2008 Volume 103 Issue 4 Pages 242-254
Eclogites of the Kaghan valley, Pakistan Himalaya were investigated petrographically and geochemically. Based on petrography, geochemistry and mineral compositions, metamorphic history and a reasonable tectonic model are proposed. Eclogites exposed in the Kaghan valley are classified into two groups. Group I eclogites appear as massive and Group II are lens-type. Group I eclogites have a mineral assemblage of garnet, omphacitic clinopyroxene, quartz, symplectite with rare epidote and phengite. Accessory minerals include abundant zircon, rutile, ilmenite, and rare apatite. Group II eclogites have a mineral assemblage of garnet, omphacitic clinopyroxene, phengite, quartz/coesite, epidote, and symplectite. In accessory minerals rutile and ilmenite are common while zircon and apatite are rare. Different types of protolith are proposed for these eclogites. Group I eclogites have higher FeO and TiO2 contents and trace element contents, and seem to be derived from gabbroic protolith. Group II eclogites have lower FeO and TiO2 and trace element contents and were derived from basalts. Pressure-temperature-time path was constructed for the Kaghan valley eclogites using various mineral assemblages along with textural relationship and inclusions study. At least three distinct metamorphic stages were identified. The first stage is the prograde garnet growth stage deduced from the inclusion paragenesis in garnet core. The second stage records the ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic stage deduced from the presence of coesite inclusions in omphacitic clinopyroxene. The third stage is the decompression stage and is deduced from the quartz-albite-amphibole symplectite portions. These petrological and geochemical results combined with isotopic ages reported elsewhere indicate that basalts and associated gabbroic dikes were emplaced at about 267 Ma when the Indian plate was moving northward and passing above an unknown hot spot. The closure of the Tethys and initiation of collision of the Indian plate with the Kohistan-Ladakh Island Arc is reported from 65-50 Ma. After that the leading-edge of the Indian plate underwent eclogite facies metamorphism at 49 Ma and when it reached to depths of about 100 km, the ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic event took place at 46 Ma.