Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science
Volume 126 Issue 8 December 2017 Article ID 0107
The eclogites of the Tso Morari Complex, Ladakh, NW Himalayas preserve both garnets with spectacular atoll textures, as well as whole porphyroblastic garnets. Whole garnets are euhedral, idiomorphic and enclose inclusions of amphibole, phengite and zoisite within the cores, and omphacite and quartz/coesite towards the rims. Detailed electron microprobe analyses and back-scattered electron images show well-preserved prograde zoning in the whole garnets with an increase in Mg and decrease in Ca and Mn contents from the core to the rim. The atoll garnets commonly consist of euhedral ring over island/peninsular core containing inclusions of phengite, omphacite and rarely amphibole between the core and ring. Compositional profiles across the studied atoll grains show elemental variations with higher concentrations of Ca and Mn with low Mg at the peninsula/island cores; contrary to this low Ca, Mn and high Mg is observed at the outer rings. Temperature estimates yield higher values at the Mg-rich atoll garnet outer rings compared to the atoll cores. Atoll garnet formation was favoured by infiltration of fluid formed due to breakdown of hydrous phases, and/or the release of structurally bounded OH from nominally anhydrous minerals at the onset of exhumation. Infiltration of fluids along pre-existing fracture pathways and along mineral inclusion boundaries triggered breakdown of the original garnet cores and released elements which were subsequently incorporated into the newly-grown garnet rings. This breakdown of garnet cores and inward re-growth at the outer ring produced the atoll structure. Calibrated geo-thermobarometers and mineral equilibria reflect that the Tso Morari eclogites attain peak pressures prior to peak temperatures representing a clockwise path of evolution.