Progressive metamorphism of pelitic rocks from protolith to granulite facies, Dutchess County, New York, USA: Constraints on the timing of fluid infiltration during regional metamorphism

D. L. Whitney, T. A. Mechum, S. M. Kuehner, Y. R. Dilek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

A complete Barrovian sequence ranging from unmetamorphosed shales to sillimanite-K-feldspar zone metapelitic gneisses crops out in a region extending from the Hudson River in south-eastern New York state, USA, to the high-grade core of the Taconic range in western Connecticut. NNE-trending subparallel biotite, garnet, staurolite, kyanite, sillimanite and sillimanite-K-feldspar isograds have been identified, although the assignment of Barrovian zones in the high-grade rocks is complicated by the appearance of fibrolitic sillimanite at the kyanite isograd. Thermobarometric results and reaction textures are used to characterize the metamorphic history of the sequence. Pressure-temperature estimates indicate maximum metamorphic conditions of 475 °C, c. 3-4 kbar in the garnet zone to > 720 °C, c. 5-6 kbar in the highest grade rocks exposed. Some samples in the kyanite zone record anomalous (low) peak conditions because garnet composition has been modified by fluid-assisted reactions. There is abundant petrographic and mineral chemical information indicating that the sequence (with the possible exception of the granulite facies zone) was infiltrated by a water-rich fluid after garnet growth was nearly completed. The truncation of fluid inclusion trails in garnet by rim growth or recrystallization, however, indicates that metamorphic reactions involving garnet continued subsequent to initial infiltration. The presence of these textures in some zones of a well-constrained Barrovian sequence allows determination of the timing of fluid infiltration relative to the P-T paths. Thermobarometric results obtained using garnet compositions at the boundary between fluid-inclusion-rich and inclusion-free regions of the garnet are interpreted to represent peak metamorphic conditions, whereas rim compositions record slightly lower pressures and temperatures. Assuming that garnet grew during a single metamorphic event, infiltration must have occurred at or slightly after the peak of metamorphism, i.e. 4-5 kbar and a temperature of c. 525-550 °C for staurolite and kyanite zone rocks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-181
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Metamorphic Geology
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1996

Keywords

  • Barrovian sequence
  • Dutchess County
  • Fluid infiltration
  • Metapelitic rocks
  • New York
  • Thermobarometry

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