Metamorphic history of skarns, origin of their protolith and implications for genetic interpretation; an example from three units of the Bohemian Massif
Skarns in the Svratka Unit, in the neighbouring part of the Moldanubian Zone and in the Kutná Hora Complex were studied with respect to their metamorphic evolution, major- and trace-element geochemistry, oxygen isotopic composition and zircon ages. Skarns form competent lenses and layers in metamorphosed siliciclastic rocks and preserve some early deformation structures and several equilibrium assemblages representing the products of successive metamorphic reactions. The main rock-forming minerals, garnet and clinopyroxene, are accompanied by less abundant magnetite, amphibole, plagioclase, epidote ± quartz. In the Svratka Unit the early prograde M1, prograde/peak M2, and retrograde M3 metamorphic stages have been distinguished.
Metamorphic conditions in skarns of the Moldanubian Zone are limited to a relatively narrow interval of amphibolite facies. The prograde and retrograde events in the Kutná Hora Complex skarns probably took place under amphibolite-facies conditions.
The presence of magnetite and the increasing proportion of the andradite component in the garnet indicate locally increased oxygen fugacity.
Skarn geochemistry does not show systematic differences in the skarn composition among the three units. The regional variations are exceeded by differences among samples from individual localities. The Al2O3/TiO2, Al2O3/Zr, TiO2/Nb ratios point to the variable proportion of the detrital material, combined in skarn protoliths with CaO and FeO, the major non-detrital components. The skarns exhibit elevated abundances of Cu, Zn, Sn and As. The Eu/Eu* ratio varies in the range of 0.5-8.6, the total REE contents vary from 8 to 345 ppm. The lowest ΣREE values (< 100 ppm) occur in skarns with magnetite mineralization. The wide intervals of ΣREE and Eu/Eu* values are interpreted to indicate variations in the temperature and redox conditions among layers of the same locality and at various localities.
The oxygen isotope compositions of garnets, pyroxenes and amphiboles from skarns of the Svratka Unit exhibits a range of δ18O = 0.1 to 4.1 ‰. In situ (laser-ablation ICP-MS) U-Pb dating of zircon from one of the Svratka Unit skarn bodies yielded a wide range of ages (0.5-2.6 Ga), supporting the detrital origin of this zircon population.
The skarn protoliths were probably rocks of mixed detrital-exhalative origin deposited on the sea floor.
The geological position of skarns, with their structural and metamorphic record, probably reflect tectono-metamorphic evolution shared with that of their host rocks. The geochemical characteristics, including oxygen isotopic compositions and the presence of detrital zircons with a wide range of ages exclude metasomatic, and point to a sedimentary-exhalative mode of origin for the studied skarns.
IF (ISI, 2019): 1.279
5 YEAR IF (ISI, 2019): 1.45
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