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Mineral Parageneses: The Building Blocks of Metamorphic Rocks

  • Helmut G. F. Winkler
Part of the Springer Study Edition book series (SSE)

Abstract

Rocks consist of a number of different minerals. In an igneous rock various minerals crystallized from a slowly cooling magmatic melt constitute an equilibrium assemblage. Such an assemblage is called a mineral paragenesis. In general, all the minerals that are detectable within a single thin section belong to the mineral paragenesis that characterizes a given igneous rock. This is so because a magmatic melt is a homogenous solution of the many components that constitute such a rock. However, in metamorphic rocks derived from sediments the composition may not be the same even over a small volume. Therefore, it is well possible that all minerals observed in a single thin section do not belong to a single metamorphic paragenesis. Rather, two or even more mineral parageneses, i.e., associations of minerals coexisting in equilibrium, may be present in the area of one thin section. This is a point of great significance. In earlier petrographic work it was believed that the determination of all the minerals of a given rock is sufficient. This is not so. It now must be ascertained which of the minerals in a thin section are in contact. Only minerals in contact may be regarded as an assemblage of coexisting minerals, i.e., a paragenesis.1

Keywords

Thin Section Metamorphic Rock Igneous Rock Dolomite Limestone Metamorphic Mineral 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helmut G. F. Winkler
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Mineralogy and PetrologyUniversity of GöttingenFederal Republic of Germany

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