in undeformed samples was facilitated by (re)crystallization of allanite and not by mere Pb diffusion alone under the HP conditions.

Item ID: 18521
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-6143
Keywords: Western Alps; Sesia zone; Mt Mucrone; allanite; U–Th–Pb ages; shear zone
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2011 00:12
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040303 Geochronology @ 50%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040304 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences @ 100%
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