The Eocene Corundum-Bearing Rocks in the Gangdese Arc, South Tibet: Implications for Tectonic Evolution of the Himalayan Orogen (2018)

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The genesis of Liangguo corundum deposit in the southern Gangdese magmatic arc, east-central Himalaya, remains unknown. The present study shows that the corundum-bearing rocks occur as lenses with variable sizes in the Eocene gabbro that intruded into marble. These corundum-bearing rocks have highly variable mineral assemblage and mode. The corundum-rich rocks are characterized by containing abundant corundum, and minor spinel, ilmenite and magnetite, whereas the corundum-poor and corundum-free rocks have variable contents of spinel, plagioclase, sillimanite, cordierite, ilmenite and magnetite. The host gabbro shows variable degrees of hydration and carbonization. The corundum grains are mostly black, and rarely blue, and have minor FeO and TiO2. The spinel is hercynite, with high FeO and low MgO contents. The corundum-bearing rocks have variable but high Al2O3, FeO and TiO2, and low SiO2 contents. Inherited magmatic and altered zircons of the corundum-bearing rocks have similar U–Pb ages (∼47 Ma) to the magmatic zircons of the host gabbro, indicating corundum-bearing rock formation immediately after the gabbro intrusion. We considered that emplacement of gabbro induced the contact metamorphism of the country-rock marble and the formation of silica-poor fluid. The channeled infiltration of generated fluid in turn resulted in the hydrothermal metasomatism of the gabbro, which characterized by considerable loss of Si from the gabbro and strong residual enrichment of Al. The metasomatic alteration probably formed under P–T conditions of ∼2.2–2.8 kbar and ∼650–700 °C. We speculate that SiO2, CaO and Na2O were mobile, and Al2O3, FeO, TiO2 and high field strength elements remained immobile during the metasomatic process of the gabbro. The Liangguo corundum deposit, together with metamorphic corundum deposits in Central and Southeast Asia, were related to the Cenozoic Himalayan orogeny, and therefore are plate tectonic indicators.
Year: 2018
Language: English
In: Geoscience Frontiers,

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