Crustal thickening of the lower crust of the Kohistan Arc (N. Pakistan) deduced from Al zoning in clinopyroxene and plagioclase

T. Yoshino, H. Yamamoto, T. Okudaira, M. Toriumi

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The lower-crustal rocks of the Kohistan complex (northern Pakistan) are mostly composed of metabasic rocks such as pyroxene granulites, garnet granulites and amphibolites. We have investigated P-T trajectories of the relic two-pyroxene granulites, which are the protolith of the amphibolites within the Kamila amphibolite belt. Aluminous pyroxene retains igneous textures such as exsolution lamellae developed in the core. The significant amount of Al in clinopyroxene is buffered by breakdown reactions of plagioclase accompanied by film-like quartz as a product at grain boundaries between plagioclase and clinopyroxene. Distinct Al zoning profiles are preserved in pyroxene with exsolution lamellae in the core and in plagioclase adjacent to clinopyroxene in pyroxene granulites. In the northern part of the Kamila amphibolite belt, Al in clinopyroxene increases towards the rim and abruptly decreases at the outer rim, and anorthite in plagioclase decreases towards the rim and abruptly increases near the grain boundary between plagioclase and clinopyroxene. In the southern part of the Kamila amphibolite belt, Al in clinopyroxene and anorthite in plagioclase simply increase towards the margins of the grains. The anorthite zoning in plagioclase is in agreement with the zoning profiles of Ca-Tschermaks and jadeite components inferred from variations of Al, Na, Ti and Fe3+ in clinopyroxene. Assuming that the growth surface between them was in equilibrium, geothermobarometry based on Al zoning in clinopyroxene coexisting with plagioclase indicates that metamorphic pressures significantly increased with increasing temperature under granulite facies metamorphism. The peak of granulite facies metamorphism occurred at conditions of about 800°C and 800-1100 MPa. These prograde P-T paths represent a crustal thickening process of the Kohistan arc during the Early to Middle Cretaceous. The crustal thickening of the Kohistan arc was caused by accretion of basaltic magma at mid-crustal depths.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)729-748
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Metamorphic Geology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1998
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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