The influence of cordierite on melting and mineral-melt equilibria in ultra-high-temperature metamorphism

Simon L Harley, Pauline Thompson

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Experimentally constrained calibrations of the incorporation of H(2)O and CO(2) into cordierite as functions of P-T-a(H2O-)a(CO2) are integrated with KFMASH grids which define mineral-melt equilibria in pelites. This is used to explore the impact of the volatile content and composition of cordierite on anatexis and melt-related processes in high-temperature (HT) and ultra-high-temperature (UHT) metamorphism. The strongly temperature-sensitive H(2)O content of cordierite coexisting with dehydration melts (0.4-1.6 wt.%) causes a 10-25% relative decrease in the amount of melt produced from pelites compared with models which treat cordierite as anhydrous. KFMASH melting grids quantified for a(H2O) demonstrate consistency between the measured H(2)O contents in cordierite from granulite-migmatite terrains and mineral equilibria. These indicate anatexis with a(H2O) in the range 0.26-0.16 at 6-8 kbar and 870-930 degrees C. The pressure-stability of cordierite+garnet with respect to orthopyroxene+sillimanite+quartz in KFMASH is strongly influenced by cordierite H(2)O content, which decreases from 1.1 to 0.5 wt.% along the melting reaction Grt+Crd(H)+Kfs=Opx+Sil+Qz+L. The lower-T invariant point involving biotite (8-8 kbar/900 degrees C) that terminates this reaction has a(H2O) of 0.16 +/- 0.03, whereas the higher-T terminating invariant point involving osumilite (7.9kbar/940 degrees C) occurs at a(H2O) 0.08 +/- 0.02. Osumilite-bearing assemblages in UHT terrains imply a(H2O) of <0.08, and at 950-1000 degrees C and 8-9 kbar calculated a(H2O) is only 0.04-0.02. Cordierites stable in osumilite-bearing assemblages or with sapphirine+quartz have maximum predicted H(2)O contents of ca. 0.2 wt.%, consistent with H(2)O measured in cordierites from two sapphirine-bearing UHT samples from the Napier Complex. The addition of CO(2) to the H(2)O-undersaturated (dehydration-melting) system marginally decreases the temperature of melting because of the stabilisation of cordierite, the solid product of the peritectic melting reactions. The preferential incorporation of CO(2) enhances the stability of cordierite, even at fixed a(H2O), and causes the stability fields of Grt+Crd+Sil+Kfs+Qz+L and Grt+Opx+Crd+Kfs+Qz+L to expand to higher pressure, and to both higher and lower temperatures. The minimum solubility of H(2)O in granitic melt is independent of the CO(2) content of cordierite, and the distribution of H(2)O between melt and cordierite is similar at a given melt H(2)O-content to the H(2)O-only system. This enhanced stability of CO(2)-bearing cordierite leads to a reduced stability range for osumilite-bearing assemblages to temperatures of ca. 950-975 degrees C or greater. Cordierites in the Napier Complex UHT gneisses contain 0.5 and 1.05 wt.% CO(2), consistent with a role for CO(2) in stabilising cordierite with respect to osumilite in these unusual sapphirine-bearing granulites.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationFifth Hutton Symposium: The Origin of Granites and Related Rocks
    Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of a symposium held in Toyohashi, Japan, 2-6 September 2003
    EditorsShunso Ishihara, W E Stephens, S L Harley, M Arima, T Nakajima
    PublisherGeological Society of America
    Number of pages12
    ISBN (Print)978-0-8137-2389-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2005

    Publication series

    NameGeological Society of America Special Papers
    ISSN (Print)0072-1077


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