ABSTRACT

This paper describes a detailed petrographic and isotopic study of hypabyssal sheets of quartz-syenite that represent the ultimate differentiation product of the oceanite alkaline magmatic reservoir of the Piton des Neiges stratovolcano (Réunion Island). Clay minerals of the corrensite to chlorite series crystallized during the late-magmatic activity, with quartz, carbonates and accessory minerals from juvenile fluids filling the primary porosity of the quartz-syenite. It is proposed that a double chemical transfer occurred at the end of the crystallization process: degassing of the exsolved CO2-rich and SiO2-rich fluid from the magmatic chamber through the porous quartz-syenite and diffusion of Al, Fe and Mg from the intruded basalts affected by the juvenile fluids towards the primary porosity of the quartz-syenite, feeding the crystallization of late-magmatic clays in the residual primary pores after quartz and carbonate deposition. This process may be generalized to alkaline plutonism, as well as to the primitive crusts of terrestrial planets, and may be the first source of clays in early planets.

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