Factors affecting preservation of coesite in ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic rocks: Insights from TEM observations of dislocations within kyanite

Tomoki Taguchi*, Yohei Igami, Akira Miyake, Masaki Enami

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


To understand the preservation of coesite inclusions in ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) metamorphic rocks, an integrated petrological, Raman spectroscopic and focussed ion beam (FIB) system–transmission electron microscope (TEM) study was performed on a UHP kyanite eclogite from the Sulu belt in eastern China. Coesite grains have been observed only as rare inclusions in kyanite from the outer segment of garnet and in the matrix. Raman mapping analysis shows that a coesite inclusion in kyanite from the garnet rim records an anisotropic residual stress and retains a maximum residual pressure of ~0.35 GPa. TEM observations show quartz is absent from the coesite inclusion–host kyanite grain boundaries. Numerous dislocations and sub-grain boundaries are present in the kyanite, but dislocations are not confirmed in the coesite. In particular, dislocations concentrate in the kyanite adjacent to the boundary with the coesite inclusion, and they form a dislocation concentration zone with a dislocation density of ~10 9  cm −2 . A high-resolution TEM image and a fast Fourier transform-filtered image reveal that a tiny dislocation in the dislocation concentration zone is composed of multiple edge dislocations. The estimated dislocation density in most of the kyanite away from the coesite inclusion–host kyanite grain boundaries is ~10 8  cm −2 , being lower than that in kyanite adjacent to the coesite. In the case of a coesite inclusion in a matrix kyanite, using Raman and TEM analyses, we could not identify any quartz at the grain boundaries. Dislocations are not observed in the coesite, but numerous dislocations and stacking faults are developed in the kyanite. The estimated overall dislocation density in the coesite-bearing matrix kyanite is ~10 8  cm −2 , but a high dislocation density region of ~10 9  cm −2 is also present near the coesite inclusion–host kyanite grain boundaries. Inclusion and matrix kyanite grains with no coesite have dislocation densities of ≤10 8  cm −2 . Dislocation density is generally reduced during an annealing process, but our results show that not all dislocations in the kyanite have recovered uniformly during exhumation of the UHP rocks. Hence, one of the key factors acting as a buffer to inhibit the coesite to quartz transformation is the mechanical interaction between the host and the inclusion that lead to the formation of dislocations in the kyanite. The kyanite acts as an excellent pressure container that can preserve coesite during the decompression of rocks from UHP conditions. The search for and study of inclusions in kyanite may be a more suitable approach for tracing the spatial distribution of UHP metamorphic rocks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-414
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Metamorphic Geology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Apr
Externally publishedYes


  • UHP metamorphism
  • coesite
  • dislocation
  • kyanite
  • phase transformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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