Deformation‐induced cordierite breakdown – an example from western Maine, USA

Sanislav, Ioan V., Abu Sharib, Ahmed S.A.A., and Quentin de Gromard, Raphael S.A. (2020) Deformation‐induced cordierite breakdown – an example from western Maine, USA. Journal of Metamorphic Geology, 38 (8). pp. 831-852.

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Preservation of partially completed metamorphic reactions in the form of partial pseudomorphs is very important as it provides direct insight onto the reaction mechanism and the phases involved in the reaction. The staurolite and andalusite grade rocks in western Maine, USA, contain cordierite porphyroblasts partly pseudomorphed by coarse‐grained muscovite and biotite. The pseudomorphs consist of a cordierite core surrounded by a reaction rim. Modal mineralogy, calculated using the ImageJ processing software based on backscatter images and X‐ray compositional maps, reveals that the core consists of cordierite (53.5%), muscovite (22.8%), biotite (9.1%), quartz (1 0.4%), plagioclase (3.1%) and ilmenite/pyrrhotite and apatite (1.1%) whereas the reaction rim consists of cordierite (1.8%), muscovite (51.6%), biotite (30.4%), quartz (4.3%), plagioclase (10%), garnet (1.2%), ilmenite/pyrrhotite and apatite (0.8%). The net effect of the cordierite breakdown reaction is an increase of 226% in muscovite, 334% in biotite and 323% in plagioclase content and a decrease of 97% in cordierite. The reaction involved exchange of components with the matrix requiring addition of H2O, K+, Na+ and Ti4+ and removal of SiO2, Mg2+ and PO43‐ from the reaction site. PT estimates using the garnet–biotite, Ti‐in‐biotite, Na‐in‐cordierite thermometers and the garnet–biotite–muscovite–plagioclase barometer indicate that cordierite breakdown occurred at ~550°C and 3.5 kbar. thermocalc modelling using the bulk rock composition suggests that cordierite is not stable at these conditions, whereas modelling using a thin section‐derived bulk composition indicates that cordierite stability extends to higher pressures, and most likely that the cordierite breakdown was not PT dependent. The incorporation of Na (up to 0.18 a.f.u.) into the cordierite structure has the effect of stabilizing the cordierite under a variety of H2O activity and limiting the role of fluids into destabilizing it. The cordierite cores contain evidence of plastic and brittle deformation in the form of subgrains and microcracks, which facilitated the infiltration of fluids that destabilized cordierite at constant PT conditions by leaching Na and introducing K. New mica growth along these structural heterogeneities suggests that deformation played an important role promoting breakdown of cordierite to muscovite and biotite.

Item ID: 63886
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1525-1314
Keywords: cordierite; deformation; fluids; metamorphic reactions; pseudomorphs
Copyright Information: © 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2020 00:43
FoR Codes: 37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3703 Geochemistry > 370302 Inorganic geochemistry @ 30%
37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3705 Geology > 370503 Igneous and metamorphic petrology @ 50%
37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3705 Geology > 370511 Structural geology and tectonics @ 20%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences @ 100%
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