The Western Gneiss Region (WGR) of Norway consists largely of Proterozoic orthogneisses, but also contains paragneisses, peridotites, anorthosites, gabbros and coarse-grained intermediate-acid ‘rapakivi granites’. All of these lithologies enclose eclogites. Structural and isotopic data suggest that many of these rocks were juxtaposed by early Caledonian thrusting prior to eclogite formation at ca. 425 Ma.
Low-P protoliths can be demonstrated for many eclogites. Prograde metamorphism to eclogite facies is demonstrated by inclusion suites within garnet grains and zoning of eclogite minerals. The regional distribution of KD
(gnt/cpx) and Xcpx
jd shows a decrease in T
max, and in the corresponding P, away from the present coastline. The lowest values (500 °C, 10 kbar) are found in the Sunnfjord area and the highest (∼ 800 °C) along the coast of Sunnmøre and Nordmøre.
Maximum pressures were reached at temperatures 100–200° < T
max. This P-T-t path is consistent with the preservation of jadeite-rich cpx (and possible coesite) in the coastal regions. Earlier overestimates of P
max, based on partitioning of Al between opx and gnt, resulted from combination of early low-T (low-Al) opx and T values derived from cpx/gnt equilibrated at T
max. Despite pervasive later amphibolitization, high-P assemblages (phengite + kyanite, omphacite + quartz) are locally preserved within gneisses near the coast. The high-P metamorphism can be explained by westward subduction of the Baltic continental plate beneath the Greenland plate, during the Caledonian orogeny.
At least some of the Mg-Cr garnet peridotites of the WGR were derived from low-P protoliths (spinel ± chlorite peridotites, enclosing high-Al pyroxenites). While Sm-Nd mineral ages of most eclogites cluster around 425 Ma, garnet peridotites and their enclosed garnet pyroxenites give Proterozoic Sm-Nd mineral ages (1700–1000 Ma). The tectonic position of the Mg-Cr garnet peridotites, relative to the Caledonian high-pressure metamorphism, remains to be resolved.