Phase equilibria and the pressure-temperature path of the highest-grade Ryoke metamorphic rocks in the Yanai district, SW Japan

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The garnet-cordierite zone, the highest-grade zone of the Ryoke metamorphic rocks in the Yanai district, SW Japan, is defined by the coexistence of garnet and cordierite in pelitic rocks. Three assemblages in this zone are studied in detail, i.e. spinel + cordierite + biotite, garnet + cordierite + biotite and garnet + biotite, all of which contain quartz, K-feldspar and plagioclase. The Mg/(Fe + Mg) in the coexisting minerals decreases in the following order: cordierite, biotite, garnet and spinel. Two facts described below are inconsistent with the paragenetic relation in the K2O-FeO-MgO-Al2O3-SiO2-H 2O (KFMASH) system in terms of an isophysical variation. First, garnet and biotite in the last assemblage have Mg/(Fe + Mg) higher than those in the second. Second, the first two assemblages are described by the reaction, spinel + biotite + quartz = garnet + cordierite + K-feldspar + vapour, while they occur in a single outcrop. The addition of MnO, ZnO and TiO2 to the system can resolve the inconsistencies as follows. The assemblage garnet + biotite can consist of garnet and biotite higher in Mg/(Fe + Mg) than those in garnet + cordierite + biotite as long as they are enriched in spessartine and depleted in Al, respectively. The assemblage garnet + cordierite + biotite becomes stable relative to spinel + cordierite + biotite with increasing spessartine content or decreasing gahnite content and the Ti content of biotite. The constituent minerals of the assemblages, spinel + cordierite + biotite and garnet + cordierite + biotite, preserve several reaction microstructures indicative of prograde reactions, sillimanite + biotite + quartz = cordierite + spinel +K-feldspar + vapour, sillimanite + biotite + quartz = garnet + cordierite +K-feldspar + vapour and biotite + cordierite + quartz = garnet + K-feldspar + vapour, together with retrograde reactions, spinel + quartz = cordierite and garnet + K-feldspar + vapour = biotite + cordierite + quartz. This suggests that the pressure-temperature path of the rocks includes an isobaric heating and an isobaric or decompressional cooling. The high-grade areas consisting of the K-feldspar-cordierite zone, sillimanite-K-feldspar zone and garnet-cordierite zone have prograde paths involving isobaric heating and show a southwards increase in pressure with a thermal maximum in the middle. These high-grade zones are closely associated with the gneissose granitic rocks, suggesting that the Ryoke metamorphism, one of the typical low-pressure type, is caused by the heat supply from the syn-tectonic granitic rocks that emplaced at the middle level of the crust.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-335
Number of pages15
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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