The strong partitioning of many trace elements into garnet and their slow diffusivities in both garnet and the rock matrix means that their distribution may record valuable petrogenetic information not documented by major elements in metamorphic rocks. Complex trace element growth zoning in garnet porphyroblasts from a garnet-grade metapelite from the Barrovian sequence of the Sikkim Himalaya is assessed using quantified LA-ICP-MS raster mapping coupled with X-ray micro-computed tomography. The data document systematic changes in the zoning patterns from early- to late-nucleated crystals, and also suggest that the REE+Y chemistry incorporated into garnet is dependent on persistent disequilibrium in the rock volume. There is evidence for HREE+Y diffusion haloes surrounding growing garnets and a heterogeneous HREE+Y distribution in the rock matrix. Annuli superimposed on oscillatory zoning are not consistent with formation during some rock-wide event, but are dependent on the spatial disposition of the garnet. Annuli are interpreted to reflect an integrated history of varying growth rates and the incorporation of pre-existing heterogeneities due to relatively slow matrix diffusivities. Conversely, smooth zoning of many transition metals indicate that their distribution in garnet may be controlled by equilibrium partitioning between garnet and the rock matrix. Significant rotation of garnet porphyroblasts during growth is revealed due to immobility of Cr over the duration of the crystallisation interval and overprinting of the heterogenous precursor Cr distribution. Strain rate estimates derived from this zoning are on the order of 10 - 11–10-12s-1.

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Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Department of Earth Sciences

George, F.R. (F. R.), Gaidies, F, & Boucher, B. (B.). (2018). Population-wide garnet growth zoning revealed by LA-ICP-MS mapping: implications for trace element equilibration and syn-kinematic deformation during crystallisation. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 173(9). doi:10.1007/s00410-018-1503-0