Evolution of bulk composition, mineralogy, strain style and fluid flow during an HT-LP metamorphic event: Sillimanite zone of the Catalan Coastal Ranges Variscan basement, NE Iberia

J. Reche Estrada, F. J. Martinez

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Abstract

Metamorphic rocks in the Osor complex (Guilleries massif, NE Iberian Peninsula) show the following structural and compositional features: strong differentiation into quartz-rich gneissic semipelitic and quartz-absent, mica-rich schistose bands, higher density of igneous (both basic and leucogranitic) and quartz veins in the schistose domains and strong strain partitioning in the pelitic bands. Garnet is present in both kinds of lithologies, showing also differential textural and chemical features interpreted to be dependent on bulk composition, deformation and fluid interaction histories. Textures, mineral composition and thermobarometry suggest the operation of concurrent mechanical, mass transfer and thermal phenomena such as: (1) variations in strain style, (2) fluid infiltration, (3) magmatic injection and (4) HT-LP metamorphic and metasomatic episodes. The following sequence of events is suggested: initially the cooling of syntectonic high-T basic quartz diorite sheets promoted high strain rates, low dP/dT thermobaric evolution, incipient anatexis in the pelitic bands and devolatilization through a pervasive to vein-channelized prograde fluid flow. The prograde flow enhanced an ongoing compositional tectono-metamorphic differentiation and produced metasomatism through depletion of the Osor rocks in alkalis and calcium. Later injection and cooling of peraluminous leucogranitoid sheets, preferentially along pelitic bands, increased the ratio of magmatic/metamorphic components in the fluids and strongly enriched them in alkalis producing a second metasomatic episode. During crystallization of quartz and leucogranitoid veins, the pelitic bands were strongly enriched back again in alkalis, promoting the blastesis of big crystals of post-peak muscovite and albite as well as the retrogression of garnet. The metasomatic mica-rich levels must have been the preferred locus for development of a new deformation style dominated by shear band fabrics in metapelites and related to a release of the gravitational instability originated previously due to crustal thickening. The increasing decompressional component of the retrograde P-T path also suggests that this style of deformation was prevalent during, if not responsible for, a phase of exhumation of the metamorphic complex. It is suggested that similar patterns of thermomechanical and mass transfer phenomena could well be a fundamental characteristic common to all HT-LP metamorphic belts. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-134
JournalTectonophysics
Volume348
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2002

Keywords

  • Fluid flow
  • HT-LP metamorphism
  • Metasomatism
  • Microstructural style changes

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