This study addresses the mechanical and chemical behavior of allanite during shear zone formation under high-pressure metamorphism. Understanding physico-chemical processes related to the retention or resetting of Pb isotopes in allanite during geological processes is essential for robust petrochronology.
Dating of allanite in meta-granodiorite showing variable amounts of strain (from an undeformed protolith to mylonite) at Monte Mucrone (Sesia Zone, NW Italy) gave surprising results. Based on structural and petrographic observations the shear zones at Mt Mucrone are Alpine, yet allanite located within an eclogite facies mylonite yielded Permian ages (208Pb/232Th average age: 287±7Ma). These mm-sized allanite grains are rimmed by an aggregate of coarse-grained garnet+phengite, thought to derive from former epidote. These aggregates were immersed in a weak matrix that experienced granular flow, and they were thus chemically and mechanically shielded during Alpine mylonitization. In undeformed samples (8a and 8b), two populations of epidote group minerals were found. Allanite forms either coronas around Permian monazite or individual grains with patchy zoning. Both types yield Permian ages (208Pb/232Th age: 291±5Ma). On the other hand, grains of REE-rich clinozoisite of Cretaceous age are found in undeformed rocks. These grains appear as small fragments with embayed surface outlines and minute satellites or rims around Permian allanite. These (re)crystallized grains are Sr-rich and show mosaic zoning.These results indicate that allanite crystals retained their chemical and isotopic characteristics, and thus their Permian age, as a result of strong strain partitioning between the epidote group porphyroclasts and the eclogite facies matrix in HP-mylonites. The observed partial mobilization of Pb isotopes, which lead to the Cretaceous-aged rims or grains in undeformed samples was facilitated by (re)crystallization of allanite and not by mere Pb diffusion alone under the HP conditions.
- Mt Mucrone
- Sesia zone
- Shear zone
- U-Th-Pb ages
- Western Alps
- Electron microprobe
- Programme Area 4: Mineral Resources