Abstract

The metamorphic history of the Mesoarchean Amikoq Layered Complex within the Akia terrane of SW Greenland was characterised by electron microprobe mineral data and detailed petrography on 12 representative samples, integrated with zircon U–Pb geochronology and petrology. The complex intruded into a >3004 Ma supracrustal association now consisting of granoblastic metabasites with subordinate quartz-rich gneiss. Supracrustal host rocks contain a relict high-temperature assemblage of orthopyroxene–clinopyroxene (± pigeonite exsolution lamellae, exsolved at ~975–1010°C), which is interpreted to pre-date the Amikoq intrusion. Cumulate to granoblastic-textured rocks of the main Amikoq Layered Complex range modally from leuconorite to melanorite, orthopyroxenite to harzburgite/dunite and rare hornblende melagabbro. Observed mineralogy of main complex noritic lithologies is essentially relict igneous with orthopyroxene–biotite and hornblende–plagioclase thermometers yielding temperatures of ~800–1070°C. An anatectic zircon megacryst from a patchy quartzo–feldspathic leucosome hosted in an orthopyroxene-dominated Amikoq rock reflects local anatexis at peak metamorphic P–T conditions and yields an intrusion minimum age of 3004 ± 9 Ma. Field observations indicate local anatexis of orthopyroxene-dominated lithologies, possibly indicating a post-intrusion peak temperature of >900°C. The last preserved stages of retrogression are recorded in paragneiss plagioclase–garnet, biotite–garnet and host rock ilmenite–magnetite pairs (≤3 kbar and ~380–560°C).

The Amikoq Complex intruded a MORB-like crustal section and the former remained relatively undisturbed in terms of modal mineralogy. Preservation of igneous textures and mineralogy are related to an anhydrous, high-grade metamorphic history that essentially mimics igneous crystallisation conditions, whereas local high-strain zones acted as fluid pathways resulting in hydrous breakdown of igneous minerals. There is no evidence of equilibration of the intrusion at sub-amphibolite-facies conditions.

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