Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 120, Issue 3–4, pp 270–291 | Cite as

Partial melting and phase relations in high-grade metapelites: an experimental petrogenetic grid in the KFMASH system

  • D. P. Carrington
  • S. L. Harley


Petrogenetic grids are a powerful tool for understanding metamorphic terrains and many theoretical grids have been suggested for the process of granulite formation in metapelitic rocks, via fluid-absent biotite melting reactions. However, application of these grids has been difficult due to the lack of suitable experimental constraints. We present here an experimentally determined and tightly constrained petrogenetic grid for KFMASH system metapelites which extends from 840–1000°C and 5.0–12.5 kbar. Sixty four experiments on three KFMASH, mineral-mix, bulk compositions (XMg=0.62, 0.74, 0.86) provide phase composition and assemblage data from which a grid can be derived and constrained. Reversal experiments and consideration of the phase composition data show the experiments to be close to equilibrium. The KFMASH univariant fluid-absent biotite melting reactions occur between 850 and 870°C at 5 kbar and between 900 and 915°C at 10 kbar. These reactions are connected to equilibria beyond the stability of biotite to develop a fixed framework within which the phase assemblage evolution of metapelitic rocks can be interpreted. The effect of minor components on phase equilibria is evaluated using the experimentally determined grid as a simple-system reference. The temperature at which melting occurs in metapelites is strongly controlled by the concentrations of titanium and fluorine in biotite. Pressure-temperature pseudosections presented for each of the experimental compositions show both the univariant and divariant reactions available to a particular bulk composition, clearly illustrating the possible evolution of the phase assemblage. The pseudosections also constrain the stability limits of


Fluorine Phase Composition Partial Melting Stability Limit Bulk Composition 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. P. Carrington
    • 1
  • S. L. Harley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geology and GeophysicsUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghScotland, UK

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