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Type: Thesis
Title: Low-temperature mica schists of Anglesey, UK: cold subduction on the margin of Avalonia.
Author: Collins, L. J.
Issue Date: 2017
School/Discipline: School of Physical Sciences
Abstract: Anglesey in North Wales is considered to contain the oldest exposures of lawsonite-glaucophane blueschist in the world, marking the first appearance of lawsonite in the geological record, and heralding the emergence of truly modern subduction thermal regimes. The blueschists formed in the late Neoproterozoic during subduction beneath Avalonia. Interlayered within the blueschist unit are rare lenses of garnet-bearing metapelite that form part of a lithological association with more voluminous garnet-free metapelites. Detrital U-Pb zircon geochronology of the metapelites indicates that deposition of the protolith occurred ~630-590 Ma ago. The dominant detrital zircon ages correspond to the age of arc magmatism along the inferred margin of Avalonia, suggesting that the bulk of the detritus was derived from erosion of the arc. The presence of less abundant older zircons that range in age up to 2Ga, suggest that the arc was built on an ancient continental margin. This suggestion is supported by Nd isotopic compositions of the metapelites, which indicate derivation from an evolved source. The rare garnet metapelites contain the metamorphic assemblage garnet-muscovite-chlorite-albite-quartz-titanite-rutile-pyrite in which coronas of rutile surround titanite. Phase equilibria forward modelling of the metapelites indicates a prograde burial path that culminated with conditions around 400-450°C, at pressures of 10-12kbar. These conditions give an average thermal gradient of around 40°C/kbar, which is comparatively warm for lawsonite-bearing rocks. This suggests the Anglesey lawsonite-bearing blueschists record the onset of global subduction thermal regimes in the late Neoproterozoic that can stabilise lawsonite, rather than simply being a fortuitous preservation of widely developed refrigerated metamorphic rock systems.
Dissertation Note: Thesis (B.Sc.(Hons)) -- University of Adelaide, School of Physical Sciences, 2017
Where: North Wales, UK
Keywords: Honours; Geology; Anglesey; lawsonite; blueschist facies metapelite; geochronology; phase equilibria forward modelling
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