Title

Insights from Igneous Reaction Space: A Holistic Approach to Granite Crystallisation

Abstract

Petrological investigations of granite commonly reveal multiple periods of growth punctuated by resorption for many of the constituent minerals. Complementary to such textures are mineral compositional heterogeneity manifested by zoning or grain to grain variability. These features ultimately reflect changes in the intensive parameters or activities of components during melt solidification. Such complexities of granite crystallisation can be simultaneously modelled in a reaction space constructed from the set of linearly independent reactions describing the equilibria among all phases and components in the system of interest. The topology of the linearly independent reactions that define the reaction space for garnet-muscovite-biotite granites yields the following insights: (1) there is no one unique reaction that produces or consumes aluminous minerals (e.g. garnet); (2) minerals can alternate as reactants or products in different reactions accounting for textures indicating multiple periods of crystallisation separated by resorption; (3) mineral compositions are regulated by the reaction(s) producing them and vary as the stoichiometry of the reaction(s) producing them varies; (4) resorption of early crystallising garnet is likely to reflect decreasing pressure, presumably during magma ascent; (5) late crystallisation of garnet, at the expense of biotite, reflects an increase in melt aluminosity and does not necessarily require high Mn activities for the melt and (6) increasing melt H2O, at H2O-undersaturated conditions, favours the formation of biotite-muscovite granite. Application of the reaction space method to other granite types holds considerable promise for elucidating reactions that regulate mineral assemblages and compositions during crystallisation.

Department(s)

Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Biotite; Compositional Variability; Garnet; Granite; Muscovite; Reaction Space; Crystallization

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

2635933

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Citation

File Type

text

Language(s)

English

Rights

© 1996 Royal Society of Edinburgh, All rights reserved.

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