Garnet re-equilibration by coupled dissolution-reprecipitation: evidence from textural, major element and oxygen isotope zoning of 'cloudy' garnet

L. A. J. Martin, M. Ballevre, P. Boulvais, A. Halfpenny, O. Vanderhaeghe, S. Duchene, E. Deloule

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    The analysis of texture, major element and oxygen isotope compositions of cloudy garnet crystals from a metapelite sampled on Ikaria Island (Greece) is used to assess the model of growth and re-equilibration of these garnet crystals and to reconstruct the pressure-temperature-fluid history of the sample. Garnet crystals show complex textural and chemical zoning. Garnet cores (100-200μm) are devoid of fluid inclusions. They are characterized by growth zoning demonstrated by a bell-shaped profile of spessartine component (7-3mol.%), an increase in grossular from 14 to 22mol.% and δ¹⁸O values between 9.5±0.3‰ and 10.4±0.2‰. Garnet inner rims (90-130μm) are fluid inclusion-rich and show a decreasing grossular component from 22 to 5mol.%. The trend of the spessartine component observed in the inner rim allows two domains to be distinguished. In contrast to domain I, where the spessartine content shows the same trend as in the core, the spessartine content of domain II increases outwards from 2 to 14mol.%. The δ¹⁸O values decrease towards the margins of the crystals to a lowest value of 7.4±0.2‰. The outer rims (<10μm) are devoid of fluid inclusions and have the same chemical composition as the outermost part of domain II of the inner rim. Garnet crystals underwent a four-stage history. Stage 1: garnet growth during the prograde path in a closed system for oxygen. Garnet cores are remnants of this growth stage. Stage 2: garnet re-equilibration by coupled dissolution-reprecipitation at the temperature peak (630<T<650°C). This causes the creation of porosity as the coupled dissolution-reprecipitation process allows chemical (Ca) and isotopic (O) exchange between garnet inner rims and the matrix. The formation of the outer rim is related to the closure of porosity. Stage 3: garnet mode decreases during the early retrograde path, but garnet is still a stable phase. The resulting garnet composition is characterized by an increasing Mn content in the inner rim's domain II caused by intracrystalline diffusion. Stage 4: dissolution of garnet during the late retrograde path as garnet is not a stable phase anymore. This last stage forms corroded garnet. This study shows that coupled dissolution-reprecipitation is a possible re-equilibration process for garnet in metamorphic rocks and that intra-mineral porosity is an efficient pathway for chemical and isotopic exchange between garnet and the matrix, even for otherwise slow diffusing elements.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)213-231
    Number of pages19
    JournalJournal of Metamorphic Geology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Coupled dissolution-reprecipitation
    • EBSD
    • Garnet zoning
    • Oxygen isotopes
    • Porosity


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