A duality of timescales: Short-lived ultrahigh temperature metamorphism preserving a long-lived monazite growth history in the Grenvillian Musgrave-Albany-Fraser Orogen

Naomi M. Tucker, Martin Hand, David E. Kelsey, Rian A. Dutch

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In situ LA-ICP-MS U-Pb monazite geochronology from the eastern Musgrave Inlier, central Australia, suggests that high-. T, suprasolidus conditions were maintained for >70. Myr during the Grenvillian (c. 1220-1140. Ma). Calculated phase equilibria modelling constrain peak metamorphic conditions to ~900. °C at 6.0-6.5. kbar. Collectively, the P-T-t conditions reflect that high-. T, low-. P metamorphism was contemporaneous with similarly thermally extreme metamorphism in the west and central Musgrave Inlier, and therefore that regionally high geothermal gradients (140-150. °C/kbar) prevailed across the entire terrane. However, despite an apparently long-lived history of monazite growth, the results of this study also find evidence for arguably shorter-lived, high-. T to ultrahigh temperature metamorphism. Conceivably, the preservation of high-. T major element compositions and relict Y. +. REE growth profiles in small (<500. μm) garnet grains suggest that the rocks cooled relatively rapidly to sub-diffusive temperatures. At least initially the peak to retrograde P-T path was also isobaric, or experienced a slight increase in pressure. Grenvillian-aged metamorphism in the eastern Musgrave Inlier accordingly appears to also record the effects of a transient thermal anomaly. This likely developed in response to magmatic-loading and the advection of heat from syn-metamorphic magmatic rocks of the Pitjantjatjara Supersuite, which were emplaced at mid-lower crustal depths, within a longer-lived system characterised by deep-seated, mantle-driven regional metamorphism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-234
Number of pages31
JournalPrecambrian Research
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015


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