Journal article

Discovery of Ordovician–Silurian metamorphic monazite in garnet metapelites of the Alpine External Aiguilles Rouges Massif

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  • Swiss Journal of Geosciences. - 2011, vol. 104, no. 1, p. 67-79
English The pre-Mesozoic, mainly Variscan metamorphic basement of the Col de Bérard area (Aiguilles Rouges Massif, External domain) consists of paragneisses and micaschists together with various orthogneisses and metabasites. Monazite in metapelites was analysed by the electron microprobe (EMPA-CHIME) age dating method. The monazites in garnet micaschists are dominantly of Variscan age (330–300 Ma). Garnet in these rocks displays well developed growth zonations in Fe–Mg–Ca–Mn and crystallized at maximal temperatures of 670°C/7 kbar to the west and 600°C/7–8 kbar to the east. In consequence the monazite is interpreted to date a slightly pressure-dominated Variscan amphibolite-facies evolution. In mylonitic garnet gneisses, large metamorphic monazite grains of Ordovician–Silurian (~440 Ma) age but also small monazite grains of Variscan (~300 Ma) age were discovered. Garnets in the mylonitic garnet gneisses display high-temperature homogenized Mg-rich profiles in their cores and crystallized near to ~800°C/6 kbar. The Ordovician–Silurian-age monazites can be assigned to a pre-Variscan high-temperature event recorded by the homogenised garnets. These monazite age data confirm Ordovician–Silurian and Devonian–Carboniferous metamorphic cycles which were already reported from other Alpine domains and further regions in the internal Variscides.
Faculté des sciences et de médecine
Département de Géosciences
  • English
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