Prograde and retrograde history of eclogites from the Eastern Blue Ridge, North Carolina, USA

F.Z. Page, E.J. Essene, S.B. Mukasa

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42 Scopus citations


The prograde metamorphism of eclogites is typically obscured by chemical equilibration at peak conditions and by partial requilibration during retrograde metamorphism. Eclogites from the Eastern Blue Ridge of North Carolina retain evidence of their prograde path in the form of inclusions preserved in garnet. These eclogites, from the vicinity of Bakersville, North Carolina. USA are primarily comprised of garnet-clinopyroxene-rutile-hornblende-plagioclase-quartz. Quartz, clinopyroxene, hornblende, rutile, epidote, titanite and biotite are found as inclusions in garnet cores. Included hornblende and clinopyroxene are chemically distinct from their matrix counterparts. Thermobarometry of inclusion sets from different garnets record different conditions. Inclusions of clinozoisite, titanite, rutile and quartz (clinozoisite + titanite = grossular + rutile + quartz + H2O) yield pressures (6-10 kbar, 400-600 °C and 8-12 kbar 450-680 °C) at or below the minimum peak conditions from matrix phases (10-13 kbar at 600-800 °C). Inclusions of hornblende, biotite and quartz give higher pressures (13-16 kbar and 630-660 °C). Early matrix pyroxene is partially or fully broken down to a diopside-plagioclase symplectite, and both garnet and pyroxene are rimmed with plagioclase and hornblende. Hypersthene is found as a minor phase in some diopside + plagioclase symplectites, which suggests retrogression through the granulite facies. Two-pyroxene thermometry of this assemblage gives a temperature of c. 750 °C. Pairing the most Mg-rich garnet composition with the assemblage plagioclase-diopside-hypersthene-quartz gives pressures of 14-16 kbar at this temperature. The hornblende-plagioclase-garnet rim-quartz assemblage yields 9-12 kbar and 500-550 °C. The combined P-T data show a clockwise loop from the amphibolite to eclogite to granulite facies, all of which are overprinted by a texturally late amphibolite facies assemblage. This loop provides an unusually complete P-T history of an eclogite, recording events during and following subduction and continental collision in the early Palaeozoic.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)685-698
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Metamorphic Geology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2003

Bibliographical note

Cited By :32

Export Date: 3 November 2016


  • Blue Ridge
  • Eclogite
  • Prograde metamorphism
  • Retrograde metamorphism
  • Southern Appalachians


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