Improving the link between accessory phase chronometers and petrological information
2003. "Improving the link between accessory phase chronometers and petrological information", Geochronology: Linking the Isotopic Record with Petrology and Textures, D. Vance, W. Müller, I. M. Villa
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Monazite is the mineral of choice in pelitic rocks for providing time constraints on metamorphic rocks and metamorphic processes. However, unlike rock-forming mineral chronometers such as garnet, the petrogenesis of monazite is relatively poorly understood. Consequently, although it is possible to generate precise monazite ages, the significance of the age in metamorphic rocks is often uncertain. In this contribution, we show how the petrogenesis of monazite can be linked to pressure and temperature information. Four complementary approaches, each illustrated by examples, are discussed: (i) the textural relationships of accessory minerals are used to relate the petrogenesis of monazite to that of the rock-forming mineral assemblage, and through this to P-T; (ii) monazite composition, in particular Y content, is used to relate monazite to the rock-forming mineral assemblage, and thus, to P-T; (iii) the bulk compositional control on monazite stability has been empirically determined and this relationship allows the temperature of initial monazite growth to be estimated in a given bulk composition; (iv) monazite-xenotime thermometry is utilized to provide estimates of the temperature of monazite growth. Either individually or combined, these approaches successfully enable monazite age data to be placed in a P-T framework.