Schönig, J, von Eynatten, H, Meinhold, G, Lünsdorf, NK, Willner, AP and Schulz, B (2020) Deep subduction of felsic rocks hosting UHP lenses in the central Saxonian Erzgebirge: Implications for UHP terrane exhumation. Gondwana Research, 87. pp. 320-329. ISSN 1342-937X

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Contrasting metamorphic conditions determined by chemical geothermobarometric investigations of ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) lenses surrounded by high-pressure (HP) and medium-pressure (MP) felsic country rocks are an enigmatic feature of UHP terranes. One of the major questions arising is whether the UHP lenses and the country rocks are a product of different peak metamorphic conditions corresponding to different maximum depth or whether country rocks also experienced UHP conditions but equilibrated and/or re-equilibrated at a different metamorphic stage. Here we address this question to the central Saxonian Erzgebirge in the northwestern Bohemian massif, Germany. In order to screen the variety of garnet from lithologies occurring in the study area, we analyzed the detrital garnet record from seven modern stream sands. In addition to 700 inclusion-bearing garnet grains previously studied from the 125–250 μm grain-size fraction, we analyzed the 63–125 and 250–500 μm fractions and extended the dataset to overall 2100 inclusion-bearing grains. The new findings of coesite and diamond inclusions in several garnet grains, which are in compositional contrast to garnet of the known UHP lenses but match with those of the felsic country rocks, show that considerable parts of the country rocks underwent UHP metamorphism. Melt inclusions containing cristobalite, kokchetavite, and kumdykolite in garnet derived from the country rocks point to partial melting and re-equilibration during exhumation at HP/HT conditions. Although an amalgamation of rocks which reached different maximum depth may be responsible for some of the contrasting peak metamorphic conditions, the mineralogical evidence for UHP conditions in the felsic country rocks surrounding the UHP lenses proves a largely coherent slab subducted to UHP conditions. Furthermore, the presence of coesite in the subducting voluminous felsic crust and its transformation to quartz during exhumation have great implications for buoyancy development during the metamorphic cycle, which may explain the high exhumation rates of UHP terranes.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final version of this accepted manuscript can be accessed at
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism; garnet; inclusions; coesite; diamond
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Geography, Geology and the Environment
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2020 14:05
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2021 01:30

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