Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 163–174 | Cite as

Origin of garnet phenocrysts in calc-alkaline rocks

  • Trevor H. Green
  • A. E. Ringwood


A large number of garnet phenocrysts from Palaeozoic rhyodacites and granodiorite porphyrites from Central and Northeastern Victoria have been analyzed using the electron microprobe. These garnets, from an area of several thousand square miles, are very uniform in composition (dominantly almandine, with subordinate pyrope and minor grossular and spessartine). They show minor zoning with a very thin outer rim slightly richer in almandine and spessartine than the remainder of the phenocryst. They are surrounded by a complex intergrowth of cordierite and hypersthene forming a reaction rim. Resorbed quartz phenocrysts are typically associated with the garnet phenocrysts. The uniform composition, the conspicuous size and the subhedral-euhedral form of the garnet phenocrysts indicate that they crystallized directly from the acid calc-alkaline magma at an early stage of its crystallization. High pressure experimental work on a natural garnet-bearing rhyodacite glass demonstrates that almandine-rich garnet and quartz are near-liquidus phases at 18 and 27 kb \(\left( {P_{{\text{H}}_{\text{2}} {\text{O}}} < P_{{\text{LOAD }}} } \right)\), but garnet does not appear until well below the liquidus at 9 kb. A comparison of the composition of the experimentally crystallized garnets with the natural garnets suggests that these acid calc-alkaline magmas began to crystallize at pressures between 9 and 18 kb, i.e. at depths corresponding to the lower crust or upper mantle.


Crystallization Quartz Experimental Work Mineral Resource Electron Microprobe 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • Trevor H. Green
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. E. Ringwood
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geophysics and GeochemistryAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia
  2. 2.Hoffman LaboratoryHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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