Abstract

Himalayan leucogranites of Cenozoic age are generally attributed to partial melting of metasedimentary rocks at low temperatures of <770 °C. It is unknown what the spatial distribution and characteristics of high-temperature (>800 °C) leucogranites are in the Himalayan orogen. The present study reports the occurrence of such leucogranites in the collisional orogen. We use the Ti-in-zircon thermometry in combination with the thermodynamically calibrated relationships of T-aSiO2-aTiO2 to retrieve crystallization temperatures of Miocene (ca. 17 Ma) two-mica granites from Yalaxiangbo, in the eastern Himalaya, SE Tibet. The results give the maximum temperature as high as ∼850 °C for granite crystallization, providing a significant constraint on the nature of thermal sources. Phase equilibrium modeling using metasedimentary rocks as the source rocks indicates that felsic melts produced at ∼850 °C and 6–10 kbar can best match the target leucogranites in lithochemistry. In this regard, the anatectic temperatures previously obtained for the production of Himalayan leucogranites would probably be underestimated to some extent. Such high temperatures are difficult to explain purely by the internal heating of the thickened orogenic crust. Instead, they require an extra heat source, which would probably be provided by upwelling of asthenospheric mantle subsequent to thinning of the orogenic lithospheric mantle by foundering along the convergent plate boundary. Therefore, the Himalayan leucogranites of Miocene age would be derived from partial melting of the metasedimentary rocks in the post-collisional stage.

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