Origin of fine-scale sheeted granites by incremental injection of magma into active shear zones: examples from the Pilbara Craton, NW Australia

Pawley, M.J., Collins, W.J., and Van Kranendonk, M.J. (2002) Origin of fine-scale sheeted granites by incremental injection of magma into active shear zones: examples from the Pilbara Craton, NW Australia. Lithos, 61 (3-4). pp. 127-139.

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Abstract

In the Archaean Pilbara Craton of Western Australia, three zones of heterogeneous centimetre- to metre-scale sheeted granites are interpreted to represent high-level, syn-magmatic shear zones. Evidence for the syn-magmatic nature of the shear zones include imbricated and asymmetrically rotated metre-scale orthogneiss xenoliths that are enveloped by leucogranite sheets that show no significant internal strain. At another locality, granite sheets have a strong shape-preferred alignment of K-feldspar, suggesting magmatic flow, while the asymmetric recrystallisation of the grain boundaries indicates that non-coaxial deformation continued acting upon the sheets under sub-solidus conditions. Elsewhere, randomly oriented centimetre-wide leucogranite dykes are realigned at a shear zone boundary to form semi-continuous, layer-parallel sheets within a magma-dominated, dextral shear zone.

It is proposed that the granite sheets formed by the incremental injection of magmas into active shear zones. Magma was sheared during laminar flow to produce the sheets that are aligned sub-parallel to the shear zone boundary. Individual sheets are fed by individual dykes, with up to 1000s of discrete injections in an individual shear zone. The sheets often lack microstructural evidence for magmatic flow, either because the crystal content of the magma was too low to record internal strain, or because of later recrystallisation.

Item ID: 4692
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: granite magma; shear zones; fabrics; shear-sense indicators
ISSN: 1872-6143
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2009 23:16
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