Abstract

The Karimnagar granulite terrane is an integral part of the Eastern Dharwar Craton (EDC), India, having been the subject of much interest because of the only reported granulite facies rocks in the EDC. It shows a large variety of rock types with a wide range of mineral parageneses and chemical compositions, namely charnockites (Opx+Pl+perthite+Qtz±Bt±Grt), gneisses (Opx+Crd+Bt+Pl+Qtz+perthite±Sil±Grt±Spl; Bt+Qtz+Pl±Crd±Hbl±Spl), mafic granulites (Cpx+Pl+Qtz±Opx±Hbl), quartz-free granulites (Spr+Spl+Bt+Crd+Kfs+Crn; Bt+Crd+Kfs±Crn±Spl±Krn; And+Bt+Kfs+Chl), granites (Qtz+Pl+Kfs±Bt±Hbl), altered ultramafic rocks (Chl+Trem+Tlc), metadolerites (Cpx+Pl±Bt±Qtz±Chl), banded magnetite quartzites and quartzites. Andalusite- and chlorite-bearing assemblages presumably suggest a retrograde origin. Investigation of quartz-free granulites of the area brings out some interesting and important observations, reflecting the presence of refractory phases. These granulites are devoid of sillimanite and contain corundum instead. Reaction textures in the gneisses include breakdown of garnet to form coronas and symplectites of orthopyroxene+cordierite, formation of cordierite from garnet+sillimanite+quartz and late retrograde biotite and biotite+quartz symplectites. In the mafic granulites, inclusions of quartz and hornblende within orthopyroxene are interpreted as being a part of the prograde assemblage. At a later stage orthopyroxene is also rimmed by hornblende. The quartz-free granulites display a variety of spectacular coronas, for example, successive rims on corundum consisting of spinel+sapphirine+cordierite±orthopyroxene, rare skeletal symplectitic intergrowth of sapphirine+cordierite+potash feldspar, and late retrograde formation of chlorite, corundum, spinel and andalusite from sapphirine±cordierite. Based on chemographic relationships and petrogenetic grids, a sequence of prograde, isothermal decompressive and retrograde reactions have been inferred. Quartz-free sapphirine granulites and mafic granulites record the highest P–T conditions (~7 kbar, 850°C), whereas the gneisses were formed at lower P–T conditions (~5 kbar, 800°C). In addition, the presence of andalusite-bearing rocks suggests a pressure of around 2.5 kbar. This change in pressure from 7 kbar to around 2.5 kbar suggests a decompressive path for the evolution of granulites in the study area, which indicates an uplift for the granulite-facies rocks from lower crustal conditions. The implications for supercontinent history are also addressed in light of available geochronological data.

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