The Cardigan pluton, located in the southern half of New Hampshire, is a strongly peraluminous, S-type granite which is granodioritic in composition. It is inferred to have been emplaced rapidly, thrust up along west-verging nappes during the Acadian orogeny. Distinctive pods, consisting of 50 to 70 percent modal garnet, are found throughout the pluton in assemblages of garnet + sillimanite + biotite + plagioclase + quartz. These garnetite rocks present an intriguing case for restite. Textural features of the garnetite rocks, such as fibrolitic sillimanite mats and flat, unzoned major and trace-element garnet grain profiles, provide evidence for biotite dehydration melting with single-stage garnet growth from the reaction: bio + plag + qtz + kspar = gar + sill + liq. Temperatures calculated using garnet-biotite (GB) thermometry and garnet-aluminum silicate-quartz-plagioclase (GASP) barometry yield estimates between 662-714ºC and 3.8 kbars. These low calculated temperatures are most likely the result of biotite compositions which have been altered by retrograde exchange reactions. The dominant source rock for the Cardigan magmas was likely calc-pelitic to greywacke in composition. Major element modeling suggests that ~70% melting of a calc-pelitic metasediment from the Central Maine trough could have generated a granodioritic melt similar to the average granodiorite of the Cardigan pluton. However, most of the Cardigan garnetite rocks appear to have been derived from pelites, as they are too poor in CaO and Na2O. Hence, though the majority of garnetite rocks cannot represent the dominant restite of the source rocks that produced the Cardigan pluton, they do appear to be the melt-depleted residue of an unidentified pelitic source. Comparison of Nd and Sr isotopic data from garnetite and Central Maine trough metasediments permit an interpretation that the Lower Rangeley Formation, from the Central Maine trough, could be the source rock of the Cardigan magmas. However, one feldspar Pb isotopic analysis in the literature (Moench and Allienikoff, 2002) and rare monazite chemical ages near 600 Ma suggest that the Cardigan pluton does not have a Laurentian source (i.e. Lower Rangeley Formation or other Central Maine trough metasediments), whereas an inferred peri-Gondwanan basement source is permissible.
College and Department
Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Geological Sciences
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Pett, Teresa K., "Garnetites of the Cardigan Pluton - Evidence for Restite and Implications for Source Rock Compositions." (2006). Theses and Dissertations. 1099.
Peraluminous granitoids, S-type granites, Garnetite rocks, Garnet, Central Maine Trough, New Hampshire