Metamorphic monazite and the generation of P-T-t paths

Gavin Lee Foster, R. R. Parrish

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Monazite is the mineral of choice in pelitic rocks for providing time constraints on metamorphic rocks and metamorphic processes. However, unlike rock-forming mineral chronometers such as garnet, the petrogenesis of monazite is relatively poorly understood. Consequently, although it is possible to generate precise monazite ages, the significance of the age in metamorphic rocks is often uncertain. In this contribution, we show how the petrogenesis of monazite can be linked to pressure and temperature information. Four complementary approaches, each illustrated by examples, are discussed: (i) the textural relationships of accessory minerals are used to relate the petrogenesis of monazite to that of the rock-forming mineral assemblage, and through this to P-T; (ii) monazite composition, in particular Y content, is used to relate monazite to the rock-forming mineral assemblage, and thus, to P-T; (iii) the bulk compositional control on monazite stability has been empirically determined and this relationship allows the temperature of initial monazite growth to be estimated in a given bulk composition; (iv) monazite-xenotime thermometry is utilized to provide estimates of the temperature of monazite growth. Either individually or combined, these approaches successfully enable monazite age data to be placed in a P-T framework.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)25-47
    JournalGeological Society Special Publications
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


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