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Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 42 (2011) 306315

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Journal of Asian Earth Sciences


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/jseaes

Metamorphic PT evolution of garnetkyanitestaurolite schist and garnet


amphibolite from Bodonch area, western Mongolian Altai: Geothermobarometry
and mineral equilibrium modeling
Oyun-Erdene Zorigtkhuu a,b,, Toshiaki Tsunogae a,c, Batulzii Dash b
a
b
c

Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8572, Japan
School of Geology and Petroleum Engineering, Mongolian University of Science and Technology, Ulaanbaatar 46-654, Mongolia
Department of Geology, University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park 2006, South Africa

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:
Available online 23 June 2011
Keywords:
Garnetkyanitestaurolite schist
Amphibolite
PT condition
Geothermobarometry
Mineral equilibrium modeling
Altai Orogeny
Central Asian Orogenic Belt
Mongolia

a b s t r a c t
We report the rst detailed petrological data from the pelitic schists and amphibolites of Bodonch area,
southwestern Mongolia, which occupies a signicant part of the Paleozoic history of the Altai Orogen
in the southwestern margin of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt (or Altaids), and discuss
pressuretemperature (PT) evolution of the area. The dominant mineral assemblages of pelitic schist
in Bodonch area are garnet + kyanite + staurolite + biotite + paragonite, garnet + biotite + staurolite +
cordierite, and garnet + biotite + sillimanite with quartz, plagioclase, and ilmenite, while amphibolite
contains calcic amphibole + quartz + plagioclase + garnet + ilmenite assemblage. Application of geothermobarometers and mineral equilibrium modeling on kyanite-bearing pelitic schists yielded peak PT
conditions of 640690 C/6.310.7 kbar. Slightly lower conditions were obtained from sillimanite-bearing schist (580600 C/3.64.5 kbar) and amphibolite (560570 C/3.03.5 kbar). The peak high-pressure
amphibolite-facies condition and clockwise PT evolution of Bodonch area estimated for the rst time in
this study is consistent with available reports of PT conditions from other localities in the Altai Orogeny
outside Mongolia. For instance, PT conditions of 630 C/8.7 kbar estimated for kyanite-bearing pelitic
schists (garnet + biotite + staurolite + kyanite + quartz) from Xinjiang in Chinese Altai, which is about
340 km WNW from our locality along the regional structure, are comparable with our results. We suggest
both Bodonch and Xinjiang areas in the Altai Orogeny underwent a similar metamorphism possibly
related to regional accretionary and collisional evolution of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt.
2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction
The Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB), also known as Altaids
(Sengr et al., 1993), located between the Archean Siberian Craton
to the north and the Tarim and North China Cratons to the south is
regarded as one of the largest accretionary and collisional orogenic
belts in the world (Fig. 1). Available petrological and geochemical
studies as well as age data from the CAOB (from 1000 to 250 Ma)
suggest that the orogenic belt probably corresponds to a long-lived
accretionary complex related to subduction of North China oceanic
plate beneath the Siberian Craton and the nal collision of the
Tarim and North China Cratons during Permian and closure of
the ocean (see Xiao et al., 2010, and references therein; Ao et al.,
2010; Rojas-Agramonte et al., 2011; Glorie et al., 2011). However,
detailed tectonic style of the belt is still controversial, and several
Corresponding author at: Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences,
University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8572, Japan.
E-mail address: oyuk_m@yahoo.com (O.-E. Zorigtkhuu).
1367-9120/$ - see front matter 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.jseaes.2011.04.026

models have been proposed including; long-lived single subduction system (Sengr et al., 1993; Sengr and Natalin, 1996), a collage of various terranes with multiple subduction systems
(Coleman, 1989; Mossakovsky et al., 1994; Xiao et al., 1994; Buslov
et al., 2001, 2003; Windley et al., 2002; Badarch et al., 2002), and
huge chains of double arcbackarc pairs (Yakubchuk et al., 2002;
Yakubchuk, 2004).
The Altai Orogen in the southwestern margin of the CAOB
extends from Russia and East Kazakhstan to the west, through
Northern China, to southeastern Mongolia to the east. It contains
various volcano-sedimentary rocks that were deformed and metamorphosed under various pressuretemperature (PT) conditions
from greenschist to amphibolite and partly granulite facies (Coleman, 1989; Windley et al., 2002; Chen et al., 2006). Southwestern
Mongolia occupies a signicant part of the Paleozoic history of the
Altai Orogen as the area contains various lithological units which
are traditionally subdivided as cratonic blocks, island arcs,
accretionary wedges, and ophiolite belts. Although several investigations on metamorphic rocks across Mongolia have been

O.-E. Zorigtkhuu et al. / Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 42 (2011) 306315

307

Fig. 1. (a) Schematic geological map of the study area around Bodonch (modied after Marinov et al., 1973). (1) Quaternary sediment; (2) Devonian metasediment; (3)
Devonian and Carboniferous vulcanite; (4) Cambrian ysch; (5) late Permian intrusion; (6) upper Devonian intrusion; (7) faults; (8) schistosity; (9) study area; (10) village
center; (11) river; (12) international border. (b) Simplied tectonic map of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt and adjacent cratons (modied after Jahn et al., 2000).

conducted for the last three decades, detailed petrological work on


the metamorphic rocks is rare. Recently geochronological data and
tectono-stratigraphic reconstructions of metamorphic rocks in the
Mongolian Altai Orogen have been assembled particularly for the

southwestern part of Mongolia (Bibikova et al., 1992; Badarch


and Tomurtogoo, 2001; Badarch et al., 2002; Buchan et al., 2002;
Khain et al., 2002, 2003; Kovach et al., 2005; Helo et al., 2006).
However, in these studies the metamorphic rocks are often classi-

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O.-E. Zorigtkhuu et al. / Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 42 (2011) 306315

ed simply as metamorphic terrane without any detailed petrological investigations. In this paper we report the rst detailed petrographical and mineralogical data on the various metamorphic
rocks from several localities in Bodonch area, which corresponds
to the southwestern margin of the Altai Orogen in Mongolia, and
describe mineral assemblages and compositions for dominant
lithologies. We also apply various geothermobarometers and
pseudosection approach, and discuss PT history of the study area.
Our results will provide useful information for understanding tectonothermal evolution of the Altai Orogen in Mongolia.

litemuscovite assemblage in metapelites. Similar garnetkyanitestaurolite assemblage has also been reported recently by
Kozakov et al. (2007), Zorigtkhuu et al. (2008), and Nakano et al.
(2010) from Bodonch and adjacent areas, but no detailed quantitative PT calculations have been done. In this study we examined
several major lithologies including garnetbiotite schist, biotite
staurolite schist, two-mica schist, garnet anthophyllite schist, and
amphibolite collected from the central (amphibolite-facies) part
of Bodonch area.
3. Petrography

2. Geological background
The Altai Orogeny in southwest Mongolia extends over 500 km
from the Altai Range to the Gobi Altai area. In the context of traditional terrain tectonics (Badarch et al., 2002) the belt belongs to the
Tseel terrain and is classied as a metamorphic belt with uncertain
afnity. The metamorphic rocks of the Altai Range in western Mongolia were investigated during a regional mapping project, which
reported the occurrence of low- to medium-grade metamorphic
rocks including various schists (metasediments) and intercalated
amphibolites (metavolcanics). The Tseel terrane is composed of a
chain of blocks such as (from west to east) Bulgan, Bodonch, Barlag,
Tseel, and Tsogt (Kozakov et al., 2002). The study area (Bodonch),
located approximately 1200 km southwest from capital city Ulaanbaatar, corresponds to the central part of Mongolian Altai domain of the Altai Orogen.
Although the age of the metamorphic rocks in the Mongolian
Altai domain has been regarded as Proterozoic in available geological maps of Mongolia, recent geochronological studies of zircons
in granitoids and metamorphic rocks from crystalline complexes
of the Mongolian Altai obtained high-T (up to granulite facies)
metamorphic age of about 385 Ma, which was followed by low-T
amphibolite-facies event of approximately 360370 Ma (Bibikova
et al., 1992; Kozakov et al., 2002). A similar metamorphic age of
373 2 Ma has also been reported from the Altai sector of China
(Kozakov et al., 2007). Detrital zircons in metasediments from Bodonch area gave 458 4.5 Ma UPb ages as the maximum depositional age of the protolith sediments (Kozakov et al., 2009).
Several PT conditions have been estimated from the Mongolian
Altai and Gobi Altai areas including amphibolite-facies condition of
560660 C/67.9 kbar from Gobi-Altai area (Hrdlickov et al.,
2008) and granulite-facies condition of 870 C/5.7 kbar from the
Tsogt block in the Mongolian Altai (Kozakov et al., 2002).
The metamorphic complex of Bodonch area is situated between
two major fault zones (Turgen fault zone to the north and Bulgan
fault zone to the south) which separate the study area from nonmetamorphosed rocks (sedimentary sequence with intrusives of
Caledonides and DevonianCarboniferous volcanogenic-sedimentary sequence of the South Mongolian Hercynides, respectively)
(Fig. 1a). The whole complex is intruded by post-metamorphic granitic dikes ranging from 1 m to several tens of meters in thickness. The Bodonch area is composed dominantly of metapelites
(meta-greywacke) with minor interbedded metavolcanics
(amphibolite) and metacherts. The rocks are unaltered, and often
show obvious EW trending foliation dened by aligned micas
and amphiboles dipping northward. Isoclinal folding of various
scales can be seen throughout the study area. Metamorphic grade
generally increases from greenschist facies in the southern part of
Bodonch area to amphibolite facies in the central part, and again
decreases to greenschist facies to the north. Kozakov (1986) reported early medium-pressure kyanitesillimanite stage and subsequent low-pressure andalusitesillimanite stage associated
with local migmatization, and inferred peak amphibolite-facies
metamorphism on the basis of garnetkyanitebiotitestauro-

Pelitic schists and amphibolites discussed in this study were


collected from the area about 15  7 km in Bodonch area. Below
we briey summarize the petrographic features of representative
rocks. Although we have more than ten different lithologies in
the study area, we selected four representative rock types (six samples), which contain mineral assemblages suitable for PT calculations and pseudosection approach. The textural characteristics of
these rocks are shown in Fig. 2. Mineral assemblages and approximate modal abundances of minerals are listed in Table 1. Mineral
name abbreviations are after Kretz (1983).
3.1. GrtKySt schist
This lithology is characterized by the occurrence of equilibrium
garnet + kyanite + staurolite assemblage in the matrix of quartz,
plagioclase, and biotite. It is strongly to moderately foliated as dened by aligned biotite and kyanite. The mineralogy of a representative sample (sample 446) is quartz (5060%), garnet (1520%),
kyanite (1318%), staurolite (1015%), white mica (paragonite)
(58%), and plagioclase (25%) with accessory biotite, ilmenite,
and rutile (Fig. 2a and b). Quartz is the most dominant mineral
and is very coarse grained (up to 1 cm). Garnet occurs as coarsegrained (8 mm) subidioblastic porphyroblasts, and contains
ne-grained inclusions of rutile (0.11.3 mm), ilmenite (0.01
0.20 mm), and rare tourmaline (0.010.10 mm). Kyanite is also
coarse grained (up to 3 mm), sub- to xenoblastic (Fig. 2a), and often
intergrowing with paragonite (Fig. 2c). It also contains numerous
ne-grained inclusions of rutile (0.020.04 mm), quartz (0.01
0.04 mm), and staurolite (0.10.4 mm) (Fig. 2d). Pale-yellowish
staurolite (0.24 mm) in the matrix occurs as subidioblastic porphyroblasts and often contains ne-grained (0.020.1 mm) ilmenite. Brownish biotite (0.20.8 mm) is present along grain
boundaries of kyanite, quartz, and garnet, or as inclusions in kyanite (Fig. 2b). Plagioclase is a minor mineral and sometimes occurs
together with kyanite and garnet. As discussed in a later section,
we adopted garnetkyaniteplagioclasequartz and garnetbiotite
assemblages in the rocks for PT calculations. Sample 445/1 has a
similar texture but it contains more biotite and staurolite, and
shows stronger foliation.
3.2. GrtCrdSt schist
The lithology is a schistose rock and characterized by the occurrence of porphyroblastic cordierite and the absence of aluminosilicate. Sample 05-128 is composed of quartz (3040%), garnet (25
35%), biotite (1520%), cordierite (510%), ilmenite (25%), and
staurolite (12%) with accessory plagioclase, ilmenite, and zircon
(Fig. 2e). Quartz (0.10.8 mm) is the most dominant mineral in
the matrix. Garnet is coarse grained (7 mm) and poikiloblastic,
and contains numerous inclusions of quartz (0.030.3 mm) and
ilmenite (0.050.4 mm). Biotite is brownish and medium grained
(0.52.5 mm), and contains ne-grained (0.020.04 mm) zircon
and rare ilmenite. Cordierite is subhedral, and occurs as porphyro-

O.-E. Zorigtkhuu et al. / Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 42 (2011) 306315

309

Fig. 2. Photomicrographs showing representative textural relationship of minerals in pelitic schists and amphibolite from Bodonch area. All photographs were taken by
polarized light. (a) Porphyroblastic garnet, kyanite, and staurolite in the matrix of quartz and biotite in GrtKySt schist (sample 446). (b) Staurolite-free part of GrtKySt
schist, where garnet, coarse-grained kyanite, biotite, and quartz are stable (sample 446). (c) Intergrowth of white mica (paragonite) and kyanite in sample 446 (GrtKySt
schist). (d) Staurolite included in kyanite in sample 446 (GrtKySt schist). (e) Porphyroblastic garnet in the matrix of ne-grained biotite, cordierite, quartz, and staurolite in
GrtCrdSt schist (sample 05-128). (f) Porphyroblastic cordierite that contains quartz and ilmenite inclusions (sample 05-128). (g) Subidioblastic garnet surrounded by
brolitic sillimanite, brownish biotite, plagioclase, and quartz assemblage in GrtBtSil schist (sample 24-8). (h) Poikiloblastic garnet and matrix subidioblastic amphibole
and plagioclase in amphibolite (sample 24-9).

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Table 1
Mineral assemblages of studied schists with approximate abundance.
Sample No.
24-8
24-11c
05-122
05-124
05-126
05-128
05-133
05-134
443-2
445
446
24-9

Rock type*
6
2
5
3
2
7
4
4
2
2
1
8

Grt

Ky

Qtz

Crd

St

++
++

+++, +
+

00

++
+++,00 +
+++
+++

+
+

+
++
+
+++
+++

++

Chl

++, +
++
+++
++
+++

+++
+++
+++

Bt
00

+++

++
+++
++
+

Ath

00

+++,00 ++
+

++
+++
++,00 ++
++
+
+
+,00 +
+

++
+++

++
+++
+

Pl
+
+
+
+
+
+

Sil

Ms

Rt

00

++, +

Ilm
+

+
+

00
+
+,00 +
+

+,00 +
++
+
++

+
+

00

+++, abundant; ++, moderate; +, rare; , inclusion in garnet.


1: GrtKySt schist; 2: GrtAth schist; 3: KyAth schist; 4: BtSt schist; 5: AthCrd schist; 6: GrtBtSil schist; 7: GrtStCrd schist; 8: amphibolite.

blast of up to 3 mm (Fig. 2f). Staurolite in this sample is ne


grained (0.11 mm) and scattered in the matrix.

ined rocks. Representative compositions of minerals in the analyzed samples are given in Tables 24.

3.3. GrtBtSil schist

4.1. Garnet

The lithology is characterized by the occurrence of ne-grained


aggregates of sillimanite (brolite) distributed along the rock foliation dened by aligned biotite. Kyanite and staurolite are absent,
suggesting that the rock underwent lower-pressure metamorphism than the kyanite-bearing rocks. This hypothesis is supported
by the results of PT calculations as discussed in a later chapter.
Samples 24-8 and 24-12 are composed of quartz (2535%), garnet
(2030%), biotite (1820%), sillimanite (1518%), and plagioclase
(510%) with accessory ilmenite, zircon, and apatite (Fig. 2g). Garnet is idioblastic to subidioblastic and medium grained (0.1
2 mm), and contains minor inclusions of quartz (0.020.1 mm),
biotite (0.20.5 mm), and sillimanite (0.020.2 mm). The sillimanite inclusions in garnet rim are often aligned along the matrix
foliation dened by aggregates of lepidoblastic biotite and nematoblastic sillimanite. Such foliation often wraps garnet poikiloblasts
(Fig. 2g). Brownish biotite is medium grained (0.013 mm) and
contains ne-grained (0.020.1 mm) inclusions of zircon and
sillimanite. Matrix quartz and plagioclase are medium grained
(0.10.6 mm) and granoblastic.

Garnet in pelitic schists is essentially a solid solution of almandine and pyrope (XMg = Mg/(Fe + Mg) = 0.07  0.27) with low contents of grossular (<12 mol.%) and spessartine (<10 mol.%) except
that in GrtKySt schist (sample 446) in which garnet contains
up to 26 mol.% spessartine (Table 2). There is no signicant compositional difference between core and rim of garnet in most of the
analyzed samples. For example, composition of garnet core in sample 24-8 (GrtBtSil schist) (Alm7677 Prp1718 Grs34 Sps23) is
nearly consistent with that of rim (Alm7718 Prp1617 Grs34 Sps2
3). Garnet in amphibolite also shows similar core (Alm66 Prp1314
Grs14 Sps7) and rim (Alm67 Prp13 Grs14 Sps6) compositions. In
contrast, garnet in sample 446 (GrtKySt schist) shows obvious
increase in almandine + pyrope and decrease in spessartine +
grossular contents from core (Alm56 Prp7 Grs1112 Sps2526) to
rim (Alm66 Prp1415 Grs9 Sps1011).

3.4. Amphibolite
The lithology is a common metabasite in the study area. Fine- to
medium-grained and weakly-foliated calcic amphibole, plagioclase, and quartz are dominant minerals of the lithology. Sample
24-9 is composed of calcic amphibole (4050%), quartz (2030%),
plagioclase (1020%), garnet (12%), and ilmenite (12%)
(Fig. 2h). Greenish pleochroic amphibole is ne-grained
(0.10.9 mm) and subidioblastic, and occurs as subnematoblastic
to randomly-oriented grains. Fine-grained plagioclase and quartz
(0.10.3 mm) are granoblastic and often interstitial to amphibole.
Garnet occurs as coarse-grained (up to 3.2 mm) poikiloblasts with
numerous inclusions of plagioclase, quartz, and ilmenite (Fig. 2h).
4. Mineral chemistry
Chemical analyses of all the minerals were carried out using
WDS electron microprobe analyzers (JEOL JXA8621 and JXA8530F)
at the University of Tsukuba. The analyses were performed under
conditions of 1520 kV accelerating voltage and 10 nA sample
current, and the data were regressed using oxide-ZAF correction
method. Below, we describe mineral chemistry data of the exam-

4.2. Biotite
Biotite in the examined samples is Mg rich (XMg = 0.55  0.71)
and TiO2 poor (<2.0 wt.%) except lepidoblastic biotite in Fe-rich
GrtBtSil schist (sample 24-12; XMg = 0.27). Brownish biotite in
GrtCrdSt schist (sample 05-128) shows the highest XMg (0.71)
and the lowest TiO2 content (<1.3 wt.%) (Table 3).
4.3. Staurolite
Staurolite in the analyzed samples shows consistent Fe-rich
composition (XMg = 0.22  0.27) with up to 1.0 wt.% TiO2 and up
to 0.5 wt.% ZnO (Table 3). Inclusion staurolite in kyanite in sample
446 (GrtKySt schist) is more Fe-rich (XMg = 0.15) than that in the
matrix (XMg = 0.23) in the same sample.
4.4. Other minerals
Plagioclase in pelitic schists is generally albite-rich (Ab6376)
with minor (less than 1%) orthoclase content, while that in
amphibolite (sample 24-9) is more anorthite-rich (Ab89) (Table
4). Calcic amphibole in sample 24-9 is compositionally ferrohornblende (XMg = 0.49  0.50, Si = 6.6  6.7, Na + KA = 0.27  0.28)
after the classication of Leake et al. (1997). Cordierite has a magnesian composition with XMg = 0.80. The analytical totals of cordierite are less than 100% by 12 wt.%, suggesting the presence of
channel-lling volatiles such as CO2 and/or H2O (Table 4). Kyanite

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O.-E. Zorigtkhuu et al. / Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 42 (2011) 306315


Table 2
Representative electron microprobe analyses of garnet (O = 12).

Sample No.
Remarks

446
Core

446
Rim

445/1
Core

445/1
Rim

05-128
Core

05-128
Rim

24-8
Core

24-8
Rim

24-9
Core

24-9
Rim

24-12
Core

24-12
Rim

SiO2
Al2O3
TiO2
Cr2O3
FeO*
MnO
MgO
CaO
Na2O
K2O
ZnO

37.93
21.23
0.00
0.02
24.70
11.42
1.80
3.85
0.00
0.00
0.01

37.65
21.52
0.00
0.04
29.31
4.39
3.62
3.15
0.00
0.01
0.00

38.41
21.25
0.04
0.03
30.54
4.27
4.10
2.22
0.00
0.00
0.06

38.09
21.64
0.02
0.01
29.48
4.03
3.79
2.26
0.00
0.00
0.00

38.99
22.08
0.02
0.02
31.37
0.61
6.46
2.62
0.00
0.00
0.00

39.03
22.35
0.00
0.00
31.33
0.54
6.20
2.21
0.04
0.02
0.00

36.59
21.10
0.03
0.06
34.68
1.35
4.47
1.19
0.02
0.00
0.05

36.68
21.24
0.00
0.00
35.65
0.79
4.22
1.54
0.04
0.02
0.03

39.12
21.57
0.00
0.00
29.75
3.15
3.29
4.76
0.00
0.00
0.00

38.88
21.78
0.01
0.03
30.13
2.57
3.25
4.87
0.02
0.00
0.07

36.82
21.18
0.00
0.03
36.04
3.05
1.67
1.46
0.04
0.00
0.00

37.38
21.46
0.03
0.00
36.99
2.38
1.67
0.90
0.00
0.01
0.00

Total

100.96

99.69

100.92

99.31

102.16

101.72

99.53

100.20

101.63

101.61

100.29

100.83

Si
Al
Ti
Cr
Fe2+
Mn
Mg
Ca
Na
K
Zn

3.023
1.994
0.000
0.001
1.646
0.771
0.214
0.328
0.000
0.000
0.001

3.004
2.024
0.000
0.002
1.955
0.297
0.430
0.269
0.000
0.001
0.000

3.029
1.975
0.003
0.002
2.014
0.285
0.482
0.187
0.000
0.000
0.003

3.035
2.032
0.001
0.001
1.964
0.272
0.450
0.193
0.000
0.000
0.000

2.995
1.998
0.001
0.001
2.014
0.039
0.739
0.216
0.001
0.000
0.000

3.005
2.028
0.000
0.000
2.017
0.035
0.711
0.182
0.006
0.002
0.000

2.953
2.006
0.002
0.004
2.340
0.092
0.537
0.103
0.002
0.000
0.003

2.946
2.011
0.000
0.000
2.394
0.054
0.505
0.133
0.006
0.002
0.002

3.051
1.982
0.000
0.000
1.939
0.208
0.382
0.397
0.000
0.000
0.000

3.033
2.002
0.001
0.002
1.965
0.170
0.378
0.407
0.003
0.000
0.004

2.987
2.025
0.000
0.002
2.444
0.210
0.202
0.127
0.006
0.000
0.000

3.008
2.034
0.002
0.000
2.488
0.162
0.201
0.078
0.000
0.001
0.000

Total

7.979

7.983

7.980

7.947

8.005

7.986

8.042

8.052

7.959

7.966

8.003

7.974

Mg/(Fe + Mg)
Alm (%)
Prp (%)
Grs (%)
Sps (%)

0.11
55.6
7.2
11.1
26.0

0.18
66.2
14.6
9.1
10.1

0.19
67.9
16.2
6.3
9.6

0.19
68.2
15.6
6.7
9.4

0.27
66.9
24.6
7.2
1.3

0.26
68.5
24.1
6.2
1.2

0.19
76.2
17.5
3.4
3.0

0.17
77.6
16.4
4.3
1.7

0.16
66.3
13.0
13.6
7.1

0.16
67.3
12.9
13.9
5.8

0.08
82.0
6.8
4.2
7.0

0.07
85.0
6.8
2.7
5.5

Total Fe as FeO.

Table 3
Representative electron microprobe analyses of biotite (O = 22) and staurolite (O = 46).
Sample No.
Mineral name
Remarks

446
Bt

445/1
Bt

05-128
Bt

24-8
Bt

24-12
Bt

446
St
Matrix

446
St
In Ky

445/1
St

05-128
St

SiO2
Al2O3
TiO2
Cr2O3
FeO*
MnO
MgO
ZnO
CaO
Na2O
K2O

37.18
19.11
1.57
0.12
15.82
0.13
10.74
0.06
0.08
0.30
8.45

37.43
19.19
1.51
0.05
15.74
0.10
11.67
0.00
0.06
0.31
8.60

38.59
18.32
1.25
0.01
11.92
0.00
16.27
0.00
0.00
0.37
8.52

34.63
19.27
2.01
0.02
16.98
0.04
11.53
0.11
0.00
0.39
8.14

33.12
17.74
3.49
0.03
24.48
0.02
5.21
0.12
0.02
0.11
8.91

27.41
55.23
0.45
0.06
11.93
0.25
1.98
0.41
0.01
0.07
0.00

28.07
54.75
0.96
0.00
11.79
0.18
1.12
0.26
0.00
0.00
0.00

28.70
53.72
0.79
0.00
13.12
0.29
2.03
0.18
0.00
0.01
0.01

28.59
55.34
0.46
0.05
11.48
0.05
2.43
0.50
0.00
0.01
0.00

Total

93.56

94.63

95.26

93.11

93.25

97.79

97.13

98.85

98.90

Si
Al
Ti
Cr
Fe2+
Mn
Mg
Zn
Ca
Na
K
Total
Mg/(Fe + Mg)
*

Total Fe as FeO.

5.611
3.399
0.178
0.014
1.996
0.016
2.414
0.006
0.012
0.086
1.627

5.581
3.371
0.169
0.005
1.962
0.012
2.591
0.000
0.010
0.088
1.634

5.606
3.136
0.136
0.001
1.447
0.000
3.521
0.000
0.000
0.103
1.579

5.312
3.484
0.232
0.002
2.178
0.005
2.636
0.012
0.000
0.116
1.591

5.317
3.357
0.422
0.004
3.287
0.002
1.246
0.014
0.003
0.034
1.823

7.564
17.958
0.094
0.012
2.753
0.059
0.813
0.084
0.002
0.037
0.000

7.768
17.852
0.199
0.000
2.727
0.043
0.463
0.052
0.001
0.000
0.001

7.862
17.340
0.163
0.000
3.003
0.067
0.829
0.036
0.001
0.006
0.002

7.766
17.711
0.093
0.010
2.607
0.010
0.981
0.100
0.000
0.006
0.000

15.360

15.423

15.530

15.567

15.509

29.376

29.107

29.309

29.284

0.55

0.57

0.71

0.55

0.27

0.23

0.15

0.22

0.27

312

O.-E. Zorigtkhuu et al. / Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 42 (2011) 306315

Table 4
Representative electron microprobe analyses of plagioclase (O = 8), cordierite (O = 18) and kyanite (O = 5).
Sample No.
Mineral name

446
Pl

445/1
Pl

24-12
Pl

24-8
Pl

24-9
Pl

05-128
Crd

SiO2
Al2O3
TiO2
Cr2O3
Fe2O3
FeO
MnO
MgO
CaO
Na2O
K2O

58.93
26.07
0.00
0.00

59.40
24.85
0.05
0.01

62.67
23.09
0.00
0.00

61.05
24.39
0.00
0.00

46.16
34.78
0.00
0.04

49.47
33.39
0.00
0.05

0.04
0.00
0.03
7.33
6.93
0.06

0.09
0.00
0.02
6.78
7.86
0.03

0.00
0.00
0.02
4.60
8.64
0.20

0.05
0.02
0.01
6.61
7.66
0.07

0.08
0.02
0.01
18.49
0.89
0.01

Total

99.40

99.08

99.21

99.95

100.49

446
Ky

445/1
Ky

38.15
62.82
0.00
0.00
0.11

36.82
62.65
0.00
0.08
0.10

4.79
0.04
10.60
0.02
0.30
0.00

0.00
0.00
0.01
0.04
0.01

0.00
0.01
0.03
0.00
0.00

98.64

101.14

99.69

Si
Al
Ti
Cr
Fe3+
Fe2+
Mn
Mg
Ca
Na
K

2.639
1.376
0.000
0.000
0.000
0.001
0.000
0.002
0.352
0.602
0.003

2.673
1.317
0.002
0.000
0.000
0.003
0.000
0.001
0.327
0.686
0.001

2.792
1.212
0.000
0.000
0.000
0.000
0.000
0.002
0.219
0.745
0.011

2.716
1.279
0.000
0.000
0.000
0.002
0.001
0.000
0.315
0.660
0.004

2.115
1.877
0.000
0.001
0.000
0.003
0.001
0.001
0.907
0.079
0.000

4.999
3.975
0.000
0.004
0.000
0.404
0.003
1.595
0.002
0.059
0.000

1.017
1.974
0.000
0.000
0.002
0.000
0.000
0.000
0.000
0.002
0.000

0.997
1.999
0.000
0.002
0.002
0.000
0.000
0.000
0.001
0.000
0.000

Total

4.975

5.010

4.981

4.976

4.985

11.041

2.996

3.001

Mg/(Fe + Mg)
An (%)
Ab (%)
Or (%)

0.80
36.8
62.9
0.4

32.2
67.6
0.1

22.5
76.4
1.1

32.2
67.5
0.4

92.0
8.0
0.0

is close to the ideal chemistry with up to 0.1 wt.% Fe2O3 and Cr2O3
(Table 4).
5. Metamorphic PT conditions
Available geothermobarometers were applied to determine
peak and retrograde metamorphic conditions of the pelitic schists
and amphibolites. Below, we briey summarize the results of PT
calculations. The calculated PT conditions are shown in Fig. 3.
5.1. GrtBt geothermometer
The FeMg exchange between garnet and biotite is probably the
most widely used thermometer for estimating temperatures for
medium-grade pelitic metamorphic rocks. Among the numerous
published thermometers based on experimental studies (e.g., Ferry
and Spear, 1978) and empirical calibrations of ideal (e.g., Thompson, 1976) and non-ideal (e.g., Hodges and Spear, 1982; Ganguly
and Saxena, 1984; Indares and Martignole, 1985) behaviors of garnet and biotite, we adopted the method of Kaneko and Miyano
(2004) that consider the effect of Fe3+ and AlIV contents in biotite.
Application of the thermometer to porphyroblastic garnet and matrix biotite in several metasediments (e.g., samples 24-8, 24-12,
446 and 445/1) yielded a temperature range of 590650 C at
7 kbar. Application of other methods (e.g., Hodges and Spear,
1982) also gave consistent temperatures around 600 C.
5.2. GrtSil/KyPlQtz (GASP) geobarometer
GASP geobarometer, which is applicable for garnet + sillimanite/kyanite + plagioclase + quartz assemblage, has been widely
applied to pelitic and psammitic metamorphic rocks. Newton and
Haselton (1981) formulated the geobarometer based on the exper-

Fig. 3. PT diagram showing the results of geothermobarometric calculations for


pelitic schists and amphibolite from Bodonch area. Boxes in the gure indicate PT
conditions estimated using: GrtCrd T: garnetcordierite geothermometer (Kaneko
and Miyano, 2004); GrtBtGASP: garnetbiotite geothermometer (Kaneko and
Miyano, 2004) and garnetaluminosilicateplagioclasequartz geobarometer (Koziol and Newton, 1988); GrtHblGHPQ: garnethornblende geothermometer
(Graham and Powell, 1984) and garnethornblendeplagioclasequartz geobarometer (Kohn and Spear, 1990). Phase relations of aluminosilicates are based on
thermodynamic data of Holland and Powell (1998).

iments of Goldsmith (1980) and the activity model of garnet (Newton et al., 1977) and plagioclase (Newton et al., 1980). Koziol and
Newton (1988) re-settled the experimental data of Newton and
Haselton (1981) and revised the geobarometer. We thus applied
the method of Koziol and Newton (1988) to our rocks and yielded
pressure ranges of 5.86.4 kbar (sample 445/1) and 7.28.1 kbar
(sample 446) at 600 C. Slightly lower pressures were obtained

O.-E. Zorigtkhuu et al. / Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 42 (2011) 306315

from sillimanite-bearing rocks as 3.64.5 kbar (sample 24-8),


which is plotted in the stability eld of sillimanite in Fig. 3. The
application of the method of Newton and Haselton (1981) to the
samples also gave consistent pressure conditions. The pressure
gap between the kyanite-bearing and sillimanite-bearing rocks
might be explained by different PT evolutions as discussed later.
5.3. GrtCrd geothermometer
Although several empirical and experimental calibrations based
on FeMg exchange between garnet and cordierite are introduced
(e.g., Dwivedi et al., 1998; Nichols et al., 1992), we adopted the
method of Kaneko and Miyano (2004) to compare with the results
of garnet and biotite geothermometer. For the calculation, we used
rim of garnet and adjacent cordierite in sample 05-128 (GrtCrdSt
schist), which probably corresponds to the equilibrium assemblage
near the peak stage. The calculated temperatures are 620650 C at
7 kbar, which is broadly consistent with the temperature estimates
of garnetbiotite pairs discussed above (590650 C).
5.4. GrtHblPlQtz geothermobarometer
The FeMg cation exchange between garnet and hornblende
was calibrated as a geothermometer by Graham and Powell
(1984). We applied the method to garnet bearing amphibolite
(sample 24-9) and obtained a temperature range of 550565 C.
Metamorphic pressure of the sample was estimated for garnet
hornblendeplagioclasequartz assemblage as 2.52.6 kbar at
550 C based on the method of Kohn and Spear (1990). The estimated PT conditions are signicantly lower than the results obtained from garnetbiotite assemblage, and probably records
retrograde conditions.
6. Mineral equilibria modeling
6.1. Calculation methods
The peak PT condition of the rocks was constrained using TheriakDomino version 01.08.09 (de Capitani and Brown 1987; de
Capitani and Petrakakis 2010.) with an internally consistent data-

313

set of JUN92 (based on Berman, 1988). This software can be used


for calculating the stable mineral assemblage and phase compositions based on Gibbs Free Energy minimization for a given bulk
composition at specied PT conditions, which can be used to construct rock-specic equilibrium assemblage diagrams (also called
pseudosections). The calculation was made in the system Na2O
CaOK2OFeOMgOAl2O3SiO2H2O (NCKFMASH). Minor components such as Ti, Cr, and Mn were ignored for simplication of
the system. Fe2O3 was not considered because magnetite and
hematite are not observed in our samples, suggesting that peak
metamorphism was relatively in reduced condition. For the calculations, excess water was added as the samples contain biotite and
paragonite as a stable phase.
6.2. Results
6.2.1. GrtKySt schist (sample 446)
The sample contains garnet, biotite, staurolite, kyanite, quartz,
paragonite, plagioclase, and accessory ilmenite. Our petrographical
observations discussed earlier indicate that the peak assemblage is
garnet + biotite + paragonite + staurolite + kyanite + plagioclase +
quartz. The bulk composition in moles of the sample is Si = 94.23,
Al = 3.60, Fe = 0.78, Mg = 0.53, Ca = 0.21, Na = 0.32, and K = 0.32.
The calculated equilibrium phase diagram displays a very narrow
stability eld for the assemblage at 655695 C/10.67.8 kbar
(Fig. 4a), which probably corresponds to the peak metamorphic
conditions of the sample. The result is about 50 C higher than
the results of geothermobarometry.
6.2.2. GrtCrdSt schist (sample 05-128)
This sample contains garnet, biotite, cordierite, staurolite,
quartz, and accessory plagioclase, chlorite, and ilmenite. The dominant assemblage in the matrix, which was probably stable at peak
metamorphism, is regarded to be garnet + biotite + staurolite +
cordierite + plagioclase + quartz, while chlorite is a retrograde mineral and ilmenite is a minor phase. The simplied bulk composition
in moles of this sample is Si = 85.12, Al = 7.05, Fe = 2.26, Mg = 4.24,
Ca = 0.27, Na = 0.18, and K = 0.88. The calculated PT equilibrium
phase diagram displays the stability eld for the assemblage at
635685 C/6.37.3 kbar (Fig. 4b). The condition is also slightly

Fig. 4. PT diagrams showing calculated pseudosections for selected pelitic schists from Bodonch area. Representative stability elds of mineral assemblages are shown in the
gure. (a) GrtKySt schist (sample 446). (b) GrtCrdSt schist (sample 05-128). See text for further discussion. Grt: garnet, St: staurolite, Bt: biotite, Amph: calcic amphibole,
Crd: cordierite, Opx: orthopyroxene, Qtz: quartz, Fs: feldspar, Wm: white mica, Wm2: white mica (two phases), Bt: biotite, Chl: chlorite, Ky: kyanite, Sil: sillimanite.

314

O.-E. Zorigtkhuu et al. / Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 42 (2011) 306315

higher in temperature than the conventional geothermobarometric


results.
7. Concluding discussion
This is the rst detailed report of petrology, mineral chemistry,
geothermobarometry, and mineral equilibria modeling on pelitic
schists and amphibolites from Bodonch area in the southwestern
margin of the Mongolian Altai Orogen. The examined samples contain garnet + kyanite + staurolite + biotite + paragonite +
plagioclase + quartz + ilmenite (GrtKySt schist, sample 446),
garnet + biotite + staurolite + cordierite + plagioclase + quartz +
ilmenite (GrtCrdSt schist, sample 05-128), garnet + biotite +
sillimanite + plagioclase + quartz + ilmenite (GrtBtSil schist,
sample 24-8), and calcic amphibole + quartz + plagioclase +
garnet + ilmenite (garnet amphibolite, sample 24-9) assemblages,
most of which are common assemblages in amphibolite-facies
metamorphic terrane.
Application of conventional geothermobarometers gave metamorphic conditions of 615635 C/8.28.9 kbar from kyanite
bearing pelitic schist samples. Slightly higher PT condition of
640690 C/6.310.7 kbar was obtained by mineral equilibrium
modeling of representative GrtKySt and GrtCrdSt rocks using
Theriak-Domino software (Fig. 4). This is probably due to the effect
of continuous FeMg exchange between ferromagnesian minerals
during retrograde metamorphism. As the minerals adopted for
the pseudosection calculations occur as porphyroblasts or in the
matrix, we regard the PT range in Fig. 4a (655695 C/10.6
7.8 kbar) as the near-peak metamorphic condition. The PT condition obtained from GrtCrdSt schist (sample 05-128) is slightly
low (635685 C/6.37.3 kbar, Fig. 4b), possibly due to a slight difference in bulk rock chemistry. We constructed a clockwise PT
path staring from high-pressure amphibolite facies condition within the stability eld of kyanite (approximately 650 C/9 kbar) possibly through the stability eld of sillimanite by post-peak
decompressional cooling (Fig. 5). The clockwise nature of the path
is supported by the occurrence of retrograde chlorite in sample 05128, which is a stable phase below 630 C at 6.5 kbar (Fig. 4b).
In contrast, PT conditions obtained from sillimanitebearing
pelitic schist (580600 C/3.64.5 kbar) and amphibolite (560
570 C/3.04.5 kbar) are signicantly lower than that from
kyanitebearing pelitic schists. Although both kyanitebearing
and sillimanitebearing pelitic schists were collected from the
same region within 15  7 km, the eld relationship of the two
lithologies is unknown. As there is no evidence of high-pressure
(P > 6 kbar) metamorphism in the GrtBtSil schist, we separately

drew PT trajectory for the sillimanitebearing rocks, starting from


the stability eld of sillimanite (about 600 C/4 kbar). The two contrasting PT path from Bodonch area suggests that the region
might be composed of several crustal blocks with different PT histories. Further detailed eld geological survey as well as petrological and mineralogical studies will be necessary to fully understand
the evolution of this region.
The mineral assemblages, PT conditions, and PT path of Bodonch area obtained in this study were compared with those from
other localities within the Altai Orogeny. There are several petrological reports of metamorphic rocks in Mongolia and also from
China. For instance, PT conditions estimated for mica schists in
Unegt-Uul, Chandman Khayrkhan, Khan Khayrkhan Crystalline
Complex of Gobi-Altai terrane, southwestern Mongolia are 560
660 C/67.9 kbar for pelitic rocks and 570760 C/6.27.5 kbar
for amphibolites (Hrdlickov et al., 2008). A similar condition of
630 C/8.7 kbar was obtained from garnet + biotite + staurolite + kyanite + quartz assemblage within kyanite zone of Xinjiang
region in Chinese Altai (Wei et al., 2007), which is located about
340 km ENE from Bodonch area along the regional structure. The
PT path of Xinjiang region after Wei et al. (2007) is shown in
Fig. 5, which is nearly consistent with our path of kyanite-bearing
rocks. According to a resent tectonic model of the CAOB by Xiao
et al. (2010), both Bodonch and Xinjiang regions are located within
Altai Arc which was probably present between Siberian and Tarim Cratons during Ordovician to Late Paleozoic. Similar lithological
and PT characters from the two regions suggest that Bodonch and
Xinjiang regions are major constituents of the Altai Arc and they
could have underwent a similar metamorphism, possibly related
to regional accretionary and collisional evolution of the Central
Asian Orogenic Belt. Such prograde high-pressure metamorphism
and subsequent decompression/cooling along a clockwise PT trajectory have been reported for high-grade metamorphic rocks from
suture zones worldwide. For example, recent petrological studies
on Gondwana suture zones in southern India demonstrated prograde high-pressure (P > 12 kbar) metamorphism followed by peak
ultrahigh-temperature (1000 C at 810 kbar) event and subsequent cooling as inferred from sapphirine + quartz corona around
magnesian staurolite within garnet in MgAl-rich rocks (e.g.,
Tsunogae and Santosh, 2011). A clockwise PT evolution inferred
from the rocks is probably related to deep subduction and following continentcontinent collision (e.g., Santosh et al., 2009).
Although peak metamorphic conditions obtained in this study
are lower than that from southern India, clockwise PT paths obtained in this study suggests that Bodonch area might correspond
to shallower crustal level of the Paleozoic suture zone in central
Asia.
Acknowledgements
We thank Prof. M. Santosh and Dr. T.R.K. Chetty, guest editors of
special issue Suture zones, and two anonymous reviewers for constructive and helpful comments. We also thank Dr. N. Nishida for
his support on microprobe analysis. Partial funding for this project
was produced by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientic Research (A) and (B)
from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science,
and Technology (MEXT) to Tsunogae (Nos. 20340148 and
22403017) and Prof. Y. Osanai (No. 21253008).
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Fig. 5. PT diagram showing PT conditions and paths for pelitic schists and
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