Ion micro-probe U-Pb zircon geochronology of peak and retrograde stages of ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic rocks from the Kokchetav massif, northern Kazakhstan

Ikuo Katayama, Shigenori Maruyama, Christopher D. Parkinson, Kentaro Terada, Yuji Sano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

150 Citations (Scopus)


Sensitive high resolution ion micro-probe (SHRIMP) U-Pb analyses of zoned zircons were performed to constrain the age and geodynamic significance of the Kokchetav ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) metamorphic rocks, which recrystallized at P > 60 kbar and T> 1000°C. Cathodoluminescence images were correlated with micro-assemblages of mineral inclusions in zircons from diamond-bearing gneisses. These revealed UHP mineral-bearing cores and low-pressure mineral-bearing rims, some zircons also retain inherited cores. Our SHRIMP data identified four discrete stages: Middle Proterozoic protolith age, 537 ± 9 Ma for UHP metamorphic conditions, 507 ± 8 Ma for the late-stage amphibolite facies overprint, and 456-461 Ma for post-orogenic thermal events. Thus, we conclude that Middle Proterozoic supracrustal protoliths of the Kokchetav UHP-HP rocks were subducted to mantle depths in the Middle Cambrian, and exhumed to mid-crustal levels in the Late Cambrian. The exhumation rate calculated from the SHRIMP data and relative P-T conditions is approximately 5 km/Ma. The rapid exhumation rate for the massif is in the same range as other UHP metamorphic terranes, and suggests that slab decoupling may be a driving force for exhumation of UHP metamorphic rocks from mantle depths.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-198
Number of pages14
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes



  • Kokchetav Kazakhstan
  • Mineral inclusion
  • Polym metamorphism
  • Probe
  • SHRIMP data
  • U/Pb
  • Zircon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics

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