Criteria that have been (and still are) used to characterize S-type granites of the Lachlan Fold Belt (LFB) of southeastern Australia are reviewed, and comparisons are made with various peraluminous granites of southwestern North America, some of which have been classified as S-types on the basis of insufficient data.
Virtually all of the vast volume of S-type granites in the LFB are near-surface, batholithic granites that are commonly associated with S-type volcanics and are not associated with regional metamorphic rocks and migmatites. They are strongly peraluminous, as shown by the presence of cordierite. Granites with primary muscovite are rare. All are low in Na, Ca, and Sr as a result of chemical weathering during formation of the sedimentary sources. Peraluminous granites of various ages in southwestern North America are distinctly different. They rarely contain cordierite (a mineral characteristic of LFB S-types), but some are highly evolved such that Fe-Mn-rich garnet has crystallized. They are dominantly two-mica granites, indicating crystallization at higher water fugacities and greater depths than most peraluminous granites of the LFB. Cordierite-bearing volcanics (S-types) have not been reported. Sodium is generally high in the peraluminous granites of southwestern North America. Some of these rocks have trondhjemitic affinities; the parent magmas seem more likely to have been produced by partial melting of altered basaltic rocks. Locally, some peraluminous rocks (marginal to metaluminous types) may owe their compositions to high-level contamination of I-types; these are not S-type rocks. No compelling evidence has been presented that any of the peraluminous granites of southwestern North America are S-types.