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    Geochemical constraints on restite composition and unmixing in the Velay anatectic granite, French Massif Central

    Williamson, B.J. and Downes, Hilary and Thirwall, M.F. and Beard, Andrew (1997) Geochemical constraints on restite composition and unmixing in the Velay anatectic granite, French Massif Central. Lithos 40 (2-4), pp. 295-319. ISSN 0024-4937.

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    The main anatectic granite of the Velay complex is unique among major French Massif Central Hercynian granitoids in that rather than having an entirely lower crustal source, it formed by mixing between partial melts of the meta-igneous lower crust and ‘upper crustal’ country rock schists and orthogneisses. The geochemical variations in the Velay main anatectic granites cannot, however, be explained by mixing alone as their compositions range to lower SiO2, with higher Al2O3, Fe2O3 and TiO2 and lower Na2O and CaO, than either end member in mixing. The variations are interpreted as being due to the presence of up to 35% restite in minimum melts of country rock compositions. Primary restites form equilibrium assemblages represented by biotite, ilmenite and surmicaceous enclaves which consist of biotite ± apatite, zircon and almandine. The main anatectic granites more rarely contain schist and gneiss enclaves, quartz resisters and plagioclase restites. Secondary restites are mainly represented by cordierite, and possibly K-feldspar, which formed by recrystallisation of primary biotite-rich restites. The unique characteristics of the Velay main anatectic granites are likely to be due, in part, to its late formation close to the end of the Hercynian orogeny. The metasedimentary lower crust may have become too refractory to yield large volumes of melt following partial melting to form the other major Massif Central granitoids. The heat necessary for partial melting at higher crustal levels was transferred from the lower crust by the intrusion of I-type granites and low volume diorites from the mantle. Upper crustal anatexis was mainly controlled by muscovite breakdown reactions (< 830 to 850 °C) and the liberation of water due to the recrystallisation of biotite to cordierite. The temperatures necessary for biotite breakdown were only achieved locally and resulted in the formation of high-LREE granites.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Natural Sciences
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2019 11:27
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:51


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