Ti diffusion in quartz inclusions: Implications for metamorphic time scales

Frank S. Spear, Kyle T. Ashley, Laura E. Webb, Jay B. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Quartz inclusions in garnet from samples collected from the staurolite zone in central New England are zoned in cathodoluminescence (CL). The CL intensity is interpreted to be a proxy for Ti concentration and the zoning attributed to Ti diffusion into the quartz grains driven by Ti exchange between quartz and enclosing garnet as a function of changing temperature. The CL zoning has been interpreted using a numerical diffusion model to constrain the time scales over which the diffusion has occurred. Temperature-time histories are sensitive to the presumed peak temperature but not to other model parameters. The total time of the metamorphic heating and cooling cycle from around 450 °C to the peak temperature (550-600 °C) back to 450 °C is surprisingly short and encompasses only 0. 2-2 million years for peak temperatures of 600-550 °C. The metamorphism was accompanied by large-scale nappe and dome formation, and it is suggested that this occurred as a consequence of in-sequence thrusting resulting in a mid-crustal ductile duplex structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)977-986
Number of pages10
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Cathodoluminescence
  • Quartz
  • Ti diffusion
  • TitaniQ
  • Vermont metamorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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