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Pressure, temperature and cooling rates of granulite facies migmatitic pelites from the southern Adirondack Highlands, New York

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Detailed petrographic analysis was performed on samples from five localities within the southern Adirondacks. Textures and zoning patterns in garnet from all samples provide evidence for dehydration melting of biotite. Zoning of grossular in garnet – providing a record of prograde growth – shows both increasing and decreasing trends in garnet from the same sample. However, Ca concentrations at the garnet rims of most samples are identical (grossular = 3.4%). These observations have been interpreted as evidence for the differential timing of garnet nucleation and growth. All Fe/(Fe + Mg) and some spessartine distributions are consistent between samples, displaying diffusive profiles established largely upon cooling. Only one sample, in which retrogression was minimal, contains garnet with flat Fe/(Fe + Mg) profiles. A general pelitic pseudosection constructed in the system MnNCKFMASH reveals a maximum for Ca in garnet where the plagioclase-out isopleth intersects the solidus (muscovite = 0). The pseudosection predicts bell-shaped core-to-rim profiles of grossular during anatexis, similar to those observed in the rocks. Garnet–biotite thermometry and GASP barometry indicate peak temperatures of at least 790 °C at about 7–9 kbar, similar to conditions determined for the central Adirondacks. Cooling rates determined from finite difference modelling of spessartine and Fe/(Fe + Mg) diffusional profiles indicate a multi-stage cooling history in which some period of rapid cooling (>200 °C Myr−1) is required.
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Keywords: cooling rate; diffusion modelling; retrograde reaction; southern Adirondacks; thermodynamic modelling

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 February 2005

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