Ultrahigh-temperature (UHT) granulites of the central Highland Complex, Sri Lanka, underwent some of the highest known peak temperatures of crustal metamorphism. Zircon and monazite U-Pb systems in granulites near Kandy, the highest grade region (~1050 °C; 0.9 GPa), preserve both a record of the timing of prograde and retrograde phases of UHT metamorphism and evidence for the ages of older protolith components. Zircon grains from a quartz-saturated granulite containing relics of the peak UHT assemblage have remnant detrital cores with dates of ca. 2.5-0.83 Ga. Date clusters of ca. 1.7 and 1.04-0.83 Ga record episodes of zircon growth in the source region of the protolith sediment. Two generations of overgrowths with contrasting Th/U record metamorphic zircon growth at 569 ± 5 and 551 ± 7 Ma, probably in the absence and presence of monazite, respectively. The age of coexisting metamorphic monazite (547 ± 7 Ma) is indistinguishable from that of the younger, low-Th/U zircon overgrowths. Zircon from a quartz-undersaturated monaziteabsent UHT granulite with a mainly retrograde assemblage is mostly metamorphic (551 ± 5 Ma). The ca. 570 Ma zircon overgrowths in the quartz-saturated granulite probably record partial melting just before or at the metamorphic peak. The ca. 550 Ma zircon in both rocks, and the ca. 550 Ma monazite in the quartz-saturated sample, record post-peak isothermal decompression. A possible model for this pressure-temperature-time evolution is ultrahot collisional orogeny during the assembly of Gondwana, locally superheated by basaltic underplating, followed by fast extensional exhumation.
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