Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 166, Issue 5, pp 1415–1441 | Cite as

Timescales of partial melting in the Himalayan middle crust: insight from the Leo Pargil dome, northwest India

  • Graham W. Lederer
  • John M. Cottle
  • Micah J. Jessup
  • Jackie M. Langille
  • Talat Ahmad
Original Paper


The Leo Pargil dome (LPD) in northwest India exposes an interconnected network of pre-, syn-, and post-kinematic leucogranite dikes and sills that pervasively intrude amphibolite-facies metapelites of the mid-crustal Greater Himalayan sequence. Leucogranite bodies range from thin (5-cm-wide) locally derived sills to thick (2-m-wide) crosscutting dikes extending at least 100 m. Three-dimensional exposures elucidate crosscutting relations between different phases of melt injection and crystallization. Combined laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry U–Th/Pb geochronology and trace element analysis on well-characterized monazite grains from nineteen representative leucogranites yields a large, internally consistent data set of approximately 700 U–Th/Pb and 400 trace element analyses. Grain-scale variations in age correlate with trace element distributions and indicate semi-continuous crystallization of monazite from 30 to 18 Ma. The youngest U–Th/Pb ages in a given sample are consistent with the outcrop-scale crosscutting relations, whereas older ages within individual samples record inheritance from partially crystallized melt and source metapelites. U–Th/Pb isotopic and trace element data are incorporated into a model of melting within the LPD that involves (1) steady-state equilibrium batch melting of compositionally homogeneous metapelitic sources; (2) pulses of increased melt mobility lasting 1–2 m.y. resulting in segregation of melt from its source and amalgamation into mixed magmas; and (3) rapid emplacement and final crystallization of leucogranite bodies. Melt systems in the LPD evolved from locally derived, in situ melt in migmatitic source rocks into a vast network of dikes and sills in the overlying non-migmatitic host rocks.


Leucogranite Monazite U–Th/Pb geochronology Anatexis Himalaya 



Funding for this project was provided by National Science Foundation grants (EAR-0911416 and EAR-1119380) awarded to J. Cottle and (EAR-0911561) to M. Jessup. We thank A. Kylander-Clark and G. Seward for assistance with LA-ICPMS and EPMA data collection. P. E. Lee provided valuable assistance in the field. We wish to thank two anonymous reviewers for their thoughtful reviews of an earlier version of this manuscript as well as Franck Poitrasson for his helpful editorial assistance.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Graham W. Lederer
    • 1
  • John M. Cottle
    • 1
  • Micah J. Jessup
    • 2
  • Jackie M. Langille
    • 3
  • Talat Ahmad
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Earth ScienceUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA
  2. 2.Department of Earth and Planetary SciencesUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Environmental StudiesUniversity of North CarolinaAshevilleUSA
  4. 4.University of KashmirHazratbal, SrinagarIndia

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