Diffusion models predict that peak metamorphic temperatures are best recorded by the oxygen isotope fractionation between minerals in a bi-mineralic rock in which a refractory accessory mineral with slow oxygen diffusion rate is modally minor to a mineral with a faster diffusion rate. This premise is demonstrated for high-grade metamorphism on the island of Naxos, Greece, where quartz-kyanite oxygen isotope thermometry from veins in high-grade metamorphic pelites gives temperatures of 635-690 °C. These temperatures are in excellent agreement with independent thermometry for the regional M2 peak metamorphic conditions and show that the vein minerals isotopically equilibrated at the peak of metamorphism. Quartz-sillimanite fractionations in the same veins give similar temperatures “680 ± 35 °C” and suggest that the veins grew near to the kyanite-sillimanite boundary, corresponding to pressures of 6.5 to 7.5 kbar for temperatures of 635-685 °C. By contrast, quartz-kyanite and quartz-biotite pairs in the host rocks yield lower temperature estimates than the veins “590-600 and 350-550 °C, respectively”. These lower apparent temperatures are also predicted from calculations of diffusional resetting in the polyphase host-rock system. The data demonstrate that bimineralic vein assemblages can be used as accurate thermometers in high-temperature rocks whereas rate thermometers in high-temperature rocks whereas retrograde exchange remains a major problem in many polymineralic rocks.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology