Kyanite-paragonite-bearing assemblages, Northern Fiordland, New Zealand

rapid cooling of the lower crustal root to a Cretaceous magmatic arc

N. R. Daczko*, G. L. Clarke, K. A. Klepeis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)


Fiorland, New Zealand exposes the lower crustal root of an Early Cretaceous magmatic arc that now forms one of Earth's most extensive high-P granulite facies belts. The Arthur River Complex, a dioritic to gabbroic suite in northern Fiordland, is part of the root of the arc, and records an Early Cretaceous history of emplacement, tectonic burial, and high-P granulite facies metamorphism that accompanied partial melting of the crust. Late random intergrowths of kyanite, quartz and plagioclase partially pseudomorph minerals in the earlier high-T assemblages of the Arthur River Complex, indicating high-P cooling of an over thickened crustal root by c. 200 °C. The kyanite intergrowths are themselves partially pseudomorphed by paragonite, commonly in the presence of phengitic white mica. Biotite-plagioclase intergrowths that partially pseudomorph phengitic white mica and diopside-plagioclase intergrowths that partially pseudomorph jadeitic diopside, combined with published thermochronology results, are consistent with later rapid decompression. A short duration anticlockwise P-T path may be explained by the high-P juxtaposition of comparatively cool upper crustal rocks following their tectonic burial and under thrusting during the waning stages of Early Cretaceous orogenesis. This was then followed by the decompression giving the rapid exhumation within 20 Myr of peak metamorphism, as suggested by the isotopic data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)887-902
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Metamorphic Geology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Cooling
  • High-P granulites
  • Magmatic arc
  • P-T path
  • Thermobarometry

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