Abstract

A detailed field and microstructural investigation of mineral fabrics in the late-Caledonian Galway Granite Batholith (~ 400 Ma) provides insights into the relationship between emplacement-related deformation and crystallization state. These relationships are used to infer the regional instantaneous strain pattern at the time of intrusion. A Marginal Deformation Zone occurs in the granite along part of its northern sector, where planar fabrics are contact-parallel and dip steeply to the north. Within the Marginal Deformation Zone, the granite has similar patterns of pre- and post-RCMP (Rheologically Critical Melt Percentage) fabrics on either side of the NNE-trending Shannawona Fault Zone, which separates the Western and Central blocks of the batholith. Oblate pre-RCMP fabrics, which intensify towards the contact, are overprinted in a down-temperature continuum of deformation by co-axial post-RCMP fabrics that also become more intense towards the contact. At the southern edge of the Marginal Deformation Zone, deformation ceased before the granite reached its RCMP whereas, close to the contact, deformation ceased at ~c 500 °C. Within the Central Block, oblate fabrics also developed parallel with internal granite facies boundaries. Throughout the batholith, the fabrics formed by co-axial deformation as a result of lateral expansion operating in successive magma batches at the emplacement level. These intrusion-related fabrics are consistent with other evidence that indicates the Galway Granite was emplaced into a transtensional setting at the end of the Caledonian Orogeny.

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