Sapphirine-bearing granulites and related high-temperature metamorphic rocks from the Higo metamorphic terrane, west-central Kyushu, Japan

Y. Osanai, T. Hamamoto, O. Maishima, H. Kagami

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The Higo metamorphic unit in west-central Kyushu island, southwest Japan is an imbricated crustal section in which a sequence of units with increasing metamorphic grade from high (northern part) to low (southern part) structural levels is exposed. The basal part of the metamorphic sequence representing an original depth of 23-24 km consists mainly of garnet-cordierite-biotite gneiss, garnet-orthopyroxene gneiss, orthopyroxene-bearing amphibolile and orthopyroxene-bearing S-type tonalite. These metamorphic rocks underwent high amphibolite-facies up to granulite facies metamorphism with peak P-T conditions of 720 MPa, 870°C. In addition sapphinne-bearing granulites and related high-temperature metamorphic rocks also occur as tectonic blocks in a metamorphosed peridotite intrusion. The sapphirine-bearing granulites and their related high-temperature metamorphic rocks can be subdivided into five types of mineral assemblages reflecting their bulk chemical compositions as follows: (1) sapphirine-corundum-spinel-cordiente (2) corundum-spinel-cordierite (3) garnet-corundum-spinel-cordiente (4) garnet-spinel-gedrite-corundum, and (5) orthopyroxene-spinel-gedrite. These metamorphic rocks are characterized by unusually high Al2O3 and low SiO2 contents, which could represent a restitic nature remaining after partial melting of pelitic granulite under the ultra high-temperature contact metamorphism at the peak metamorphic event of the Higo metamorphic unit. The metamorphic conditions are estimated to be about 800 MPa and above 950°C which took place at about 250 Ma as a result of the thermal effect of the regional gabbroic rock intrusions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-66
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Metamorphic Geology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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