Extensive areas of the Variscan granitic basement in NE Spain display profiles of red-stained albitized facies characterized by albitization of Ca-plagioclase, chloritization of biotite and microclinization of orthoclase, along with the alteration of igneous quartz to secondary CL-dark quartz. These profiles have a geopetal structure beneath the Triassic unconformity, with a very intense and pervasive alteration in the upper part that progressively decreases with depth to 150–200 m where the alteration is restricted to the walls of fractures. The red albitized facies contains secondary maghemite and hematite that indicate oxidizing conditions. Dating of microclinized orthoclase and secondary monazite that have formed in the red-stained albitized facies yielded K–Ar and U–Th–Pbtotal ages of 240 and 250 Ma, respectively, suggesting that the alteration developed during the Permian–Triassic period. The geopetal disposition of the red albitized profile with respect to the Triassic unconformity, its large regional extent, and the fracture-controlled alteration in the lower part of the profile indicate groundwater interaction. The δ18O values of albitized plagioclase (+ 11‰), microclinized orthoclase (+ 13‰), and secondary CL-dark quartz (+ 12‰) suggest that the alteration temperature was about 55 °C. This “low” temperature suggests that the alteration occurred during interaction of the granitic rocks with Na-rich fluids below a surficial weathering mantle on the Permian–Triassic palaeosurface. The latter is possibly related to Triassic evaporitic environments in long-lasting, stable landscapes in which Na-rich solutions infiltrated deep regional groundwaters.
- Red stained