Supercooled melt inclusions in lower-crustal granulites as a consequence of rapid exhumation by channel flow

Yoshikuni Hiroi, Ayahiko Yanagi, Mutsumi Kato, Tomoyuki Kobayashi, Bernard Prame, Tomokazu Hokada, Madhusoodhan Satish-Kumar, Masahiro Ishikawa, Tatsuro Adachi, Yasuhito Osanai, Yoichi Motoyoshi, Kazuyuki Shiraishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Here we report on the unexpected occurrence of felsic (granitic) inclusions with quench textures such as spherulite and dendrite (hereafter referred to as "felsite inclusions"), similar to some volcanic rocks, within garnet in presumably "slowly cooled" lower-crustal granulites of various geologic ages ranging from Early Proterozoic to Middle Paleozoic and wide global distribution (the Limpopo Belt, the Grenville Province, the Lützow-Holm Complex of East Antarctica, the Highland Complex of Sri Lanka, and the southern Bohemian Massif). The well-preserved textures of felsite inclusions are indicative of melts formed by anatexis during high-pressure and high-temperature metamorphism, crystallization under far-from-equilibrium conditions (at >. 50. °C undercooling) and subsequent rapid cooling. The occurrence of felsite inclusions in granulites in restricted tectonostratigraphic zones in Sri Lanka, among other examples, may be the first geologic evidence for fast exhumation of lower-crustal rocks to andalusite-stable upper-crustal conditions by channel flow in a continental collision orogen. We hypothesize that granulites ascend episodically along discrete high-strain zones and cool as fast as some felsic magmas. This conclusion sheds new light on the debate regarding the deep crustal processes and necessitates changes to fundamental beliefs about exhumation rates based on rates of plate convergence (1-10. cm/year).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-234
Number of pages9
JournalGondwana Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology


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