The Himalayan orogen exposes a range of metamorphosed assemblages, from low-grade Indian shelf sediments of the Tethyan Formation to eclogite and ultra-high pressure rocks documented near the suture zone between the Indian craton and Asian subcontinent. Barrovian-grade pelites and mafic protoliths are exposed in the Himalayan core and include the Greater Himalayan Crystallines and Lesser Himalayan Formations. These units are separated by the Main Central Thrust (MCT). This fault system accommodated a significant amount of India-Asia convergence and is the focus of several models that explore ideas about the development of the range and collisional belts in general. These units provide critical information regarding the mechanisms of heat transfer within collisional belts. Garnets collected across the MCT record their growth history through changes in chemistry. These chemical changes can be extracted and modeled using a variety of thermodynamic approaches. This paper reviews the geological framework of the Himalayas with a focus on the protolith of its metamorphosed assemblages. It describes and applies particular thermobarometric techniques to decipher the metamorphic history of several garnet-bearing rocks collected across the MCT in central Nepal. Comparisons are made between the results of previously-reported conventional rim P-T conditions and P-T paths extracted using the Gibb’s method to isopleth thermobarometry and high-resolution P-T path modeling using the same data and assemblages. Predictions of the paths on garnet zoning are also presented for the high-resolution P-T path modeling and Gibb’s method using the program TheriaG. Although the approaches yield different absolute conditions and P-T path shapes, all are consistent with the development of the MCT shear zone due to imbrication of distinct rock packages. Greater Himalayan Crystalline garnets experienced higher-grade conditions that make extracting its P-T conditions and paths a challenge. Lesser Himalayan garnets appear to behave as closed systems and are ideally suited for thermodynamic approaches.

Thomas Etzel

and 2 more

Evidence of syntectonic magmatism associated with onset extension and unroofing of the Menderes Massif metamorphic core complex, western Turkey, is well documented. The Salihli and Turgutlu plutons, located along the Alasehir detachment in the Central Menderes Massif (CMM) and the Koyunoba and Eğrigöz Plutons located in the Northern Menderes Massif (NMM) are common targets for understanding the dynamics and timing of this Cenozoic activity. To this end, here we report new potassium feldspar 40Ar/39Ar ages from samples collected from each pluton and compare these to available zircon U-Pb and monazite Th-Pb crystallization ages. Argon age spectra were collected by incrementally heating bulk concentrates with a CO2 laser and analyzing the gas released at each step. The peraluminous granite samples from the Koyunoba (AT17) and Eğrigöz (WA12) plutons both have effectively flat spectra with average plateau ages of 20.12±0.05 Ma and 19.86±0.05 Ma, respectively. The U-Pb age of zircon from WA12 is 20.5±1.1 Ma [Catlos et al., 2012; doi: 10.2475/05.2012.03 ]; although a zircon U-Pb age from AT17 has not been reported, zircon from other Koyunoba rocks have U-Pb ages between 21.1 Ma and 23.2 Ma [1]. K-feldspar from sample EB06 (Turgutlu Granite) steadily increases in age from 10.62±0.03 Ma to a plateau age of 14.06±0.03 Ma, with similar inverse isochron (13.66±0.29 Ma) and total gas ages (13.36±0.2 Ma). Sample EB05 (Salihli Granite) increases in age from 3.27±0.10 Ma (step 3, 0.5% 39Ar released) to a maximum of 6.05±0.09 Ma (step 33, 96.6% 39Ar released). A plateau age could not be estimated for this sample, but two inverse isochron ages from different degassing steps are calculated (3.02±0.09 Ma for the initial 19 steps and 3.29±0.22 Ma, for the final steps 19-31). Regarding their crystallization histories, the oldest reported monazite Th-Pb age for EB06 is 15.5±1.2 Ma [2] and reported monazite Th-Pb ages for Salhili granite ranges from 9.6±1.6 Ma to 21.7±4.5 Ma [Catlos et al., 2010;]. These 40Ar/39Ar ages suggest NMM plutons rapidly cooled whereas CMM Salihli and Turgutlu plutons not only remained at depth below the argon retention window for a prolonged period following emplacement, but each experienced unique thermal (exhumation) histories despite their geographic proximity.

Gabriel Villasenor

and 7 more

Slovakia is located within the Central Western Carpathians (CWC), one of many connected curved mountain belts prominent throughout the Mediterranean area and Europe. It is divided into tectonic domains considered “superunits,” termed the Gemeric, Veporic, and Tatric that correlate to the lower, middle, and upper Austoalpine nappes. For example, granite bodies exposed in the unit (termed apophyses) yield a wide range of zircon ages from 310±21 Ma to 87±4 Ma. This range of ages leads to problems in deciphering where the Gemeric unit was located in global plate reconstructions of eastern Europe and the western Carpathians specifically. This case study involves U-Pb dating of magmatic and detrital zircons from the Gemeric tectonic unit. This area records the Variscan orogeny that formed the CWC, rifting, and opening of the Meliata Ocean. This ocean was created due to the formation of a back-arc basin during closing/subduction of the Paleo-Tethys Ocean. We aim to constrain the timing of rifting and identify the provenance of Meliata Ocean radiolarian sediments collected from an obducted Meliata ophiolite suite (Dobsina, Slovakia). The relative age of the Variscan orogeny extends from the late Devonian to early Permian and was followed by rifting throughout the Mesozoic within the CWC. Eventually, the Meliata Ocean closed during the Cretaceous. Zircons from several S-type granites were collected throughout the Gemeric tectonic unit; they were dated using Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry and imaged using cathodoluminescence. Rim crystallization ages from the granites are 295.8±3.4 Ma (2σ, 238U-206Pb) to 213.1±4.4 Ma. Ages from the detrital zircons are 346.4±4.5 Ma to 263.9±2.7 Ma, indicating that sediments overlying the Meliata Ocean ophiolite contain remnants of both the Variscan orogeny and Gemeric granites.

Elizabeth Catlos

and 2 more

Western Anatolia is located at the boundary between the Aegean and Anatolian microplates. It is considered a type-location for marking a significant transition between compressional and extensional tectonics across the Alpine-Himalayan chain. The onset of lateral extrusion in Western Anatolia and the Aegean during the Eocene is only one of its transitional episodes. The region has a geological history marked by diverse tectonic events starting from the Paleoproterozoic through the Cambrian, Devonian, and Late Cretaceous, as recorded by its suture zones, metamorphic history, and intrusions of igneous assemblages. Extension in Western Anatolia initiated in a complex lithospheric tectonic collage of multiple sutured crustal fragments from ancient orogens. This history can be traced to the Aegean microplate, and today both regions are transitioning or have transitioned to a stress regime dominated by strike-slip tectonics. The control for extension in Western Anatolia is widely accepted as the rollback of the African (Nubian) slab along the Hellenic arc, and several outstanding questions remain regarding subduction dynamics. These include the timing and geometry of the Hellenic arc and its connections to other subduction systems along strike. Slab tear is proposed for many regions across the Anatolian and Aegean microplates, either trench-parallel or perpendicular, and varies in scale from regional to local. The role of magma in driving and facilitating extension in Western Anatolia and where and why switches in stress regimes occurred along the Anatolia and Aegean microplates are still under consideration. The correlation between Aegean and Anatolian tectonic events requires a better understanding of the detailed metamorphic history recorded in Western Anatolia rocks, possible now with advances in garnet-based themobarometric approaches. Slab tear and ultimate delamination impact lithospheric dynamics, including generating economic and energy deposits, facilitating lithospheric thinning, and influencing the onset of transfer zones that accommodate deformation and provide conduits for magmatism.