High-pressure, ultrahigh-temperature 1.9 Ga metamorphism of the Kramanituar Complex, Snowbird Tectonic Zone, Rae Craton, Canada

  • M. Sanborn-BarrieEmail author
  • A. Camacho
  • R. G. Berman
Original Paper


The high-pressure (P) granulite–facies Kramanituar Complex, dominated by a metagabbroic–anorthositic suite with subordinate sillimanite- and kyanite-bearing diatexite and charnockite, is one of several complexes that demarcate the 1000 km-long Snowbird Tectonic Zone. Ti-in-quartz (TiQ) and Zr-in-rutile (ZiR) thermometry on inclusions in garnet in mafic and pelitic rocks establish that temperatures (T) exceeded 990–1000 °C, ~ 100 °C higher than recorded by Fe–Mg exchange thermometers. At 1000 °C, thermobarometry and forward modelling of both mafic and pelitic rocks from the complex define 14–15 kbar pressures, where TiQ and ZiR temperatures are in good agreement. The occurrence in diatexite of sparse prograde F-bearing biotite and high-T rutile inclusions in garnet rims, not cores, can be accounted for with a high-Ti solubility biotite model and the presence of fluorine. Forward modelling suggests that heterogeneities in both the composition and zoning of garnet reflect the effects of melt loss on bulk composition. Gabbroic rocks with coronitic and symplectitic reaction textures record high-T decompression to 8 kbar and 800 °C, also reflected by matrix quartz ribbons in diatexite which yield TiQ values between 655 and 824 °C at 8 kbar. Combined results define a clockwise PT path for the complex at 1910–1896 Ma. South of the complex, a contemporaneous clockwise PT path is recorded in semipelitic rocks that reached peak conditions of 690 °C and 8.1 kbar. Overall, results support tectonic reworking of the thickened (> 50 km) Rae margin from ca. 1910 Ma, culminating in ca. 1902 Ma mantle-derived mafic magmatism and rapid exhumation, potentially triggered by slab breakoff or lithospheric delamination.


Trace-element thermometry Ultrahigh-temperature Phase diagram modelling Thermobarometry Snowbird Tectonic Zone DOMINO software Paleoproterozoic tectonometamorphism 



We thank Ravi Sidhu, University of Manitoba for assistance with electron microprobe analysis. O. Weller and D. Regis are thanked for discussion and comments to an earlier version of the manuscript. Thoughtful reviews and constructive comments by D. Kelsey and M. Williams improved the manuscript substantially and resulted in a more complete presentation of the PT path preserved by these rocks. Daniela Rubatto is gratefully acknowledged for helpful comments and editorial handling of this manuscript. This is GSC Contribution #20170251.

Supplementary material

410_2019_1547_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (86 kb)
Online Resource 1 Methodology (PDF 85 KB)
410_2019_1547_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (3.9 mb)
Online Resource 2 Garnet in gabbro K-596, mineral abbreviations after Whitney and Evans (2010). a Ca compositional map showing variations in subhedral, partly embayed garnet set in very fine, recrystallized plagioclase-dominated groundmass. White line shows location of compositional profile a-a’. b backscatter electron image of garnet porphyroblast with inclusions of titanite, rutile, and ilmenite. Inset upper shows rutile inclusion in matrix ilmenite, white scale bar is 10 µm. Inset lower shows incomplete reaction of matrix rutile to ilmenite and titanite, white scale bar is 10 µm. (PDF 4000 KB)
410_2019_1547_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (84 kb)
Online Resource 3 Table of mineral compositions used for P-T determinations (PDF 83 KB)
410_2019_1547_MOESM4_ESM.pdf (258 kb)
Online Resource 4 Table of zirconium in rutile (ZiR) thermometry data (PDF 257 KB)
410_2019_1547_MOESM5_ESM.pdf (653 kb)
Online Resource 5 Table of titanium in quartz (TiQ) thermometry data (PDF 652 KB)
410_2019_1547_MOESM6_ESM.pdf (3 mb)
Online Resource 6 Calcium compositional map of garnet porphyroblast from K-440 highlighting narrow low-Ca rim (blue) and position of the rutile inclusion in the high-Ca inner rim. (PDF 3117 KB)
410_2019_1547_MOESM7_ESM.pdf (73 kb)
Online Resource 7 Table of bulk compositions used in forward modelling (PDF 73 KB)
410_2019_1547_MOESM8_ESM.pdf (401 kb)
Online Resource 8 Phase diagram for sillimanite diatexite K-440 calculated with Tacjmanova et al. (2009) biotite model, showing plausibility of low-Ca garnet rim growth at peak metamorphic conditions in a hydrous micro-domain containing F-bearing biotite and melt. The bulk composition derived from SEM mapping is assumed to have had 6 mol % melt extracted (see text and Online Resource 7). Note that the stability of F-bearing biotite observed in this rock requires addition of fluorine to the thermodynamic models of biotite and melt. Dashed curves are 100*XGrs isopleths relevant to garnet core (XGrs = 0.048) and rim (XGrs = 0.025) compositions. Filled square shows near-peak P-T (Table 1) based on average ZiR temperatures of rutile inclusions in garnet and XGrs of garnet core calculated in Fig. 9a). Filled circle shows retrograde P-T based on silicate mineral rim compositions (Table 1; see text). (PDF 401 KB)
410_2019_1547_MOESM9_ESM.pdf (14 kb)
Online Resource 9 Procedure for modelling prograde path of K-440 utilizing melt re-integrated bulk compositions. (PDF 14 KB)
410_2019_1547_MOESM10_ESM.pdf (2.1 mb)
Online Resource 10 Ca compositional maps of garnet from metapelite K-386 south of the complex. a euhedral garnet porphyroblast with poikioblastic high-Ca core and asymmetric lower-Ca rims. b Garnet porphyroblast interpreted to be a composite of several initially individual high-Ca grains. (PDF 2100 KB)


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© Crown 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geological Survey of CanadaOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Department of Geological SciencesUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

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