Abstract

The Ballachulish region of the SW Highlands of Scotland was the focal point of a famous debate in the 1920s between Sir Edward Battersby Bailey and Professor Cecil Edgar Tilley concerning the identity, geometry and timing of development of metamorphic zones in the SW Highlands. New mineral assemblage data, microstructural observations, and rock and mineral compositional data are combined with phase equilibrium modelling to reassess the metamorphism in this area. The newly revised chlorite, biotite and garnet zones are similar to those of Bailey. Compositional difference between lithologies is the primary cause of the irregular distribution of mineral assemblages in the region. Microstructural observations suggest that metamorphism occurred in the latter stages of the deformation history, in agreement with previous studies. Pressure–temperature conditions of the garnet isograd are estimated to be c. 7 kbar, c. 500 °C. These are compared with P–T estimates of the garnet zone elsewhere in Scotland.

Supplementary materials:

Appendix 1 lists mineral assemblages, Appendix 2 lists whole-rock compositions, and Appendices 3–7 list representative mineral compositions (garnet, biotite, muscovite, chlorite and plagioclase–epidote, respectively). Appendices 8 and 9 are the compositional input and thermodynamic input files for Theriak-Domino used to calculate the phase diagrams in this paper. The appendices are available at www.geolsoc.org.uk/SUP18586.

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