Timing of metamorphism and deformation in the Swat valley, northern Pakistan: Insight into garnet-monazite HREE partitioning

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Abstract

New metamorphic petrology and geochronology from the Loe Sar dome in the Swat region of northern Pakistan place refined constraints on the pressure, temperature and timing of metamorphism and deformation in that part of the Himalayan orogen. Thermodynamic modelling and monazite petrochronology indicate that metamorphism in the area followed a prograde evolution from ∼525 ± 25 °C and 6 ± 0.5 kbar to ∼610 ± 25 °C and 9 ± 0.5 kbar, between ca. 39 Ma and 28 Ma. Partitioning of heavy rare earth elements between garnet rims and 30–28 Ma monazite are interpreted to indicate coeval crystallization at peak conditions. Microtextural relationships indicate that garnet rim growth post-dated the development of the main foliation in the area. The regional foliation is folded about large-scale N–S trending fold axes and overprinting E–W trending folds to form km-scale domal culminations. The textural relationships observed indicate that final dome development must be younger than the 30–28 Ma monazite that grew with garnet rims post-regional foliation development, but pre-doming-related deformation. This new timing constraint helps resolve discrepancy between previous interpretations, which have alternately suggested that N–S trending regional folds must be either pre- or post-early Oligocene. Finally, when combined with existing hornblende and white mica cooling ages, these new data indicate that the study area was exhumed rapidly following peak metamorphism.

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Larson, K. P., Ali, A., Shrestha, S., Soret, M., Cottle, J. M., & Ahmad, R. (2019). Timing of metamorphism and deformation in the Swat valley, northern Pakistan: Insight into garnet-monazite HREE partitioning. Geoscience Frontiers, 10(3), 849–861. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gsf.2018.02.008

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