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An exsolution silica-pump model for the origin of myrmekite

Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology

By:
and
DOI: 10.1007/BF00712978

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Abstract

Myrmekite, as defined here, is the microscopic intergrowth between vermicular quartz and modestly anorthitic plagioclase (calcic albite-oligoclase), intimately associated with potassium feldspar in plutonic rocks of granitic composition. Hypotheses previously invoked in explanation of myrmekite include: (1) direct crystallization; (2) replacement; (3) exsolution. The occurrence of myrmekite in paragneisses and its absence in rocks devold of discrete grains of potassium feldspar challenge those hypotheses based on direct crystallization or replacement. However, several lines of evidence indicate that myrmekite may in fact originate in response to kinetic effects associated with the exsolution of calcic alkali feldspar into discrete potassium feldspar and plagioclase phases. Exsolution of potassium feldspar system projected from [AlSi2O8] involves the exchange CaAlK-1Si-1, in which the AlSi-1 tetrahedral couple is resistant to intracrystalline diffusion. By contrast, diffusion of octahedral K proceeds relatively easily where it remains uncoupled to the tetrahedral exchange. We suggest here that where the ternary feldspar system is open to excess silica, the exchange reaction that produces potassium feldspar in the ternary plane is aided by the net-transfer reaction K+Si=Orthoclase, leaving behind indigenous Si that reports as modal quartz in the evolving plagioclase as the CaAl component is concomitantly incorporated in this same phase. Thus silica is "pumped" into the reaction volume from a "silica reservoir", a process that enhances redistribution of both Si and Al through the exsolving ternary feldspar. ?? 1993 Springer-Verlag.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
An exsolution silica-pump model for the origin of myrmekite
Series title:
Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
DOI:
10.1007/BF00712978
Volume
115
Issue:
1
Year Published:
1993
Language:
English
Publisher location:
Springer-Verlag
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
First page:
58
Last page:
65
Number of Pages:
8