A sustained felsic magmatic system: the Hercynian granitic batholith of the Spanish Central System
Carlos Villaseca, Victor Herreros, 2000. "A sustained felsic magmatic system: the Hercynian granitic batholith of the Spanish Central System", The Fourth Hutton Symposium on the Origin of Granites and Related Rocks, Bernard Barbarin, William Edryd Stephens, Bernard Bonin, Jean-Luc Bouchez, David Barrie Clarke, Michel Cuney, Hervé Martin
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A batholith of around 10,000 km2 was formed during the Hercynian orogeny in the Spanish Central System (SCS). Geochronological data indicate concentrated magmatic activity during the period 325–284 Ma. This late-orogenic magmatism is essentially granitic with only minor associated basic rocks (< 2% in outcrop). The SCS is a remarkably homogeneous batholith showing a restricted range of geochemical granite types without any evolutionary pattern related to time. These peraluminous granites show a limited variation in Na2O/Ka2O) (0.60–0.95), K/Rb (140–240), (La/Yb)n (6–13), and Eu/Eu* (0.34–0.62) ratios. This constancy in chemical characteristics is also reflected in their isotopic signatures: most monzogranites have initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios in the range of 0.7073–0.71229, initial εNd values vary between −5.4 and −6.6 and δ18O values group in the restricted range of 8.9–9.6‰. The lack of significant differences among SCS granitoids, maintained during a long geological period, suggests constancy in the nature of their source regions and conditions of magma generation. (1) Limited range of crustal sources: an essentially magmatic recycling during Hercynian orogen is suggested. Mantle-derived components are very limited and restricted to a minor role in the origin of the batholith. Geochemical and isotopic features of SCS granitoids are compatible with felsic lower crustal sources. (2) Constraints in melt conditions: uniformity in residual mineral assemblages (feldspars and garnet are always present in the granulitic residua) combined with a lack of attainment of equilibrium conditions during accessory phase dissolution in the crustal melting process is suggested. Granitic melts never reach saturation in some trace elements (REE, Th, Y, Zr), restricting their chemical variability. (3) Homogenisation in magma chambers: long-lived magmatic systems whose successive pulses accumulate into large magma chambers have the opportunity to mingle, thus reducing source differences.