Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 95, Issue 3–4, pp 315–326 | Cite as

Garnet Lu–Hf dating of retrograde fluid activity during ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic eclogites exhumation

  • Hao Cheng
  • Eizo Nakamura
  • Zuyi Zhou
Original Paper


Previous studies on the atoll-shaped garnets in ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) metamorphic eclogites from the Dabie orogen, east-central China, suggest a fluid-enhanced overgrowth origin at the onset of exhumation. The atoll-garnets bearing eclogite place better constraints on the timing of the retrograde fluid activity and are a straightforward target to gain insight into the isotopic equilibrium and/or disequilibrium during exhumation. Comprehensive textural, chemical and Lu–Hf geochronological analyses on the atoll garnet-bearing eclogite show that the retrograde fluid activity event likely occurred at ca. 221 Ma. The Lu–Hf age of 221.0 ± 2.3 Ma marks the last garnet overgrowth episode during exhumation rather than prograde metamorphism. This somewhat restricted study suggests that dating the prograde-zoning-preserved garnets may bias results towards a particular metamorphic event rather than the prograde timing, as previously thought. The general assumption that larger garnet crystals in metamorphic rocks are older should be made with caution, and it is likely invalid in atoll garnet-bearing metamorphic eclogites because the preliminary garnet cores have been largely consumed. These observations highlight that linking textural and chemical analyses is crucial for interpreting geochronological data.


Atoll Isochron Crystal Size Distribution Garnet Growth Continental Subduction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to acknowledge Robert L. King for obtaining the geochronological data. We are very grateful to Katsura Kobayashi and Akira Ishikawa for their help with the ion microprobe analyses. Valuable and educational comments provided by Horst Marschall and two anonymous reviewer were helpful in clarifying this manuscript. This research was in part supported by the NNSFC (40403007, 40572075), Program for Young Excellent Talents in Tongji University, the COE-21 program to Eizo Nakamura and NSF grants EAR-0609856 and EAR-0711326 to Jeffrey D. Vervoort.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Marine GeologyTongji UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Pheasant Memorial Laboratory for Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry, Institute for Study of the Earth’s InteriorOkayama University at MisasaTottoriJapan

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