Misorientations of garnet aggregate within a vein: An example from Sanbagawa metamorphic belt, Japan

A. Okamoto, K. Michibayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, the chemistry and microstructure of garnet aggregates within a metamorphic vein are investigated. Garnet-bearing veins in the Sanbagawa metamorphic belt, Japan, occur subparallel to the foliation of a host mafic schist, but some cut the foliation at low angle. Backscattered electron image and compositional mapping using EPMA and crystallographic orientation maps from electron-backscattered diffraction (EBSD) reveal that numerous small garnet (10-100 lm diameter) coalesce to form large porphyroblasts within the vein. Individual small garnet commonly exhibits xenomorphic shape at garnet/ garnet grain boundaries, whereas it is idiomorphic at garnet/quartz boundaries. EBSD microstructural analysis of the garnet porphyroblasts reveals that misorientation angles of neighbourpair garnet grains within the vein have a random distribution. This contrasts with previous studies that found coalescence of garnet in mica schist leads to an increased frequency of low angle misorientation boundaries by misorientation-driven rotation. As garnet nucleated with random orientation, the difference in misorientation between the two studies is due to the difference in the extent of grain rotation. A simple kinetic model that assumes grain rotation of garnet is rate-limited by grain boundary diffusion creep of matrix quartz, shows that (i) the substantial rotation of a fine garnet grain could occur for the conditions of the Sanbagawa metamorphism, but (ii) the rotation rate drastically decreased as garnet grains formed large clusters during growth. Therefore, the random misorientation distribution of garnet porphyroblasts in the Sanbagawa vein is interpreted as follows: (i) garnet within the vein grew so fast that substantial grain rotation did not occur through porphyroblast formation, and thus (ii) random orientations at the nucleation stage were preserved. The extent of misorientation-driven rotation indicated by deviation from random orientation distribution may be useful to constrain the growth rate of constituent grains of porphyroblast that formed by multiple nucleation and coalescence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-366
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Metamorphic Geology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Jun


  • Coalescence
  • Garnet aggregate
  • Grain rotation
  • Misorientation
  • Vein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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