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1.

7 METAMORPHICS
The NHO is associated with very low- to high-grade metamorphic rocks composed of
mafic volcanics and pelagic sediments. The fascinating features of mineralogical changes
captured in the metabasites, meta-arenites and meta-cherts developed at a converging
plate boundary are presented in this section
1.7.1

METABASIC

1.7.1.1 Very Low-Temperature Metamorphics: Zeolite and Prehnite-Chlorite Facies


Epidote-Chlorite-Natrolite-Albite Association
The earliest stage of metamorphism of basalt is observed in the very low-T zeolite facies
rocks that show transformation of plagioclase (albite) to natrolite (K79-6) and epidote
(K79-4), and clinopyroxene to chlorite (K79-5) due to reaction with sea water and/or
burial metamorphism. The rock retains a relict igneous fabric showing an intergranular
texture with chlorite occupying the angular interstices between albite crystals (K79-1).
The changes in bulk chemistry are controlled by congruent mineral reactions, in which
one phase is transformed into another (Cann 1979). The upper limit of zeolite facies is
marked by the disap- pearance of zeolite and the appearance of albite and chlorite.
Prehnite-Chlorite Schist
The prehnite-chlorite schist is also a very low-T metamor- phic rock derived from the
mafic volcanic through burial metamorphism. Natrolite is absent in this rock. Sheaf-like
aggregates of prehnite with fine chlorite flakes occur as radiating blades (390/70-1, Plates
Vlgm-9, 10, p.163). Cli- nozoisite and opaque occur as accessory phases. This
assemblage belongs to prehnite-pumpellyite facies. The mineral paragenesis is formed at
temperatures well below 300 C as determined in an experimental study on the
decomposition of calcic plagioclase and diopside in hydrous conditions between 5 and 8
kbar (Heinrichsen and Schur- mann 1972).
1.9.1.2 Low-Temperature Metamorphics: Greenschist Facies

Epidote-Albite Actinolite Schist


With rising temperature, prehnite is replaced by epidote and actinolite in greenschist
facies metamorphism of metabasic rocks. Pyroxene is also transformed to actinolite in
pyrox- enite (Act-1). The greenschists show a variety of textures including granoblastic
(y38-1), sub-ophitic, schistose and cataclastic. Fractures formed during deformation
(three phases) are filled by quartz, albite and ferruginous minerals (43/80-3). The
greenschists are characterised by the pres- ence of green coloured minerals, viz.,
actinolite, chlorite and epidote, together with albite, and subordinate amounts of quartz,
rutile, sphene and opaque (23/80-1). Actinolite occurs as prismatic or fibrous and
poikiloblasts enclosing plagioclase, sphene, rutile and opaque. Coarse-grained actinolitite (22/80-1) originating from a late intrusion is composed dominantly of actinolite
with minor amounts of albite, quartz, epidote and sphene. Recrystallised prisms of such
actinolitite or meta-pyroxenite are transformed into fibrous actinolite (Act-1, 140/80-1).
Fibrous brown sec- ondary actinolite (Act-2, Plate GS-6 8, p. 166) is formed on
recrystallisation of coarse iron-rich pyroxenes in meta- pyroxenite (140/80-4) between
the grain boundaries (140/ 80-3). Biotite is absent in this assemblage and should not be
confused with brown actinolite
1.9.1.3 HIGH PRESSURE
The high-pressure rocks of the NHO occur as high angle thrust-bound, allochthonous
slivers and lenses within the ophiolite basalts. Eclogite is rare and occurs in the core of
some of the lenses that show core-to-margin retrogression with a core of eclogite
successively surrounded by garnet- blueschist, glaucophanite and greenschist (Ghose et
al. 1984, 2010). The eclogite also occurs as lenses or slivers within ultramafic peridotite
(Fig. 3.28). A detailed petrog- raphy of the blueschists and eclogite is given below.
Salient textural and mineralogical features and mineral associations in selected samples
of these rocks confirmed by EPMA are presented in Tables 5.1 and 5.5, respectively
Glaucophane Schist
Garnet and omphacite are mutually exclusive in the blues- chists (glaucophane schists).

In the garnet-blueschists, gar- net porphyroblasts are highly resorbed and contain chlorite,
quartz and phengite veins and inclusions, some of which may pre-date the garnet.
However, the high degree of alteration makes it difficult to distinguish the pre-garnet and
post-garnet mineral grains within garnet. Smaller garnet grains may represent a second
generation of garnet. How- ever, composition of the porphyroblasts and the smaller grains
are identical, all containing high-almandine, medium pyrope and grossular, and low but
significant spessartine components. Amphibole is of the sodic variety with a magnesioriebeckite core and a winchite rim. Coarse- grained quartz, phengite and albite ? Kfeldspar also occur in the matrix. Phengite contains inclusions of apatite and euhedral to
subhedral zircon. The omphacite-bearing blueschists are foliated and contain omphacite,
glauco- phane, epidote, chlorite and phengite porphyroblasts (Plate Gln-4, 9, p.170).
Coarse calcite and albite veins are minor components, and rutile and titanite are accessory
phases.
A wide variety of glaucophane schists are encountered both in terms of texture and
mineral assemblages. They are broadly distinguished into five categories: (1) epidotealbite- chlorite-omphacite glaucophane schist, (2) glaucophane- bearing meta-arenite, (3)
epidote-garnet-glaucophane schist, (4) mylonitic glaucophane schists (without microshear/ pseudotachylite) and (5) ultraclastite glaucophane schists (with micro-shearing and
partial melting). Mineralogical compositions of the veins differ in these associations The
ultra-cataclastite contains quartzofeldspathic, pseudo- tachylite and carbonate veins; the
meta-cherts and mylonites contain mainly quartz veins; non-garnet-bearing glauco- phane
schists contain quartz, epidote and albite veins and omphacite-bearing glaucophane schist
contains phengite vein. The fivefold classification of the glaucophane schists adopted
here is based on texture and mineralogy:
. (1) Epidote-albite-chlorite-omphacite-glaucophane schist: The rock is composed of
omphacite, glaucophane, chlorite, epidote, zoisite, clinozoisite, phengite, potash
feldspar and quartz. Minor calcite, albite and K-feldspar are present, and rutile
and titanite occur as accessory constituents (212/80, BSE). Omphacite shows
trans- formation to glaucophane and chlorite (212/80-3). K- feldspar borders
albite and phengite. Epidote is noted between chlorite and glaucophane. Titanite is

present within chlorite. Idioblastic glaucophane Gln-2 across the foliation in


quartzofeldspathic gneiss shows vari- ance of orientation with Gln-1 (X-11-1).
. (2) Glaucophane-bearing meta-arenites: These rocks show broad warps (M23A-1) or
pinching and swelling structure of quartz (N7-1), and comprise epidote,
glaucophane and opaque.
. (3) Garnet-glaucophane schists: Garnet in these rocks occurs in two modesone
follows the foliation trend (Grt-1, Z74-4) and the other is randomly oriented (Grt2, 620/ 79-4, Z74-3). The recrystallised garnet grains (Grt-2) are idioblastic (Z743) and display different shapes (620/79- 6). The highly resorbed Grt-1 in Z74 is
compositionally similar (almandine-spessertine) to that of the idioblastic garnets
(Grt-2). The sodic amphibole also shows two different orientations in
glaucophane schist (620/79-4). Sodic amphibole in Z74 is zoned, consisting of a
magnesio-riebeckite core surrounded by a winchite rim (Plate Gln-25, p.174). The
rock contains quartz, phengite and rare zircon. Both apatite and zircon occur as
inclu- sion in phengite (Z74, BSE, Plate Gln-31, 32, p. 176).
. (4) Mylonitic glaucophane schist (without pseudotachy- lite): These metabasic rocks
containing glaucophane are involved in shearing to develop pinch-and-swell
struc- tures in quartz vein (622/79-1) and refolding of glau- cophane (622/79-4,
Plate Gln-38, p.178), one-fold axis runs NWSE and the other is nearly EW,
passing through the knee of the glaucophane (Plate Gln-37, R. S. Sharma, person.
commun.). Two generations of foliation are identified in the mylonites, the
younger one cross-cuts the shear plane at an acute angle (622/79-2). Prismatic
glaucophane is swathed by phengite devel- oping SC mylonites along shear
plane suggesting ductile environment (622/79-6, ML225-2, 78/80-10, Plate Gln3436, p.177).
.

(5) Ultra-cataclastite glaucophane schist (with micro-shear and pseudotachylite


veins): Both foliated (76/80-5 and 76/80-3) and massive (128-III-1a,2,4,9 and N1461,3,6,1a) types of glaucophane schist are included in this category as evidence of high
temperature melting (Plate Gln-46, 47, p.180). The former is characterised by

microshear defined by actinolite-glaucuphane (76/80-3), resulted in bi-modal


glaucophane (a) pris- matic following foliation and (b) rhombic with basal cleavages
that developed across the foliation (76/80-5). The latter massive type contains
brecciated matrix. These dynamically metamorphosed rocks are subjected to extreme
pressures along the shear zones that resulted in thrusting and buckling (128-III-2,
Plate Gln 49) with generation of pseudotachylite (128-III-1a) and quar- tzofeldspathic
veins (76/80,128-III-2). Small melt gen- eration as a result of eutectic melting at
higher temperature is feasible (C600 C, at pressure[10 kbar, Tuttle and Bowen 1958;
Winkler and Ghose 1973) during deformation and is limited to narrow zones.
Carbonates and quartzofeldspathic veins are involved in shear-related S-folds (128III-1a, Plate Gln-47). Both shearing and buckling may be co-eval (Abhinab Roy,
person. commun.). The features like mica-fish (N146-3), glaucophane-fish (128III-2,
Plate Gln-49) and veins of pseudotachylite and quartzofeldspathic veins in
glaucophane schists, though limited in extent, indicate metamorphism similar to the
Barrovian-type in the convergent plate tectonic settings as well. Shearing, brecciation
(N146-6) and mortar texture (128III-9, Plate Gln-48) associated with these rocks
gives an impression of post-crystalline deformation during exhumation.
.

Eclogite

Eclogite contains the characteristic garnet ? omphacite (with variable jadeite contents)
association. It is a plagio- clase-free high-pressure rock derived from a basaltic composition at greater depth beyond the stability limit of feldspar. The texture is granoblastic
to poikiloblastic with abundant epidote, sodic-calcic amphibole (barroisite), sodic
amphibole (glaucophane), and minor garnet, omphacite, phengite, chlorite and quartz
(Plate Ec-2, 3, p.183). Inter- penetration twins between barroisite and glaucophane have
been observed (Plate Ec-5, 9). Accessory rutile is mantled by titanite. Secondary albite
and quartz veins cut through the sample. A weak foliation is defined by parallel orientations of amphiboles, phengite and chlorite. Garnet is poikiloblastic and contains
inclusions of omphacite, glau- cophane, epidote, rutile and quartz. Glaucophane replaces
barroisite at rims as a result of retrograde metamorphism. Secondary chlorite veins in
garnet and phengite veins in epidote are common. Evidence of high pressure includes

cataclastic zones traversed by multiple veins of brecciated glaucophane and epidote


(77/80-5, 6, Plate Ec-14). Quartz as inclusions in garnet (77/80-7, Plate Ec-3) suggests
the possibility of existence of coesite formed under ultra-high pressure (UHP)
metamorphism that needs to be investigated in the future. However, PT pseudosection
analysis indi- cates that the eclogites reached maximum pressures of 1.72.0 GPa
following a clockwise PT path with prograde metamorphism beginning at *1.3 GPa/525
C, peaking at 1.72.0 GPa/580-610 C and retrogressing to *1.1 GPa/ 540 C
(Chatterjee and Ghose 2010).