Published:April 21, 2020
Granites (sensu lato) come in many types and flavours, defining distinct magmatic series/suites/types. A good classification not only gives generally accepted and understandable names to similar rocks but also links the bulk chemical composition to the stoichiometry of the constituent minerals and, potentially, also to the likely source, magmatic evolution and tectonic setting.
The ‘ideal’ granitoid classification should be based on chemical criteria amenable to an objective treatment. Statistical analysis helps to identify the most discriminant variables. The key properties are (1) acidity/maficity, (2) alkalinity (balance of Na + K v. Ca), (3) aluminosity (balance of Al v. Ca, Na and K), (4) Fe/Mg balance and (5) Na/K balance and K contents at the given SiO2 level. These are used by successful classifications, e.g. the I/S dichotomy is based mainly on aluminosity, while the Frost et al. (2001; ‘A geochemical classification for granitic rocks', Journal of Petrology, 42, 2033–2048, https://doi.org/10.1093/petrology/42.11.2033) classification includes all but Na/K. Even though it is commonplace to use weight percentages of oxides, we suggest that a better strategy is to employ simple atomic parameters (e.g. millications-based) that can be directly linked to modal proportions and compositions/crystal structure of individual rock-forming minerals. This facilitates a petrological interpretation, which, in turn, can be related to petrogenesis and, ultimately, to likely tectonic setting(s).
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Post-Archean Granitic Rocks: Petrogenetic Processes and Tectonic Environments
CONTAINS OPEN ACCESS
Granites (sensu lato) represent the dominant rock-type forming the upper–middle continental crust but their origin remains a matter of long-standing controversy. The granites may result from fractionation of mantle-derived basaltic magmas, or partial melting of different crustal protoliths at contrasting P–T conditions, either water-fluxed or fluid-absent. Consequently, many different mechanisms have been proposed to explain the compositional variability of granites ranging from whole igneous suites down to mineral scale. This book presents an overview of the state of the art, and envisages future avenues towards a better understanding of granite petrogenesis. The volume focuses on the following topics:
compositional variability of granitic rocks generated in contrasting geodynamic settings during the Proterozoic to Phanerozoic Periods;
main permissible mechanisms producing subduction-related granites;
crustal anatexis of different protoliths and the role of water in granite petrogenesis; and
new theoretical and analytical tools available for modelling whole-rock geochemistry in order to decipher the sources and evolution of granitic suites.