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Journal of Metamorphic Geology


Cathodoluminescence (CL) images of kyanite reveal several internal textures, including sector zoning, oscillatory zoning, and cross-cutting relationships among different domains. Many textures observed in kyanite correspond to discrete events, thereby connecting kyanite textures to the pressure–temperature (P–T) history of the rock. To evaluate the record of metamorphism preserved by kyanite, metapelites were selected from three different orogens that reflect P–T conditions ranging from amphibolite to ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) facies. Cross-correlation of variations in CL intensity, chemistry, and crystal orientation within kyanite indicate the following findings. First, the preservation of original growth zones in kyanite from poly-metamorphic rocks demonstrates that growth zoning in kyanite persists through metamorphic events and is not erased by diffusion or complete recrystallization. In some samples, kyanite retains evidence of its reaction history during growth. Second, measured changes in absolute crystallographic orientation do not correspond with changes in CL intensity in any of the measured samples, including kyanite twins. Third, both kink banding and undulatory extinction are present across all samples, consistent with rotation about in the (100)[001] slip system. Kyanite from (U)HP samples exhibits higher amplitude undulations than kyanite from lower-grade lithologies, suggesting that crystallographic orientation data may provide complementary insight about deformation along the P–T path. Fourth, specific CL and trace element signatures in kyanite can be correlated with discrete metamorphic histories; yet, CL intensity and colour are affected by multiple elements, not a single controlling element. In sum, multiple generations of kyanite can be identified by careful cross-correlation of CL and geochemical data, and when combined with crystal orientation data, kyanite provides a robust record of a rock's P–T evolution.



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