The development of in situ laser ablation Lu–Hf geochronology of apatite, xenotime and garnet has opened avenues to quickly and directly date geological processes. We demonstrate the first use of campaign-style in situ Lu–Hf geochronology of garnet across the high- to ultrahigh-pressure Western Gneiss Region in Norway. Mafic eclogites from this region have been the focus of much work, and were clearly formed during continental subduction during the Caledonian Orogeny. However, abundant quartzofeldspathic and pelitic lithologies record a more complex history, with some preserving polymetamorphic age data, and most containing no indication of high-pressure mineral assemblages formed during subduction. Twenty metapelitic and felsic samples spanning 160 lateral kilometres across the Western Gneiss Region have been analysed using garnet Lu–Hf geochronology. The results reveal Caledonian ages for the majority of the garnets, suggesting that some quartzofeldspathic and metapelitic lithologies were reactive and grew garnet during high- to ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism. However, two ultrahigh-pressure eclogite locations, Verpeneset and Fjørtoft, preserve both Caledonian and Neoproterozoic-aged garnets. Despite significant uncertainties on some of the Lu–Hf geochronological ages, laser ablation Lu–Hf efficiently identifies the polymetamorphic history of parts of the Western Gneiss Region, illustrating the effectiveness of this novel analytical method for rapid mapping of metamorphic ages.
Supplementary material: All laser ablation Lu–Hf geochronological data for the garnets analysed in this study are available at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.5715453
Thematic collection: This article is part of the Caledonian Wilson cycle collection available at: https://www.lyellcollection.org/cc/caledonian-wilson-cycle