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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences


Publication details for Professor Yaoling Niu

Zhang, G.B., Ellis, D.J., Christy, A.G. Zhang,L.F. Niu, Yaoling & Song, S.G. (2009). UHP metamorphic evolution of coesite-bearing eclogite from the Yuka terrane, North Qaidam UHPM belt, NW China. European Journal of Mineralogy 21(6): 1287-1300.

Author(s) from Durham


Coesite, recognized petrographically and confirmed by Raman spectroscopy, is reported from a coarse-grained eclogite from the Yuka terrane, North Qaidam UHP metamorphic belt. This represents the first record of UHP metamorphism in the western part of this belt. In addition, inclusions of Ab + Qtz assemblage in garnet with strong evidence for volume expansion may have derived from a Jd + Coe precursor or omphacite decomposition related reactions. Two types of eclogite, coarse-grained and fine-grained, are exposed in the Yuka terrane. The eclogites experienced three distinguishable metamorphic stages: (1) a pre-peak metamorphic stage recorded by the mineral assemblage of Amp + Pl + Qtz in the garnet core at P = 0.8-1.0 GPa, T = 450-560 °C for the coarse-grained eclogite and P = 1.0-1.2 GPa, T = 450-510 °C for the fine-grained eclogite, and by the mineral assemblage of Cpx + Phn in the garnet mantle at P = 2.25-2.65 GPa, T = 550-610 °C for the coarse-grained eclogite; (2) the peak stage characterized by the mineral assemblage of Grt + Omp + Phn + Qtz/Coe + Rt at P = 3.01 GPa, T = 652 °C for the coarse-grained eclogite, and Grt + Omp + Phn + Rt + Qtz at P = 2.9-3.2 GPa, T = 566-613°C for the fine-grained eclogite; and (3) a retrograde stage recorded by the garnet reaction rims, the breakdown of omphacite, and the pervasive retrograde mineral assemblage of Grt + Amp + Pl + Qtz at P = 0.7-1.1 GPa, T =550-590 °C for the coarse-grained eclogite. The coesite inclusion and the calculated P-T paths suggest that the Yuka UHPM terrane experienced fast and deep subduction (~ 100 km) at a cool geothermal gradient (6-7°C/km) followed by rapid exhumation.