Abstract

Peak and retrograde P–T conditions of Grenville-age eclogites from the Glenelg–Attadale Inlier of the northwest Highlands of Scotland are presented. Peak conditions are estimated as c. 20 kbar and 750–780 °C, in broad agreement with previous work. The eclogites subsequently followed a steep decompression path to c. 13 kbar and 650–700 °C during amphibolite facies retrogression. Peak eclogite facies metamorphism occurred > 1080 Ma and retrogression at c. 995 Ma, suggesting fairly sluggish uplift rates of < 0.3 km/Ma and cooling rates of < 1.25 °C/Ma, when compared with other parts of the Grenville orogeny and/or modern orogens. However, current poor constraints on the timing of peak metamorphism mean that these rates cannot be used to interpret the geodynamic evolution of this part of the orogen. The P–Tt data, together with petrology and the field relationships between the basement rocks of the Glenelg–Attadale Inlier and the overlying Moine Supergroup, mean that it is difficult to support the currently held view that an unconformable relationship exists between the two. It is suggested that more data are required in order to re-interpret the Neoproterozic tectonic evolution of the northwest Highlands of Scotland.

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