The Bohemian Massif and the NW Himalaya
Published:January 01, 2003
Although the occurrence of eclogites and garnet peridotites in the Bohemian Massif has been known for more than a century, evidence for ultrahigh pressure metamorphism (UHPM) by indicator minerals has been reported only very recently (diamond: Massonne, 1999; coesite: Massonne, 2001a). In contrast, although eclogites were recognised in the Tso Morari area by Berthelsen (1953), the first real petrological investigation of eclogites in the NW Himalaya followed their discovery in Pakistan in the 1980’s (Ghazanfar & Chaudhry, 1986, 1987). The finding of coesite soon after, in both Pakistan and India (O’Brien et al., 1999, 2001; Sachan et al., 2001) indicates UHP metamorphic conditions for these rocks. The timing of detection can, of course, be no criterium for treating both areas in one chapter. Rather it seems to be that both areas are very contrasting, which is certainly true in regard of the outcrop situation. In the well-mapped Bohemian Massif, natural exposures in deep valleys or as cliffs or crags at higher levels are rare and are only supplemented by a few quarries. In the poorly mapped NW Himalaya, the majestic and steep mountains provide excellent outcrops although they are less accessible and cover an enormous area. Further contrasts could also be listed, such that at first glance both areas addressed here seem to be perfect opposites. However, in the subsequent section we will outline the many common features of the HP and UHP areas of the Bohemian Massif and the NW Himalaya within a larger geographical framework. After presenting some detailed petrographic and geochronological information on key areas in both orogenic sections, we will try to interpret these in terms of a continent-continent collision model accounting for the different states of both the Bohemian Massif and NW Himalaya in terms of orogenic development.
Figures & Tables
Ultrahigh Pressure Metamorphism
This is the first volume in this series dealing with a petrological subject and contains the contributions of the lectures given at the 5th School of the European Mineralogical Union (EMU) on “Ultrahigh Pressure Metamorphism” held in Budapest from 21 to 25 July 2003. The topic of UHPM was selected because this extreme type of metamorphism, initially considered as a petrographic oddity by the geologic community, has now become recognised as a normal feature of continental plate collisional orogens and important to understanding just how deep the upper part of the continental lithosphere can subduct. We note that this School took place just twenty years from the first report by Christian Chopin of coesite in exposed orogenic metamorphic rocks of the continental crust. The lectures given at this school benefited by the scientific results of the research promoted by the ILP Task Groups III-6 and III-8, active on UHPM from 1994 to 1998 and 1999 to 2004, respectively, and published in a number of monographs and special issues of international journals. It is our strong belief that this petrologic topic should be recognised to be of paramount importance in the education of students and young researchers in Earth Science.