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The petrogenetic characterization of intermediate and silicic charnockites in high-grade terrains: a case study from southern India

Abstract

Large charnockite massifs occur in some of the Precambrian high-grade terrains like the southern Indian granulite terrain. The Cardamom Hill charnockite massif from the Madurai Block, southern India, consists of an intermediate type and silicic type, with the intermediate type showing similarities to high-Ba−Sr granitoids with low K2O/Na2O ratios and the silicic type showing similarities to high-Ba–Sr granitoids with high K2O/Na2O ratios. Within the constraints imposed by near basaltic composition of the most mafic samples and their relatively high concentrations of both compatible and incompatible elements, comparison with recent experimental studies on various source compositions, and trace- and rare-earth-element modeling, the distinctive features of the intermediate charnockites can be best explained in terms of assimilation–fractional crystallization (AFC) models involving interaction between a mantle-derived basaltic magma and lower crustal materials. Silicic charnockites on the other hand are high temperature melts of moderately hydrous basaltic magmas. A two-stage model which involves an initial partial melting of hydrous basaltic magma and later fractionation explains the geochemical features of the silicic charnockites, with the fractionation stage most probably an open system AFC. It is suggested that for massifs showing spatial association of intermediate and silicic charnockites, a model taking into account their compositional difference in terms of the effect of variations in the conditions (e.g., temperature, water fugacity) that prevailed, can account for plausible petrogenetic scenarios.

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Acknowledgments

Satish Hari assisted in fieldwork. Toshiaki Tsunogae, Yasuhito Osanai, John Akai, Teiichi Ueno, and Doyama are thanked for their hospitality, analytical facilities and discussions. James Beard and an anonymous reviewer provided thoughtful and encouraging comments on the manuscript. Some key references introduced by James Beard were helpful in clarifying aspects of the model presented in this manuscript. Editorial comments by Tim Grove were valuable. A JSPS visiting researcher fellowship (with Toshiaki Tsunogae) is acknowledged. This is a contribution to the Paleoproterozoic Mineralization (PPM) Research Group and Gondwana Institute for Geology and Environment (GIGE).

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Communicated by T.L. Grove.

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Rajesh, H.M. The petrogenetic characterization of intermediate and silicic charnockites in high-grade terrains: a case study from southern India. Contrib Mineral Petrol 154, 591–606 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00410-007-0211-y

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Keywords

  • Fractional Crystallization
  • Dehydration Melting
  • Silicic Type
  • Alumina Saturation Index
  • Hydrous Basalt