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Abstract

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.

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