Exhumation of Deep Mountain Roots: Lessons from the Western Tatra Mountains, Northern Slovakia

Title: Exhumation of Deep Mountain Roots: Lessons from the Western Tatra Mountains, Northern Slovakia
Authors: Moussallam, Yves
Date: 2010
Abstract: The Tatric crystalline unit of the Western Carpathians in northern Slovakia displays an inverted metamorphic sequence where high-grade migmatite and orthogneiss units are overlying lower-grade mica schists. Enclosed within the migmatites are lenses of eclogite-bearing amphibolites. Conventional geothermobarometry coupled with isochemical modeling constrained P-T paths that exhibit contrasting metamorphic histories for rock units that are now heterogeneously interleaved. Relict eclogite facies assemblages with occasionally preserved omphacite record post-peak pressure conditions of 1.7-1.8 GPa followed by near isothermal decompression at ~750 °C leading to intensive re-equilibration of eclogites at high-pressure granulite facies conditions and development of diopside + plagioclase symplectitic textures. New ID-TIMS Sm-Nd dating of garnet separated from the omphacite-bearing eclogite yields a whole rock-garnet isochron age of 337 ± 10 Ma, with an epsilon Nd isotopic composition of +8.3. While major element profiles across the garnets display little variation, the trace element distribution shows a typical HREE enrichment profile and a slight core to rim disparity with LREE and MREE concentrations higher in the cores and higher HREE in the rims. Granulite-facies migmatites that host the eclogite boudins record lower pressure metamorphic conditions of 1.2 GPa at ~750 °C and a similar retrograde path. The lower-grade micaschists reached metamorphic conditions of 0.8 GPa at ~650 °C. Monazite U-Pb analysis from a migmatite surrounding the eclogite boudins yields one population of ca. 380 Ma age. Another migmatite away from the eclogite yields two populations monazite ages. A robust 340 ± 11 Ma monazite U-Pb age is indistinguishable from our garnet age and U-Pb SIMS age of zircons in the anatectic leucosome of the migmatite (347 ± 7 Ma). We interpret the ca. 340 Ma ages to represent the exhumation of the deep crustal root of the Variscan orogen into the middle crust coeval with anatexis. A younger monazite U-Pb age of 300 ± 16 Ma is consistent with 40Ar/39Ar thermochronology data of ca. 310 Ma that is likely indicative of the Late Carboniferous I-type magmatism and cooling in the Tatric block. Cooling rates calculated by garnet diffusion modeling yield estimates of ~30 °/Ma. This exhumation was likely tectonically forced by the action of a rigid indentor which prompted the weak lower crust to be heterogeneously extruded to mid-crustal levels at a time coeval with anatexis and subsequently extruded with mid-crustal material to the upper crust.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/20440
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