Fusion of arkosic sand by intrusive andesite

Open-File Report 54-14




An andesite dike in the Valles Mountains of northern New Mexico has intruded and partly fused arkosic sediments for a distance of 50 feet from its contacts. The dike is semi-circular in form, has a maximum width of about 100 feet, and is about 500 feet long. Small associated arcuate dikes are arranged in spiral fashion around the main dike, suggesting that they were intruded along shear fractures similar to those described by Burbank (1941). The fused rocks surrounding the andesite dike are of three general types: 1) partly fused arkosic sand, 2) fused clay, and 3) hybrid rocks. The fused arkosic sand consists of relict detrital grains of quartz, orthoclose, and plagioclase, imbedded in colorless glass containing microlites of tridymite, cordierite, and magnetite. The relict quartz grains are corroded and embayed by glass; the orthoclase is sanidinized and partly fused; and the plagioclase is inverted to the high temperature form and is partly fused. The fused clay, which was originally a mixture of montmorillonite and hydromica, consists primarily of cordierite but also contains needle-like crystals of sillimanite (?) or mullite (?). The hybrid rocks originated in part by intermixing of fused arkosic sediments and andesitic liquid and in part by diffusion of mafic constituents through the fused sediments. They are rich in cordierite and magnetite and also contain hypersthene, augite, and plagioclase. The composition of pigeonite in the andesite indicates that the temperature of the andesite at the time of intrusion probably did not exceed 1200?C. Samples of arkosic sand were fused in the presence of water in a Morey bomb at 1050?C. Stability relations of certain minerals in the fused sand suggest that fusion may have taken place at a lower temperature, however, and the fluxing action of volatiles from the andesite are thought to have made this possible.

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Fusion of arkosic sand by intrusive andesite
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Open-File Report
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U.S. Geological Survey],
87 p. ill. (3 folded, col.) ;30 cm.