Several bodies of moderately foliated and porphyroblastic metabasites crop out on the SE side of the metamorphic cover of the Karkonosze granite within metapelites of the Sowia Dolina area (West Sudetes, Saxothuringian zone). Depending on the microstructural setting of the Ca-amphiboles in the rocks, different mineral-chemical trends have been determined for Si, XMg, AlVI, A[Na+K] which serve as semi-quantitative indicators of temperature and pressure changes. Porphyroblasts and prisms oblique to the main foliation in schistose metabasites show zoning from Mg-hornblende and actinolite to tschermakite, and then to Mg-hornblende (or actinolite). Matrix amphiboles and those in pressure shadows around some porphyroblasts have tschermakitic cores and actinolitic rims. Rarely, Ca-amphibole is accompanied in schists by late- to post-tectonic cummingtonite. Thermobarometric calculations involving empirically calibrated amphibole equilibria enable a reconstruction of P-T paths for individual rocks and the unravelling of the metamorphic evolution of the metabasites. Peak metamorphic temperatures of 615–640°C and pressures of 7.3–8.2 kbar were preceded by a variably preserved earlier stage (T = 370–550°C, P = 2.8–6.2 kbar). The final metamorphic episode took place at 450–550°C and 2.5–4.8 kbar and is recorded particularly in rocks close to the Karkonosze pluton. The metabasites shed new light on the history of metamorphism in the Sowia Dolina area. The first two stages of MP-MT metamorphism, coeval with Variscan deformation events (continental collision, burial and subsequent exhumation), took place under epidote-amphibolite then amphibolite facies conditions. The last stage partly concurred with the final stages of Variscan deformation and overlapped the onset of thermal activity associated with the Karkonosze granite. This metamorphic event is documented by metabasites (occasionally cummingtonite-bearing) outcropping close to the granite. Finally, a prehnite-bearing assemblage reflects retrograde re-equilibration under greenschist/sub-greenschist facies conditions (T <300–350°C, P <2.5–3 kbar), which might also be partly due to hydrothermal activity around the pluton.

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