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Microstructural tectonometamorphic processes and the development of gneissic layering: a mechanism for metamorphic segregation
Journal of Metamorphic Geology (2000)
  • ML Williams, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
  • EA Melis
  • CF Kopf
  • S Hanmer
The Mary granite, in the East Athabasca mylonite triangle, northern Saskatchewan, provides an example and a model for the development of non-migmatitic gneissic texture. Gneissic compositional layering developed through the simultaneous evolution of three microdomains corresponding to original plagioclase, orthopyroxene and matrix in the igneous rocks. Plagioclase phenocrysts were progressively deformed and recrystallized, first into core and mantle structures, and ultimately into plagioclase-rich layers or ribbons. Garnet preferentially developed in the outer portions of recrystallized mantles, and, with further deformation, produced garnet-rich sub-layers within the plagioclase-rich gneissic domains. Orthopyroxene was replaced by clinopyroxene and garnet (and hornblende if sufficient water was present), which were, in turn, drawn into layers with new garnet growth along the boundaries. The igneous matrix evolved through a number of transient fabric stages involving S-C fabrics, S-C-C′ fabrics, and ultramylonitic domains. In addition, quartz veins were emplaced and subsequently deformed into quartz-rich gneissic layers. Moderate to highly strained samples display extreme mineralogical (compositional) segregation, yet most domains can be directly related to the original igneous precursors. The Mary granite was emplaced at approximately 900 °C and 1.0 GPa and was metamorphosed at approximately 750 °C and 1.0 GPa. The igneous rocks crystallized in the medium-pressure granulite field (Opx–Pl) but were metamorphosed on cooling into the high-pressure (Grt–Cpx–Pl) granulite field. The compositional segregation resulted from a dynamic, mutually reinforcing interaction between deformation, metamorphic and igneous processes in the deep crust. The production of gneissic texture by processes such as these may be the inevitable result of isobaric cooling of igneous rocks within a tectonically active deep crust.
  • gneiss,
  • granulite,
  • lower crust,
  • metamorphic segregation
Publication Date
January 1, 2000
Publisher Statement
Citation Information
ML Williams, EA Melis, CF Kopf and S Hanmer. "Microstructural tectonometamorphic processes and the development of gneissic layering: a mechanism for metamorphic segregation" Journal of Metamorphic Geology Vol. 18 Iss. 1 (2000)
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