Archaean TTGs as sources of younger granitic magmas: melting of sodic metatonalites at 0.6 to 1.2 GPa.

Watkins, J. M, Clemens, J. D and Treolar, P.J. (2007) Archaean TTGs as sources of younger granitic magmas: melting of sodic metatonalites at 0.6 to 1.2 GPa. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 154(1), pp. 91-110. ISSN (print) 0010-7999


Two natural, low K2O/Na2O, TTG tonalitic gneisses (one hornblende-bearing and the other biotite-bearing) were partially melted at 0.8 to 1.2 GPa (fluid-absent). The chief melting reactions involve the breakdown of the biotite and hornblende. The hornblende tonalite is slightly less fertile than the biotite tonalite, but melt volumes reach around 30% at 1000 °C. This contrasts with results of most previous work on more potassic TTGs, which generally showed much lower fertility, though commonly producing more potassic melts. Garnet is formed in biotite-bearing tonalitic protoliths at P > 0.8 GPa and at > 1.0 GPa in hornblende-bearing tonalitic protoliths. All fluid-absent experiments produced peraluminous granitic to granodioritic melts, typically with SiO2 > 70 wt%. For the biotite tonalite, increasing T formed progressively more melt with progressively lower K2O/Na2O. However, the compositions of melts from the hornblende tonalite do not vary significantly with T. With increasing P, melts from the biotite tonalite become less potassic, due to the increasing thermal stability of biotite. For the hornblende tonalite, again there is no consistent trend. Fluid-absent melting of sodic TTGs produces melts with insufficient K2O to model the magmas that formed the voluminous, late, potassic granites that are common in Archaean terranes. Reconnaissance fluid-present experiments at 0.6 GPa imply that H2O-saturated partial melting of TTGs is also not a viable process for producing magmas that formed these granites. The protoliths for these must have been more potassic and less silicic. Nevertheless, at granulite-facies conditions, sodic TTGs will produce significant quantities of broadly leucogranodioritic melt, that will be more potassic than the protoliths. Upward abstraction of this melt would result in some LILE depletion of the terrane. Younger K-rich magmatism is unlikely to represent recycling of TTG crust on its own, and it seems most likely that evolved crustal rocks and/or highly enriched mantle must be involved.

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