Ion microprobe U-Th-Pb geochronology and study of micro-inclusions in zircon from the Himalayan high- and ultrahigh-pressure eclogites, Kaghan Valley of Pakistan


We report ion microprobe U–Th–Pb geochronology of in situ zircon from the Himalayan high- and ultrahigh-pressure eclogites, Kaghan Valley of Pakistan. Combined with the textural features, mineral inclusions, cathodoluminescence image information and the U–Th–Pb isotope geochronology, two types of zircons were recognized in Group I and II eclogites. Zircons in Group I eclogites are of considerably large size (>100 μm up to 500 μm). A few grains are euhederal and prismatic, show oscillatory zoning with distinct core–rim luminescence pattern. Several other grains show irregular morphology, mitamictization, embayment and boundary truncations. They contain micro-inclusions such as muscovite, biotite, quartz and albite. Core or middle portions of zircons from Group I eclogites yielded concordant U–Th–Pb age of 267.6 ± 2.4 Ma (MSWD = 8.5), have higher U and Th contents with a Th/U ratio > 1, indicating typical magmatic core domains. Middle and rim or outer portions of these zircons contain inclusions of garnet, omphacite, phengite and these portions show no clear zonation. They yielded discordant values ranging between 210 and 71 Ma, indicating several thermal or Pb-loss events during their growth and recrystalization prior to or during the Himalayan eclogite-facies metamorphism. Zircons in Group II eclogites are smaller in size, prismatic to oval, display patchy or sector zoning and contain abundant inclusions of garnet, omphacite, phengite, quartz, rutile and carbonates. They yielded concordant U–Th–Pb age of 44.9 ± 1.2 Ma (MSWD = 4.9). The lower U and Th contents and a lower Th/U ratio (<0.05) in these zircons suggest their formation from the recrystallization of the older zircons during the Himalayan high and ultrahigh-pressure eclogite-facies metamorphism.

Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, v. 63, no. 2, p. 179-196,