Skip to main content

On the mechanism of prograde metamorphic reactions in quartz-bearing pelitic rocks

Abstract

An empirical method is described whereby the sequence of textural changes in pelitic rocks from one zone to the next may be reconciled with the balanced metamorphic reaction inferred to have been in progress. It consists in deducing from the textures of a single thin section a set of metasomatic cation-exchange reactions, which proceed in different microscopic domains of the rock, but which add up on the scale of the whole thin section to give the balanced metamorphic reaction. Each metasomatic subsystem is closed to aluminum, but open to the more mobile cations, which are free to diffuse from one subsystem to another, subject to the requirement of short-range electrostatic neutrality, and to the assumption that the system is closed on the scale of the whole thin section. Evidence in support of the central postulate that aluminum is relatively immobile is found in

  1. 1.

    the preservation of bedding laminations, on a finer scale than the staurolite porphyroblasts which transect them without disrupting them.

  2. 2.

    The fact that quartz, the only abundant aluminum-free mineral in pelitic rocks, is by far the most common mineral in veins and “pressure shadows”.

  3. 3.

    The fact that the reactions so deduced provide reasonably precise descriptions of such common textures as the sillimanite needles in biotite and quartz, and the abundant quartz “inclusions” in staurolite.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Albee, A. L.: Relationship between the mineral association, chemical composition, and physical properties of the chlorite series. Am. Mineralogist 47, 851–870 (1962).

    Google Scholar 

  • Atherton, M. P.: The chemical significance of isograds, p. 169–202 in: Controls of metamorphism (W. S. Pitcher and G. W. Flynn, editors). Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd 1965.

    Google Scholar 

  • Barrow, G.: On an intrusion of muscovite-biotite gneiss in the southeast Highlands of Scotland. Quart. J. Geol. Soc. London 49, 330–358 (1893).

    Google Scholar 

  • Barth, T. F. W.: Oxygen in rocks: a basis for petrographic calculations. J. Geol. 56, 50–60 (1948).

    Google Scholar 

  • Chakraborty, K. R., and S. K. Sen: Regional metamorphism of pelitic rocks around Kandra, Singhbum, Bihar. Contr. Mineral. and Petrol. 16, 210–232 (1967).

    Google Scholar 

  • Chinner, G. A.: The origin of sillimanite in Glen Clova, Angus. J. Petrol. 2, 312–323 (1961).

    Google Scholar 

  • - The kyanite isograd in Glen Clova, Angus, Scotland. Mineral. Mag. Tilley Volume, 132–143 (1965).

  • Clifford, T. N.: A note on kyanite in the Moine series of southern Ross-shire, and a review of related rocks in the northern Highlands of Scotland. Geol. Mag. 95, 333–346 (1958).

    Google Scholar 

  • Deer, W. A., R. A. Howie, and J. Zussman: Rock-forming minerals, volumes 1–3. New York: John Wiley & Sons 1962.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dewey, J. F.: The structural and metamorphic history of the Lower Palaeozoic rocks of Central Murrisk, County Mayo, Eire. Quart. J. Geol. Soc. London 123, 125–157 (1967).

    Google Scholar 

  • Eugster, H. P.: Reduction and oxidation in metamorphism, p. 397–426 in: Researches in geochemistry (P. H. Abelson, editor). New York: John Wiley & Sons 1959.

    Google Scholar 

  • Evans, B. W., and C. V. Guidotti: The sillimanite-potash feldspar isograd in western Maine, U.S.A. Contr. Mineral. and Petrol. 12, 25–62 (1966).

    Google Scholar 

  • Francis, G. H.: Facies boundaries in pelites at the middle grades of regional metamorphism. Geol. Mag. 93, 353–368 (1956).

    Google Scholar 

  • Fyfe, W. S., F. J. Turner, and J. Verhoogen: Metamorphic reactions and metamorphic facies. Geol. Soc. Am. Mem. 73 (1958).

  • Ganguly, J.: Analysis of the stabilities of chloritoid and staurolite and some equilibria in the system FeO-Al2O3-SiO2-H2O-O2. Am. J. Sci. 266, 277–298 (1968).

    Google Scholar 

  • Gibbs, J. W.: The collected works of J. Willard Gibbs, vol. 1. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press 1928.

    Google Scholar 

  • Green, J. C.: High level metamorphism of pelitic rocks in northern New Hampshire. Am. Mineralogist 48, 991–1023 (1963).

    Google Scholar 

  • Gresens, R. S.: The effect of structurally produced pressure gradients on diffusion in rocks. J. Geol. 74, 307–321 (1966).

    Google Scholar 

  • Guidotti, C. V.: Prograde formation of muscovite pseudomorphs after staurolite and the formation of large megacrysts of muscovite. Abstracts for 1965. Geol. Soc. Am., Spec. Papers 87, 206 (1966).

    Google Scholar 

  • Harker, A.: On the migration of material during the metamorphism of rock masses. J. Geol. 1, 574–578 (1893).

    Google Scholar 

  • Heier, K. S.: Metamorphism and the chemical differentiation of the crust. Geol. Fören. i Stockholm Förh. 87, 249–256 (1965).

    Google Scholar 

  • Hildebrand, J. H., and R. E. Powell: Principles of chemistry, seventh edit. New York: The MacMillan Company 1964.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hounslow, A. W., and J. M. Moore Jr.: Chemical petrology of Grenville schists near Fernleigh, Ontario. J. Petrol. 8, 1–28 (1967).

    Google Scholar 

  • Jones, K. A.: Metamorphism of the Ben More-Am Binnein area, western Perthshire, Scotland. Quart. J. Geol. Soc. London 120, 51–76 (1964).

    Google Scholar 

  • Lindgren, W.: Volume changes during metamorphisin. J. Geol. 26, 542–554 (1918).

    Google Scholar 

  • Meyer, C.: Hydrothermal wall rock alteration at Butte, Montana. Ph. D. diss., Harvard University (1950).

  • Morey, G. W.: The solubility of solids in gases. Econ. Geol. 52, 225–251 (1957).

    Google Scholar 

  • Mueller, R. F.: Mobility of the elements in metamorphism. J. Geol. 75, 565–582 (1967).

    Google Scholar 

  • Phinney, W. C.: Phase equilibria in the metamorphic rocks of St. Paul Island and Cape North, Nova Scotia. J. Petrol. 4, 90–130 (1963).

    Google Scholar 

  • Pitcher, W. S.: The aluminium silicate polymorphs, p. 327–341 in: Controls of metamorphism (W. S. Pitcher and G. W. Flynn, editors). Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd 1965.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rast, N.: Nucleation and growth of metamorphic minerals, p. 73–102 in: Controls of metamorphism (W. S. Pitcher and G. W. Flynn, editors). Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd 1965.

    Google Scholar 

  • Thompson, J. B., Jr.: The graphical analysis of mineral assemblages in pelitic schists. Am. Mineralogist 42, 842–858 (1957).

    Google Scholar 

  • : Local equilibrium in metasomatic processes, in: Researches in geochemistry (P. H. Abelson, editor). New York: John Wiley & Sons 1959.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tozer, C. F.: The mode of occurrence of sillimanite in the glen district, Co. Donegal. Geol. Mag. 92, 310–320 (1955).

    Google Scholar 

  • Turner, F. J., and J. Verhoogen: Igneous and metamorphic petrology, second edit. New York: McGraw-Hill 1960.

    Google Scholar 

  • Williamson, D. H.: Petrology of chloritoid and staurolite rocks north of Stonehaven, Kincardineshire. Geol. Mag. 90, 353–361 (1953).

    Google Scholar 

  • Woodland, B. G.: A petrographic study of thermally metamorphosed pelitic rocks in the Burke area, north-eastern Vermont. Am. J. Sci. 261, 354 (1963).

    Google Scholar 

  • Yoder, H. S., Jr.: Role of water in metamorphism. Geol. Soc. Am., Spec. Papers 62, 505–524 (1955).

    Google Scholar 

  • Zwart, H. J.: On the determination of polymetamorphic mineral associations and its application to the Bosost area (Central Pyrennees). Geol. Rundschau 52, 38–65 (1962).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Carmichael, D.M. On the mechanism of prograde metamorphic reactions in quartz-bearing pelitic rocks. Contr. Mineral. and Petrol. 20, 244–267 (1969). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00377479

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00377479

Keywords

  • Thin Section
  • Lamination
  • Bedding
  • Sillimanite
  • Textural Change