International Journal of Earth Sciences

, Volume 106, Issue 2, pp 453–476 | Cite as

Timing and duration of partial melting and magmatism in the Variscan Montagne Noire gneiss dome (French Massif Central)

  • Pierre TrapEmail author
  • Françoise Roger
  • Bénédicte Cenki-Tok
  • Jean-Louis Paquette
Original Paper


Unravelling the detailed pressure–temperature–time-deformation (P–T–t-D) evolution of magmatic and metamorphic rocks provides essential insights into the timing and duration of partial melting and related plutonism during crustal flow and migmatitic dome formation. The Montagne Noire Axial Zone (MNAZ) is a migmatitic dome located within the Variscan orogen in the southern French Massif Central. The timing of the main thermal event that was responsible for intense partial melting is still highly debated. In this study we present new laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) age data on micaschists, migmatites and granites that clarify the P–T–t-D evolution of the MNAZ. Structurally controlled samples were collected in order to constrain the timing of metamorphism, migmatization and plutonism regarding the main structural pattern D1, D2 and D3. D1 and D2 correspond to nappe stacking and dextral transpression, respectively. D3 is related to vertical shortening and coaxial thinning with a preferential NE–SW- to E–W-directed stretching. LA-ICP-MS analyses on the syntectonic Anglès, Soulié and Martys granites yielded U–Th/Pb monazite ages of 305 ± 1.5, 306 ± 1.9 and 314 ± 2 Ma, respectively. Five migmatitic rocks sampled in the eastern and central Espinouse area yielded in situ ages ranging between 312 ± 2 and 301 ± 2 Ma. Along the dome envelope, two garnet–staurolite-bearing micaschists near Saint-Pons-de-Thomières village gave in situ U–Th–Pb ages of 312.1 ± 2.1 and 309.0 ± 3.1 Ma. A fine-grained gneiss with a D3 fabrics in the eastern dome envelope yield a 208Pb/232Th mean age at 305.7 ± 3.9 Ma. All ages obtained in this study for the micaschists, migmatites and granites range between 315 and 301 Ma. We interpret this time span as the record of the high thermal event responsible for intense crustal partial melting within the lower and middle crust. The onset of partial melting occurred at ca. 315 Ma that marked the beginning of transpressional deformation D2. Based on structural and petrological studies, our new U–Th–Pb results suggest that (1) partial melting may have started at ca. 315 Ma and lasted 15–10 Myr and (2) D2 et D3 developed between 315 and 300 Ma and were synchronous. D1 deformation ended at 315 Ma. The onset and duration of D1 related to nappe stacking and crustal thickening is still uncertain.


Partial melting Migmatite Magmatism Variscan orogeny Gneiss dome LA-ICP-MS U–Th–Pb dating 



This research was financially supported by an INSU/SYSTER project from French CNRS. This research was also partly supported by the French RENATECH network, who provided access to the electron microscope of the MIMENTO platform of the University of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. Authors are very grateful for the constructive comments made by Pavel Pitra, Patrice Rey and Romain Tartèse that helped to improve the manuscript.

Supplementary material

531_2016_1417_MOESM1_ESM.doc (50 kb)
Table S1 The detailed analytical procedures for the LA-ICP-MS U–Th–Pb method (DOC 49 kb)
531_2016_1417_MOESM2_ESM.docx (77 kb)
Table S2 LA-ICP-MS U–Th–Pb geochronological data analysed in situ in thin section for the metamorphic rocks. % conc = percentage of concordance ((206Pb/238U age/208Pb/232Th age) × 100). Mz = monazite, Xe = xenotime, Bt = biotite, Ms = muscovite, Crd = cordierite and Sill = sillimanite, Mtx = Quartz–feldspar matrix, Incl. = inclusion in…, Ag = Bt-Sill aggregate and Fol = Muscovite-bearing foliation (DOCX 76 kb)
531_2016_1417_MOESM3_ESM.docx (175 kb)
Table S3 LA-ICP-MS U–Th–Pb geochronological data for separated grains in the magmatic rocks. % conc = percentage of concordance ((206Pb/238U age/208Pb/232Th age) × 100). Mz = monazite and Xe = xenotime, R = rim and c = core (DOCX 174 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pierre Trap
    • 1
    Email author
  • Françoise Roger
    • 2
  • Bénédicte Cenki-Tok
    • 2
  • Jean-Louis Paquette
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratoire Chrono-environnement (CNRS-UMR 6249)Université de Bourgogne-Franche-ComtéBesançon CedexFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire Géosciences Montpellier (CNRS-UMR 5243)Université de MontpellierMontpellier Cedex 5France
  3. 3.Laboratoire Magmas et Volcans (CNRS-UMR 6524)Université Blaise PascalClermont-Ferrand CedexFrance

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