Abstract

Exsolved garnet, sometimes associated with exsolved amphibole and zoisite, is abundant in aluminous clinopyroxene of garnet clinopyroxenite and clinopyroxenite xenoliths in the early Cretaceous dioritic-monzodioritic intrusions from the Xuzhou region, ~100 km west of the Sulu ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) metamorphic terrane in eastern China. In addition to the mineral exsolutions, intergranular fine-grained garnet, zoisite, titanite, and sometimes amphibole are also present around the primary clinopyroxene grains. Clinopyroxene shows compositional gradients, with decreasing Al and increasing Si and Mg, adjacent to the garnet lamellae and intergranular garnet. In contrast, the exsolved and intergranular garnet is homogeneous in composition and typically more grossular-rich and pyrope- and almandine-poor than the coarse-grained primary garnet. The estimates of P and T for the precursor assemblage and garnet exsolution suggests a decrease of temperature from ~950–1100°C down to 620–780°C, and a nearly constant pressure from ~15–20 kbar to 18 kbar, which are comparable with the metamorphic conditions of the associated eclogites. Therefore, garnet exsolution in garnet clinopyroxenite and clinopyroxenite xenoliths could be caused by high-pressure (HP) metamorphism. SHRIMP zircon U-Pb dating for the associated eclogite and gneiss xenoliths and Sm-Nd whole rock-garnet dating for the same eclogite demonstrate that parts of lower crust on the southeastern margin of the North China craton might be involved in the Triassic HP metamorphism due to the deep subduction of the Yangtze craton.

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