Long length scales of element transport during reaction texture development in orthoamphibole-cordierite gneiss: Thor-Odin dome, British Columbia, Canada

Eric T. Goergen, Donna L. Whitney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


First-order factors controlling the textural and chemical evolution of metamorphic rocks are bulk composition and pressure-temperature-time (P-T-t) path. Although it is common to assume that major element bulk composition does not change during regional metamorphism, rocks with reaction textures such as corona structures record evidence for major changes in effective bulk composition (EBC) and therefore provide significant insight into the scale, pathways, and mechanisms of element transport during metamorphism. Quantifying changes in EBC is essential for petrologic applications such as calculation of phase diagrams (pseudosections). The progressive growth of complex corona structures on garnet and Al 2SiO 5 porphyroblasts in orthoamphibole-cordierite gneiss Thor-Odin dome (British Columbia, Canada) reduced the EBC volume of the rock during metamorphism and therefore had a dramatic effect on the evolution of the stable mineral assemblage. These rocks contain a chemical and textural record of metamorphic reactions and preserve 3D networks (reaction pathways) connecting corona structures. These coronal networks record long (>cm) length scales of localized element transport during metamorphism. P-T, T-X, and P-X pseudosections are used to investigate the control of effective bulk composition on phase assemblage evolution. Despite textural complexity and evidence for disequilibrium, mineral assemblages and compositions were successfully modeled and peak metamorphic conditions estimated at 750°C and 9 kbar. These results illustrate how textural and chemical changes during metamorphism can be evaluated using an integrated petrographic and pseudosection approach, highlight the importance of effective bulk composition choice for application of phase equilibria methods in metamorphic rocks, and show how corona structures can be used to understand the scale of compositional change and element transport during metamorphism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-352
Number of pages16
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments The work presented in this paper was partially supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation to DLW (NSF EAR-0510300). We thank Alana Hinchey and an anonymous reviewer for their constructive reviews.


  • Corona structure
  • Effective bulk composition
  • Orthoamphibole-cordierite gneiss
  • Pseudosection
  • Thor-Odin dome


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