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On the Association between Veining and Index Mineral Distributions in Barrow’s Metamorphic Zones, Glen Esk, Scotland
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geological Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8374-363X
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geological Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geological Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geological Sciences.
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2017 (English)In: Journal of Petrology, ISSN 0022-3530, E-ISSN 1460-2415, Vol. 58, no 1, 885-907 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The concept of index mineral based metamorphic zones was first introduced by George Barrow in 1912 and the Barrovian metamorphic zones continue to be used as a framework for describing regional metamorphism. Pressure, temperature, and protolith composition are widely recognized as primary controls on index mineral distribution. Today, metamorphic fluid flow is also recognized as an important driver of metamorphic reactions. The aim of this study is to establish if and how metamorphic fluids control index mineral distribution during Barrovian metamorphism. We use samples from Barrow’s type locality in Glen Esk, SE Scottish Highlands, to study possible relationships between veining and index mineral distribution. In addition to petrographic and textural observations, we use whole-rock compositions, mineral compositions and oxygen isotope analyses. At low grade, in the chlorite zone and most of the biotite zone, no correlation between veining and index mineral distribution is seen. At higher grade, in the garnet and staurolite zones, index mineral abundance is shown to be higher adjacent to veins. These trends coincide with other mineralogical, chemical, and isotopic changes in the vein-proximal rock, indicative of fluid–rock interaction. Kyanite distribution is homogeneous in the kyanite zone. However, we show that this too relates to extensive fluid–rock interaction. Garnet-, staurolite-, and kyanite-bearing selvedges are common in the sillimanite zone. However, sillimanite distribution is unrelated to these selvedges, which supports models arguing that sillimanite formed during a separate metamorphic event. We infer fluid flow from high grade to low grade because the fluid was out of isotopic equilibrium with the lower grade rocks, but in equilibrium with the higher grade rocks. We conclude that fluid flow played a major role in the stabilization and distribution of Barrovian index minerals in Glen Esk, and that the importance of fluid flow was greater at higher metamorphic grades.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 58, no 1, 885-907 p.
Keyword [en]
Barrovian index minerals, fluid–rock interaction, metamorphic fluids, selvedge formation, veining
National Category
Geology
Research subject
Geology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-146120DOI: 10.1093/petrology/egx039OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-146120DiVA: diva2:1135375
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2017-08-23 Created: 2017-08-23 Last updated: 2017-10-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Fluid-induced alteration of metasedimentary rocks in the Scottish Highlands
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Fluid-induced alteration of metasedimentary rocks in the Scottish Highlands
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Fluids, mainly H2O and CO2, are released from H- and C-bearing phases during prograde metamorphism. Because of the buoyancy of these fluids, they rise within the crust towards the surface of the Earth. Metamorphic fluids take advantage of permeable horizons, shear zones, fold hinges, fractures, and are channelled into high-flux zones. Fluid fluxes for channelized fluid flow may exceed background pervasive fluxes by several orders of magnitude. Metamorphic fluids react with the surrounding rock during fluid flow, and altered zones are commonly observed adjacent to high-flux conduits. Fluid-altered rock is texturally, mineralogically, chemically, and isotopically different from rock unaffected by fluid flow. In this thesis, fluid-rock interaction is studied at two localities in the Scottish Highlands: Glen Esk and the Isle of Islay.

Glen Esk is one of the type localities used by George Barrow (1853-1932) to propose the concept of metamorphic zones and metamorphic index minerals as an approximate determination of metamorphic grade. In several of the metamorphic zones in Glen Esk, index mineral distribution is highly dependent on proximity to veins. The occurrence of index minerals is therefore not only controlled by pressure and temperature, but also by the availability of metamorphic fluids. Evidence of a retrograde fluid flow event from the North Esk Fault is observed in Glen Esk, for which a time-averaged fluid flux of 0.0003 – 0.0126 m3∙m-2∙yr-1 is calculated. The duration of the fluid event is estimated to between 16 and 334 kyr.

On the Isle of Islay, kyanite is observed in rocks of chlorite or lower-biotite metamorphic grade, i.e. much lower temperatures than usually associated with kyanite formation. The favoured explanation for this is retrograde infiltration of extremely high-CO2 fluids, at least locally XCO2 > 0.7, at ~340°C, which altered these rocks and stabilised kyanite in a carbonate-bearing assemblage. Oxygen and carbon stable isotope profiles across the Islay Anticline reveals highly channelized fluid flow along the axial region of this fold, with fluid:rock ratios at least four times higher than in rock farther away from the fold. Although carbon and oxygen isotope ratios of metacarbonate rocks were altered along the Islay Anticline, negative anomalies observed below and above the Port Askaig Tillite Formation cannot solely be attributed to metamorphic fluid flow, which implies that these rocks to varying degree retain their primary paleoclimatological isotopic signatures.

Abstract [sv]

Stora volymer H2O och CO2 frigörs som fluider under prograd metamorfos. Metamorfa fluider har lägre densitet än det omgivande berget, varför de stiger genom jordskorpan mot jordytan. Metamorfa fluider kanaliseras i permabla lager, skjuvzoner, veckaxlar, sprickor och andra högflödeszoner. Kanaliserade fluidflöden kan vara flera storleksordningar högre än bakgrundsvärdet för fluidflöde inom en bergart. Metamorfa fluider reagerar under transport med det omgivande berget och bildar fluidomvandlade zoner i anslutning till högflödeskanaler. Fluidomvandlat berg uppvisar texturella, mineralogiska, kemiska och isotopsammansättningsmässiga skillnader i jämförelse med berg som inte utsatts för fluidomvandling. I denna avhandling behandlas reaktioner mellan fluid och berg som studerats i två lokaler i de skotska högländerna: Glen Esk och Islay.

Glen Esk är en av de typlokaler som George Barrow (1853-1932) använde för att lägga fram konceptet om metamorfa zoner och metamorfa indexmineral som används för att ungefärligt uppskatta metamorf grad. I flera av de metamorfa zonerna är förekomsten av indexmineral i hög grad beroende av närhet till kvartsådror, vilket visar att bildandet av indexmineral inte bara styrs av tryck och temperatur, utan också av åtkomst till metamorfa fluider. I Glen Esk finns också spår av ett fluidflöde från North Esk-förkastningen, under retrograda metamorfa förhållanden, för vilket mededfluidflödet över tid uppgår till 0.0003 – 0.0126 m3∙m-2∙år-1. Denna fluidflödeshändelse beräknas ha pågått mellan 16 000 och 334 000 år.

På ön Islay i de sydvästra högländerna återfinns bergarter, som trots sin låga metamorfa grad i klorit- eller biotitzonen innehåller mineralet kyanit, dvs. temperaturer långt under vad som vanligen associeras med kyanitbildning. Detta förklaras med infiltration av fluider med extremt hög CO2-halt, åtminstone lokalt så högt som XCO2 > 0.7, vid ca. 340°C. Fluidomvandling av dessa bergarter stabiliserade kyanit tillsammans med karbonatmineral. Syre- och kolisotopprofiler över Islayantiklinen påvisar hög kanalisering av fluider längs dess veckaxeln. Förhållandet mellan fluid och berg var mer än fyra gånger så högt i närheten av veckaxeln jämfört lokaler längre ifrån densamma. Påverkan av metakarbonatbergarters isotopförhållanden har skett längs Islayantiklinen, men fluidpåverkan kan inte ensamt förklara de isotopanomalier som observerats under och ovan Port Askaig-tilliten, varför dessa bergarter kan ha bibehållit sin primära paleoklimatologiska isotopsignatur.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Geological Sciences, Stockholm University, 2017
Series
Meddelanden från Stockholms universitets institution för geologiska vetenskaper, 368
Keyword
metamorphic fluids, metamorphic fluid flow, fluid-rock interaction, metamorphic fluid fluxes
National Category
Geology
Research subject
Geology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-146121 (URN)978-91-7649-885-9 (ISBN)978-91-7649-886-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-10-06, William-Olssonsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Submitted. Paper 3: Manuscript.

Available from: 2017-09-13 Created: 2017-08-23 Last updated: 2017-09-05Bibliographically approved

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