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Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Migmatites are a common rock type in the Adirondack Mountains, NY. We analyzed a single sample of biotite-garnet-sillimanite paragneiss with foliation parallel leucosome along Route 22 south of Whitehall, NY in order to determine the timing of melting using both in-situ monazite and zircon U/Pb geochronology from the restite and leucosome layers of the same rock. Monazite was analyzed via in-situ EMPA on the Ultrachron microprobe at the University of Massachusetts. Zircon was analyzed via LA-ICP-MS (in-situ and mounted mineral separates) at the LaserChron Center. Monazite analyses from the restite yielded six compositionally distinct populations with dates of 1178 ± 16, 1139 ± 4, 1064 ± 6, 1049 ± 4, 1030 ± 5, and 1004 ± 10 Ma. Yttrium and heavy REEs decrease in monazite in two steps: one dramatic drop from ca. 1150 to 1065 Ma and another between ca. 1065 and 1050, interpreted to reflect two periods of garnet growth and melting. Analyses from the restite zircon separate yielded a significant single peak near 1050 Ma. These zircon grains exhibit fir-tree sector zoning texture which is interpreted to indicate crystallization from melt. Monazite from leucosome yielded a unimodal population at ca. 1050 Ma, however, backscatter images document alteration of monazite to apatite on the edges of the grains, and abundant uranothorite inclusions. Leucosome zircon analyses yielded a ca. 1150 Ma population from cores and a 1050 Ma population from rims. Cathodoluminescence imaging reveals that the zircon rims have textures indicative of fluid alteration. The data are consistent with these rocks undergoing two periods of melting. The first event at ca. 1150 Ma may have involved a non-garnet producing melting reaction, such as muscovite dehydration-melting. The second event at 1065 Ma involved significant garnet growth, interpreted to represent biotite dehydration-melting. Subsequently, the rocks underwent hydrothermal alteration at 1050 Ma. Monazite grains with dates at 1030 ± 5 and 1004 ± 10 Ma have higher yttrium concentrations suggesting garnet breakdown and monazite growth during decompression and retrograde metamorphism. A combination of monazite and zircon dating techniques from each compositional layer is necessary to constrain leucosome-restite relationships and to accurately interpret the timing of melting from migmatites that have experienced multiple phases of melting.


First Advisor

Michael Williams

Second Advisor

Timothy Grover

Third Advisor

Michael Jercinovic