EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Fast resetting of zircon in garnet inclusion pressures: implications for elastic geothermobarometry.

Nicola Campomenosi1, Boriana Mihailova1, Ross John Angel2, Marco Scambelluri3, and Matteo Alvaro4
Nicola Campomenosi et al.
  • 1Department of Earth Sciences, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
  • 2IGG-CNR Padova, Padova, Italy
  • 3Department of Earth Science, Environment & Life, University of Genova, Genova, Italy
  • 4Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy

The contrast in the thermoelastic properties between one inclusion and its surrounding host is commonly exploited to back-calculate the pressure (P) and temperature (T) conditions of inclusion entrapment. This is elastic thermobarometry and it is based on the elastic properties of minerals rather than chemical equilibrium. The effect of inclusion confinement is the inclusion residual pressure (P-inc), which can be determined via Raman spectroscopy. For a given host-inclusion system, a specific P-inc corresponds a P-T line along which the confinement effects between the two crystals disappear: the isomeke. By definition, this line potentially represents the P-T conditions of inclusion entrapment. Away from the isomeke, the inclusion exhibits over- or under-pressure with respect to the external pressure. The position and slope of the isomeke can be calculated using the equations of state of both the host and the inclusion [1].

In this contribution, we show how zircon-in-garnet isomekes can be partially investigated via in-situ Raman spectroscopy at high T and ambient P by comparing the evolution of the Raman peak position of the inclusion with respect to a free zircon crystal at the same temperature. Several zircon inclusions in pyrope-rich garnets from the Dora-Maira whiteschists (Western Alps) were heated up and brought from the over- to the under-pressure domain across their corresponding isomeke. At temperatures above the isomeke, we found that zircon inclusions in garnet can be reset on the timescale of laboratory experiments: after cooling down the P-inc was different from the original. We interpret this reset as the result of viscous relaxation at the host-inclusion boundary [2] and annealing of submicron dislocations of the garnet host at high temperature. Importantly, for similar heating rate and T range, viscous relaxation occurs more easily when the inclusions are in the under-pressure domain. This suggest that original confinement effects of zircon in a garnet host whose exhumation path mostly occurs within the inclusion under-pressure domain can be easily reset to record P-T conditions on the retrograde path, while those from a garnet host whose exhumation path mostly occurs within the inclusion over-pressure domain can be better preserved. Therefore, since the isomekes of zircon with garnet are steep in P-T, this system may be more reliable for high T and low P terranes for which the exhumation path passes directly or quickly into the over-pressure domain [3]. On the other hand, for UHP domains such as Dora-Maira resetting occurs [4] due to the exhumation path being steep and thus in the under-pressure domain until low pressures.   

[1] Angel et al. 2015 Journal of Metamorphic Geology33(8), 801-813. [2] Zhong et al. 2020 Solid Earth11(1), 223-240.  [3] Gilio et al. 2021 Journal of Metamorphic Geology 10.1111/jmg.12625 [4] Campomenosi et al. 2021 Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology176(5), 1-17  

This work was supported by the Alexander von Humboldt foundation and the ERC-StG TRUE-DEPTHS grant (number 714936) to M. Alvaro

How to cite: Campomenosi, N., Mihailova, B., Angel, R. J., Scambelluri, M., and Alvaro, M.: Fast resetting of zircon in garnet inclusion pressures: implications for elastic geothermobarometry., EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1247,, 2022.