The highly calcic anorthosite (An>95) from the Sittampundi Layered Complex (SLC) develops corundum, spinel and sapphirine that are hitherto not reported from any anorthositic rocks in the world. Petrological observations indicate the following sequence of mineral growth: plagioclasematrix → corundum; clinopyroxene → amphibole; corundum + amphibole → plagioclasecorona + spinel; and spinel + corundum → coronitic sapphirine. Phase relations in the CaO–Na2O–Al2O3–SiO2–H2O (CNASH) system suggest that corundum was presumably developed through vapour present incongruent melting of the highly calcic plagioclase during ultra-high temperature (UHT) metamorphism (T ≥ 1000 °C, P ≥ 9 kbar). Topological constraints in parts of the Na2O–CaO–MgO–Al2O3–SiO2–H2O (NCMASH) system suggest that subsequent to the UHT metamorphism, aqueous fluid(s) permeated the rock and the assemblage corundum + amphibole + anorthite + clinozoisite was stabilized during high-pressure (HP) metamorphism (11 ± 2 kbar, 750 ± 50 °C). Constraints of the NCMASH topology and thermodynamic and textural modeling study suggest that coronitic plagioclase and spinel formed at the expense of corundum + amphibole during a steeply decompressive retrograde P–T path (7–8 kbar and 700–800 °C) in an open system. Textural modeling studies combined with chemical potential diagrams (μSiO2–μMgO) in the MASH system support the view that sapphirine also formed from due to silica and Mg metasomatism of the precursor spinel ± corundum, on the steeply decompressive retrograde P–T path, prior to onset of significant cooling of the SLC. Extremely channelized fluid flow and large positive solid volume change of the stoichiometrically balanced sapphirine forming reaction explains the localized growth of sapphirine.
Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 7, 2017
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