2015 Volume 110 Issue 4 Pages 166-178
The appropriateness of Zr as an ‘immobile element’ during garnet–hornblende (Grt–Hbl) vein formation potentially caused by the Cl–rich fluid or melt infiltration under upper amphibolite facies condition is examined. The sample used is a Grt–Hbl vein from Brattnipene, Sør Rondane Mountains, East Antarctica that discordantly cuts the gneissose structure of the mafic gneiss.
Modal analysis of the wall rock minerals combined with the quantitative determination of their Zr contents reveals that most of the whole–rock Zr resides in zircon whereas ~ 5% is hosted in garnet and hornblende. The Zr concentration of garnet and hornblende is constant irrespective of the distance from the vein. Zircon shows no resorption or overgrowth microstructures. Moreover, the grain size, chemical zoning (CL, Th/U ratio and REE pattern) and rim ages of zircon are also similar irrespective of the distance from the vein. LA–ICPMS U–Pb dating of zircon rims does not give younger ages than the granulite facies metamorphism reported by previous studies. All of these detailed observations on zircon support that zircon is little dissolved or overgrown, and that Zr is not added nor lost during the Grt–Hbl vein formation. Therefore, Zr can be described as an appropriate ‘immobile element’ during the Grt–Hbl vein formation. Detailed microstructural observation of zircon is thus useful in evaluating the appropriateness of Zr as an immobile element.