Prograde metamorphic sequence of REE minerals in pelitic rocks of the Central Alps: implications for allanite–monazite–xenotime phase relations from 250 to 610 C

Janots, E., Engi, M., Berger, A., Allaz, J., Schwarz, O., and Spandler, C. (2008) Prograde metamorphic sequence of REE minerals in pelitic rocks of the Central Alps: implications for allanite–monazite–xenotime phase relations from 250 to 610 C. Journal of Metamorphic Geology, 26 (5). pp. 509-526.

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Abstract

The distribution of REE minerals in metasedimentary rocks was investigated to gain insight into the stability of allanite, monazite and xenotime in metapelites. Samples were collected in the central Swiss Alps, along a well-established metamorphic field gradient that record conditions from very low grade metamorphism (250 C) to the lower amphibolite facies (600 C). In the Alpine metapelites investigated, mass balance calculations show that LREE are mainly transferred between monazite and allanite during the course of prograde metamorphism. At very low grade metamorphism, detrital monazite grains (mostly Variscan in age) have two distinct populations in terms of LREE and MREE compositions. Newly formed monazite crystallized during low-grade metamorphism (<440 C); these are enriched in La, but depleted in Th and Y, compared with inherited grains. Upon the appearance of chloritoid (440–450 C, thermometry based on chlorite–choritoid and carbonaceous material), monazite is consumed, and MREE and LREE are taken up preferentially in two distinct zones of allanite distinguishable by EMPA and X-ray mapping. Prior to garnet growth, allanite acquires two growth zones of clinozoisite: a first one rich in HREE + Y and a second one containing low REE contents. Following garnet growth, close to the chloritoid–out zone boundary (556–580 C, based on phase equilibrium calculations), allanite and its rims are partially to totally replaced by monazite and xenotime, both associated with plagioclase (± biotite ± staurolite ± kyanite ± quartz). In these samples, epidote relics are located in the matrix or as inclusions in garnet, and these preserve their characteristic chemical and textural growth zoning, indicating that they did not experience reequilibration following their prograde formation. Hence, the partial breakdown of allanite to monazite offers the attractive possibility to obtain in situ ages, representing two distinct crystallization stages. In addition, the complex REE + Y and Th zoning pattern of allanite and monazite are essential monitors of crystallization conditions at relatively low metamorphic grade.

Item ID: 8921
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1525-1314
Keywords: allanite; central Alps; monazite; rare earth elements; xenotime
Funders: Swiss National Science foundation
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2010 04:52
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040304 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences @ 100%
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