Monazite in the eclogite and blueschist of the Svalbard Caledonides: its origin and forming-reactions

Karolina Kośmińska, Kathrin Fassmer, William C. McClelland, Jarosław Majka, Matthew Coble, Jay Thomas, Maciej Manecki, Henning Lorenz, Jakub Bazarnik, Carsten Münker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


High-pressure low-temperature rocks from Svalbard are an excellent target for studying metamorphic reactions in Phanerozoic subduction zones. This study reveals the presence of monazite in an eclogite and a blueschist from the Vestgötabreen Complex, southwestern Svalbard. In order to investigate the monazite-forming reaction, we obtained pressure–temperature estimates coupled with U–Pb and Lu–Hf dating. Combined geothermobarometry allows to constrain three evolutionary stages of garnet growth in the eclogite: nucleation (1.6 ± 0.3 GPa at 460 ± 60 °C), peak-pressure (2.3 ± 0.3 GPa at 507 ± 60 °C), and peak-temperature (2.1 ± 0.3 GPa at 553 ± 60 °C). A zircon age of 482 ± 10 Ma is interpreted to belong to the prograde part of the pressure–temperature path. Monazite forms inclusions within garnet rims, or it is surrounded by allanite and apatite, altogether forming pseudomorphs of a tabular shape in the matrix. Textures, geothermobarometry and geochronology support the conclusion the monazite formed under high-pressure conditions at 471 ± 6 Ma. We propose that the monazite crystallization in the eclogite happened due to a decomposition of accessory phases during the decompression after peak-pressure of the metamorphic cycle. Monazite in the blueschist occurs as inclusions in garnet cores and gives an indicative age of 486 ± 6 Ma, which is interpreted to reflect the prograde growth of the garnet. Lu–Hf garnet dating resolves an age of peak-pressure metamorphism in the blueschist at 471.1 ± 4 Ma under conditions of 2.0 ± 0.03 GPa and 500 ± 30 °C. The Vestgötabreen Complex provides evidence for an early Ordovician modern-style subduction system in the proximity of the Baltica margin. Hence, this study also supports the tectonic models that favour a mixed Baltican and Laurentian provenance of south-western Svalbard.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number61
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • Blueschist
  • Eclogite
  • High-pressure low-temperature metamorphism
  • Monazite
  • Svalbard
  • Vestgötabreen Complex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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