Metamorphic investigation of mid-P aluminous gneisses from the central Grenville Province

Patrick, Mackenzie (2016) Metamorphic investigation of mid-P aluminous gneisses from the central Grenville Province. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This is a metamorphic study of mid-P anatectic aluminous gneisses from the Manicouagan and lac du Milieu areas of the central Grenville Province. The rocks are derived from hydrothermally altered felsic protoliths and were metamorphosed at granulite facies conditions during the Grenvillian orogeny. The samples come from three locations separated by several tens of kilometers and exhibit a wide range of textures and bulk compositions. However, they all have the same peak mineral assemblage: garnet + biotite + quartz + K-feldspar +/- plagioclase +/- sillimanite with retrograde cordierite in some, and show evidence of partial melting and melt loss. In terms of mineralogy and bulk composition, the samples were divided into two groups, sillimanite-rich and sillimanite-poor, with a high and low Alumina index in the AFM space, respectively. Phase equilibria modeling in the Na₂O–CaO–K₂O–FeO–MgO–Al₂O₃–SiO₂–H₂O– TiO₂–O (NCKFMASTHO) system using Thermocalc constrained the P–T field of the peak mineral assemblage at 800–900ºC and 6–11kbar, with melt solidification in the range of 800–865ºC and 6–8kbar. The presence of sillimanite inclusions in garnet, and of only scarce, retrograde cordierite, is consistent with moderate dP/dT gradient ‘hairpin’ P– T paths, which were similar between the three locations. This study also investigated the role of Fe3+ on phase stability in mid-P aluminous systems. Fe³⁺ is problematic because although it is incorporated in the NaCKFMASTHO system, it is rarely measured in modeled minerals and rocks and its value is generally assumed. Biotite may contain significant amounts of Fe³⁺, and these were analysed by Mössbauer spectroscopy in selected samples, where they were found to be low (0-4%). In addition, the effect of increasing the bulk Fe³⁺ in the mid-P portion of phase diagrams was modeled. This increase added new minor phases and changed the phase proportions, as well as shifted phase boundaries to a small degree, but P–T paths remained largely unaffected. Finally, the two methods commonly used in phase equilibria modeling to account for melt loss were compared. In some cases there were major differences in the topologies between the ‘melt reintegration’ and ‘adding water’ methods, but the former method is the most consistent with the rock data, and should be the method of choice.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 11933
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references.
Keywords: Metamorphic Petrology, Phase equilibrium modeling, Grenville Province, Thermocalc, Aluminous Gneisses
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Earth Sciences
Date: January 2016
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Québec
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Orogeny--Québec (Province); Metamorphism (Geology)--Québec (Province); Mineralogical chemistry--Québec (Province); Phase rule and equilibrium; Rocks--Analysis

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