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Laramide comagmatic series in the Colorado Front Range; the feldspars

George Phair and Frances G. Fisher
Laramide comagmatic series in the Colorado Front Range; the feldspars (in Petrologic studies--A volume in honor of A. F. Buddington)
Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States (1962) 479-521


Modern X-ray diffractometer, optical, and chemical techniques coupled with principles developed by recent phase-equilibria studies of the hydrous systems Ab-Or, Ab-Or-Q, and Ab-Or-An have been applied to the feldspars from 68 analyzed rocks belonging to a complex comagmatic series, the Laramide intrusive sequence in the Colorado Front Range. Consistent differences in composition, thermal state, and paragenesis of the feldspars confirm the subdivision of the rocks into 2 related lines of descent, based upon bulk composition and mafic mineralogy, and throw light on the pressures (H (sub 2) O) and temperatures involved. The sodic subseries consists of abundant porphyritic-aphanitic dikes and stocks concentrated in the fractured mineral belt proper. These rocks contain more than 59% Ab/(Ab + Or) and are inferred to be the result of strong fractionation and partial devolatilization brought on by deep Laramide fracturing. The chief mafic minerals are hornblende and aegirine-augite. Most plagioclase phenocrysts are early, contain up to 16% Or by weight, and are strongly zoned. They are predominantly high-temperature plagioclase in which the cores commonly have higher temperature characteristics than the sodic rims. As crystallization progressed, the high-temperature plagioclase was joined by high-temperature alkali feldspar (hyperorthoclase cryptoperthite) containing 33-47% (Ab + An) by weight. As the magma temperature continued to fall, especially under conditions of strong fractionation, all or part of the high-temperature potassic plagioclase reacted with the highly sodic liquid to yield high-temperature sodic alkali feldspar. Mantling of the plagioclase by alkali feldspar resulted in incomplete reaction and led to an increase in the Or/(Or + Ab) ratio of the final An-poor residuum. When filter-pressed, these late liquids produced a range of An-poor rocks, including the quartz bostonites, having Or/Or + Ab) ratios higher than that at the minimum in the hydrous system Ab-Or-Q (about 0.60 at the prevailing H (sub 2) O pressures). These residual liquids were unusually enriched in U, Th, and other silicophile minor elements. The An-poor residual liquids yielded early phenocrysts of alkali feldspar in place of plagioclase. The high-temperature optics and composition of the phenocrysts indicate hypersolvus crystallization at H (sub 2) O pressures close to 3000 kg/cm (super 2) and temperatures close to 690 degrees C. As the temperature fell and fluxes built up in the remaining liquid, 2 low-temperature feldspars, highly sodic plagioclase and microcline, crystallized under subsolvus conditions throughout the groundmass. The groundmass feldspars retain textures indicative of original crystallization; clearly, these feldspars formed before much of the associated quartz, thus ruling out formation by subsolidus exsolution. The potassic subseries is made up of phaneritic intrusive rocks including more mafic types, mainly earlier than the sodic subseries, plus later leucocratic types resembling normal calc-alkaline granite believed to have formed approximately at the same time as the sodic subseries. These phaneritic rocks contain less than 59% Ab/(Ab + Or), are mainly restricted to the less fractured borders of the mineral belt, contain a more hydrous mafic assemblage, and are inferred to be the products of stronger reaction. The potassic subseries contains mostly low-temperature feldspars: weakly zoned plagioclase having less than 5% Or, and potassic alkali feldspar (suborthoclase microperthite) containing less than 28%

Title: Laramide comagmatic series in the Colorado Front Range; the feldspars
Title: Petrologic studies--A volume in honor of A. F. Buddington
Pages: 479-521
Published: 1962
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Accession Number: 1962-006261
Categories: Igneous and metamorphic petrology
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus., tables
N37°00'00" - N41°00'00", W109°00'00" - W102°00'00"
Source Note: New York, Geol. Soc. America
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from Bibliography and Index of North American Geology, U. S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, United States
Update Code: 1962
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