Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 107, Issue 5, pp 651–664 | Cite as

Pan-African decompressional P-T path recorded by granulites from central Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica

  • Synnøve ElvevoldEmail author
  • Ane K. Engvik
Special Issue Gondwana Collision


A high-grade metamorphic complex is exposed in Filchnerfjella (6–8°E), central Dronning Maud Land. The metamorphic evolution of the complex has been recovered through a study of textural relationships, conventional geothermobarometry and pseudosection modelling. Relicts of an early, high-P assemblage are preserved within low-strain mafic pods. Subsequent granulite facies metamorphism resulted in formation of orthopyroxene in rocks of mafic, intermediate to felsic compositions, whereas spinel + quartz were part of the peak assemblage in pelitic gneisses. Peak conditions were attained at temperatures between 850–885 °C and 0.55–0.70 GPa. Reaction textures, including the replacement of amphibole and garnet by symplectites of orthopyroxene + plagioclase and partial replacement of garnet + sillimanite + spinel bearing assemblages by cordierite, indicate that the granulite facies metamorphism was accompanied and followed by decompression. The observed assemblages define a clock-wise P-T path including near-isothermal decompression. During decompression, localized melting led to formation of post-kinematic cordierite-melt assemblages, whereas mafic rocks contain melt patches with euhedral orthopyroxene. The granulite facies metamorphism, decompression and partial crustal melting occurred during the Cambrian Pan-African tectonothermal event.


Ilmenite Cordierite Kyanite Sillimanite Hercynite 
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.



Sampled for this study were collected during the Norwegian Antarctic Research Expeditions 1996–97 and 2001–02. This work has been supported by the Norwegian Polar Institute and the Norwegian Research Council. We thank M. Erambert for her help with the electron microprobe analysis at the University of Oslo and Erling J.K. Ravna for providing the XRF analyses at the University of Tromsø. We thank Pritam Nasipuri for great guidance with the Perple_X software. Discussions with Erling J.K. Ravna and careful reviews by Mauricio Calderón and one anonymous reviewer helped us improve the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Norwegian Polar InstituteTromsøNorway
  2. 2.Geological Survey of NorwayTrondheimNorway

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