Abstract

Ages retrieved from accessory minerals in high-grade metamorphic rocks place important constraints on the timing of events and the rates of tectonometamorphic processes operating in the deep crust. In suprasolidus rocks, the dissolution and growth of zircon and monazite are strongly dependent on the P–T conditions of metamorphism and the chemistry and quantity of anatectic melt present. Along a clockwise P–T path, prograde heating above the solidus leads to episodic melt loss and changes in melt chemistry that have important implications for the dissolution and growth of zircon and monazite. In this study, phase equilibria modelling of open-system melting is coupled with experimental data on zircon and monazite solubility to evaluate the stability of these minerals at suprasolidus conditions along several schematic clockwise P–T paths. In migmatite melanosomes and residual granulites, some zircon is expected to survive heating to peak temperature and subsequent isothermal decompression, whereas monazite may be completely consumed, consistent with the observation that inherited cores are less common in monazite than in zircon. After decompression, during cooling to the solidus, new zircon and monazite growth from melt trapped along grain boundaries in melanosomes and residual granulites is expected to be limited. By contrast, leucosomes in migmatites and anatectic granites are predicted to contain mostly newly formed zircon and monazite with minimal inherited components, unless significant entrainment of these minerals from the source occurs. The preservation of cores inside newly formed zircon, as observed in many anatectic granites, demonstrates that segregation, ascent and emplacement is commonly fast enough to limit dissolution of these inherited grains.

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