—Thermal metamorphism produced an aureole near the early Paleozoic Bayan-Kol gabbro–monzodiorite intrusion in the Erzin shear zone of western Sangilen (Tuva–Mongolia microcontinent, Central Asian Orogenic Belt). Field observation of intrusive contact, structure–textural and mineral transformations of metamorphic rocks, regular changes in the chemical composition of minerals with approaching the intrusive contact, and high temperature gradient from intrusive to wallrocks verified the occurrence of a contact aureole near the Bayan-Kol intrusion. The high-gradient thermal metamorphism (M2) affected garnet–staurolite–kyanite schists that formed during earlier regional metamorphism (M1) at 6.2–7.9 kbar and 600–670 ºC. The 0.5 km wide M2 metamorphic aureole mapped along the northwestern intrusion margin consists of a muscovite–sillimanite zone adjacent to the sedimentary country rocks and a cordierite–K-feldspar zone on the side of the intrusion. The M2 metamorphic reactions occurred within the granulite facies temperature range 880–910 ºC along the contact with monzodiorites and at ~950 ºC along the boundary with gabbronorites; the temperature on the aureole periphery was about 640 ºC. Pressure estimates indicate deep-seated high-grade metamorphism at 6.9–7.8 kbar, while the intrusion itself crystallized at 7.7–7.8 kbar. The suggested numerical model implying the formation of a thermal aureole at a depth of 26 km (7 kbar) in the lower crust is consistent with the temperature pattern determined by geothermobarometry for several key points of the metamorphic zoning and confirms its deep-level origin. Thus, the aureole near the Bayan-Kol intrusion represents a rare case of contact metamorphism in the lower continental crust. The obtained results, along with published petrological and geochronological evidence, reveal two depth levels of the early Paleozoic M2 metamorphism in the Sangilen area: upper (7–15 km, 2–4 kbar) and lower (26–30 km, 7–8 kbar) crust. The Bayan-Kol gabbro–monzodiorite intrusion is likely a small apophysis or a fragment of a deep-crust intermediate magma chamber, while the moderate-pressure (7–8 kbar) M2 granulites in the Erzin shear zone are products of high-gradient metamorphism related to the Cambrian–Ordovician collisional mafic magmatism in the Sangilen area.

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