Magnetic Susceptibility Reveals Differential Retrogression in Meta-Mafic Enclave Consistent with Metamorphic P–T Estimation and Petrography

Qiqi Ou

1. State Key Laboratory of Lithospheric Evolution, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100029, China
2. College of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China

Ross N. Mitchell

1. State Key Laboratory of Lithospheric Evolution, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100029, China
2. College of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China

Lei Zhao

State Key Laboratory of Lithospheric Evolution, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100029, China

Xiaofang He

School of Geoscience and Surveying Engineering, China University of Mining & Technology, Beijing, 100083, China

Rucheng Zhang

1. State Key Laboratory of Lithospheric Evolution, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100029, China
2. College of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China


Received: 3 March 2024; Received in revised form: 19 April 2024; Accepted: 28 April 2024; Published: 30 April 2024

Copyright © 2024 Author(s). Published by Nan Yang Academy of Sciences Pte. Ltd.

Creative Commons LicenseThis is an open access article under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) License.


Magnetic susceptibility is widely applied in geology, but its use in the study of metamorphic rocks has been limited due to the complex nature of metamorphism. In this study, analyzing a partially retrogressed mafic enclave within Archean TTG gneiss from the Jiaobei Terrane, North China craton, we incorporate magnetic susceptibility with conventional metamorphic (petrographic and major element) proxies in order to investigate profiles of metamorphic retrogression. The magnetic susceptibility results show more complete retrogression in the direction parallel to the tectonic fabric and partial retrogression perpendicular to it. This geophysical observation, which is broadly consistent with the petrological observations and PT estimates, suggests that the availability of fluids and perhaps even non-lithostatic pressure play roles in the preservation of such differential retrogression. This study thus introduces magnetic susceptibility as a novel proxy in this context, revealing its utility in rapidly and quantitatively identifying variable retrogression gradients consistent with, but with more precision than, measured metamorphic pressures.

Keywords: Retrograde metamorphism, Retrogression, Magnetic susceptibility, Mafic enclave, Thermomagnetic susceptibility


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