Fluid heterogeneity during granulite facies metamorphism in the Adirondacks: stable isotope evidence

Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology

DOI: 10.1007/BF00371706



The preservation of premetamorphic, whole-rock oxygen isotope ratios in Adirondack metasediments shows that neither these rocks nor adjacent anorthosites and gneisses have been penetrated by large amounts of externally derived, hot CO2-H2O fluids during granulite facies metamorphism. This conclusion is supported by calculations of the effect of fluid volatilization and exchange and is also independently supported by petrologic and phase equilibria considerations. The data suggest that these rocks were not an open system during metamorphism; that fluid/rock ratios were in many instances between 0.0 and 0.1; that externally derived fluids, as well as fluids derived by metamorphic volatilization, rose along localized channels and were not pervasive; and thus that no single generalization can be applied to metamorphic fluid conditions in the Adirondacks. Analyses of 3 to 4 coexisting minerals from Adirondack marbles show that isotopic equilibrium was attained at the peak of granulite and upper amphibolite facies metamorphism. Thus the isotopic compositions of metamorphic fluids can be inferred from analyses of carbonates and fluid budgets can be constructed. Carbonates from the granulite facies are on average, isotopically similar to those from lower grade or unmetamorphosed limestones of the same age showing that no large isotopic shifts accompanied high grade metamorphism. Equilibrium calculations indicate that small decreases in ??18O, averaging 1 permil, result from volatilization reactions for Adirondack rock compositions. Additional small differences between amphibolite and granulite facies marbles are due to systematic lithologie differences. The range of Adirondack carbonate ??18O values (12.3 to 27.2) can be explained by the highly variable isotopic compositions of unmetamorphosed limestones in conjunction with minor 18O and 13C depletions caused by metamorphic volatilization suggesting that many (and possibly most) marbles have closely preserved their premetamorphic isotopic compositions. Such preservation is particularly evident in instances of high ??18O calcites (25.0 to 27.2), low ??18O wollastonites (-1.3 to 3.5), and sharp gradients in ??18O (18 permil/15m between marble and anorthosite, 8 permil/25 m in metasediments, and 6 permil/1 m in skarn). Isotopic exchange is seen across marble-anorthosite and marble-granite contacts only at the scale of a few meters. Small (<5 m) marble xenoliths are in approximate exchange equilibrium with their hosts, but for larger xenoliths and layers of marble there is no evidence of exchange at distances greater than 10 m from meta-igneous contacts. ?? 1984 Springer-Verlag.

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Fluid heterogeneity during granulite facies metamorphism in the Adirondacks: stable isotope evidence
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