Istituto di Geoscienze e Georisorse     
Di Vincenzo G., Palmeri R. An 40Ar-39Ar investigation of high-pressure metamorphism and the retrogressive history of mafic eclogites from the Lanterman Range (Antarctica): evidence against a simple temperature control on argon in amphibole. In: Contributions To Mineralogy and Petrology, vol. 141 (1) pp. 15 - 35. Springer, 2001.
Mafic eclogites sampled from a restricted area in the Lanterman Range (Antarctica) retrogressed variably under amphibolite facies metamorphism. Assemblages range from well-preserved eclogite, with minor growth of NaCa amphibole, to strongly retrogressed ones with extensive development of Ca amphibole. 40Ar39Ar furnace step-heating experiments on the different amphiboles yield results varying from plateau ages of ~498 Ma to a near-plateau age of ~490 Ma, and the greater the amphibolite retrogression, the younger the age. 40Ar39Ar infrared laser-probe analyses on rock chips from a well-preserved eclogite and a slightly retrogressed one reveal the presence of an excess argon component. Whereas excess argon is invariably present in garnet and clinopyroxene developed under high-pressure metamorphism, it is heterogeneously distributed in amphibole on a millimetre scale. Results indicate that excess argon was incorporated during high-pressure metamorphism; this component was then lost during retrogression, while a change in composition of ambient argon to atmospheric argon occurred. New 40Ar39Ar data and previously published SmNd garnet and UPb rutile ages obtained from the same well-preserved eclogite sample suggest that the oldest NaCa amphibole age is reliable and not an artefact due to the incorporation of excess argon. The variably retrogressed eclogites are thought to derive from different parts of the enclosing metasedimentary rocks that were variably invaded by fluids during amphibolite facies metamorphism. Thus the circulation of fluids promoting (re)crystallisation, and not temperature, was the main process controlling the rate of argon transport in the studied eclogites. The different 40Ar39Ar ages are interpreted to record diachronous amphibole growth at different crustal levels during exhumation. Data indicate that there was about a 10-Ma interval between the eclogite facies stage (at ≥1.5 GPa) and the Ca amphibole-hydration forming reaction (at 0.30.5 GPa); this translates into an average exhumation rate of 34 km/Ma.
URL: http://link.springer.com/journal/410
Subject Antarctica
mafic eclogites
40Ar-39Ar geochronology

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