Northern Victoria Land is a key area for the Ross Orogen - a Palaeozoic foldbelt formed at the palaeo-Pacific margin of Gondwana. A narrow and discontinuous high- to ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) belt, consisting of mafic and ultramafic rocks (including garnet-bearing types) within a metasedimentary sequence of gneisses and quartzites, is exposed at the Lanterman Range (northern Victoria Land). Garnet-bearing ultramafic rocks evolved through at least six metamorphic stages. Stage 1 is defined by medium-grained garnet+olivine+low-Al orthopyroxene+clinopyroxene, whereas finer-grained garnet+olivine+orthopyroxene+clinopyroxene+amphibole constitutes the stage 2 assemblage. Stage 3 is defined by kelyphites of orthopyroxene+clinopyroxene+spinel±amphibole around garnet. Porphyroblasts of amphibole replacing garnet and clinopyroxene characterize stage 4. Retrograde stages 5 and 6 consist of tremolite+Mg-chlorite±serpentine±talc. A high-temperature (∼950°C), spinel-bearing protolith (stage 0), is identified on the basis of orthopyroxene+clinopyroxene+olivine+spinel+amphibole inclusions within stage 1 garnet. The P-T estimates for stage 1 are indicative of UHP conditions (3.2-3.3 GPa and 764-820°C), whereas stage 2 is constrained between 726-788°C and 2.6-2.9 GPa. Stage 3 records a decompression up to 1.1-1.3 GPa at 705-776°C. Stages 4, 5 and 6 reflect uplift and cooling, the final estimates yielding values below 0.5 GPa at 300-400°C. The retrograde P-T path is nearly isothermal from UHP conditions up to deep crustal levels, and becomes a cooling-unloading path from intermediate to shallow levels. The garnet-bearing ultramafic rocks originated in the mantle wedge and were probably incorporated into the subduction zone with felsic and mafic rocks with which they shared the subsequent metamorphic and geodynamic evolution. The density and rheology of the subducted rocks are compatible with detachment of slices along the subduction channel and gravity-driven exhumation.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Antarctica, Exhumation, Garnet-bearing ultramafic rocks, HP/UHP metamorphism, Subduction
Persistent URL
Journal Journal of Metamorphic Geology
Palmeri, R. (R.), Ghiribelli, B. (B.), Ranalli, G, Talarico, F. (F.), & Ricci, C.A. (C. A.). (2007). Ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism and exhumation of garnet-bearing ultramafic rocks from the Lanterman Range (northern Victoria Land, Antarctica). In Journal of Metamorphic Geology (Vol. 25, pp. 225–243). doi:10.1111/j.1525-1314.2006.00686.x