The early metamorphic history of the Haast Schists and related rocks of New Zealand
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Rare but widespread relics of sodic amphibole occur in metabasites and metacherts of the Haast Schists and related Caples Terrane rocks. Present main-stage metamorphic assemblages are frequently chemically equivalent to earlier sodic amphibole bearing assemblages, indicating that these rocks underwent an earlier, higher P/Tmetamorphism prior to formation of the present pumpellyite-actinolite and greenschist facies assemblages. The earlier assemblages were stable during and after early isoclinal folding, but were replaced by the present moderate P/T assemblages prior to the last major fabric-forming deformation. The change in conditions was due to thermal relaxation, probably accompanied by uplift and erosion, and peak metamorphic temperatures were about 350–370° C in the pumpellyite-actinolite zone of the Caples Terrane and near 390° C in the greenschist facies chlorite zone near Queenstown. According to Henley (1975) these greenschist facies rocks attained a pressure of at least 6.4±0.4 kb during their history, but a pressure of 4.6±0.6 kb has been estimated for a chlorite zone rock from Middlemarch, and so the 6.4 kb estimate probably refers to the maximum pressure attained during the earlier, higher P/T metamorphism. Similar changes in ‘metamorphic facies series’ with time occur in some older and more complex metamorphic belts such as the Caledonides, and this study suggests that it may be possible to interpret particular elements in the metamorphic development of such belts in terms of specific circum-Pacific analogues.
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