In situ dating of monazite grains preserved as inclusions within foliations defining FIAs (foliation inflection/intersection axes preserved within porphyroblasts) contained within garnet, staurolite, andalusite and cordierite porphyroblasts provides a chronology of ages that matches the FIA succession for the Big Thompson region of the northern Colorado Rocky Mountains. FIA sets 1, 2 and 3 trending NE–SW, E–W and SE–NW were formed at 1760.5 ± 9.7, 1719.7 ± 6.4 and 1674 ± 11± Ma, respectively. For three samples where garnet first grew during just one of each of these FIAs, the intersection of Ca, Mg, and Fe isopleths in their cores indicate that these rocks never got above 4 kbars throughout the Colorado Orogeny. Furthermore, they remained around approximately the same depth for ∼250 million years to the onset of the younger Berthoud Orogeny at 1415 ± 16 Ma when the pressure decreased slightly as porphyroblasts formed with inclusion trails preserving FIA set 4 trending NNE–SSW. No porphyroblast growth occurred during the intervening ∼250 million years of quiescence, even though the PT did not change over this period. This confirms microstructural evidence gathered over the past 25 years that crenulation deformation at the scale of a porphyroblast is required for reactions to re-initiate and enable further growth.
Volume 130, 2021
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