Abstract

An extensive belt of A-type granite exists along the southeast coast of China. The granites are divided into peralkaline and more aluminous subgroups which differ in mineral assemblages, mineral compositions and textures. In the peralkaline subgroup, primary magmatic Th-rich zircon is typically overgrown by Th-poor zircon containing thorite micro-inclusions. REE minerals in this subgroup are dominated by allanite-(Ce), chevkinite-(Ce), titanite and pyrochlore. Fe-Ti oxides are titanian magnetite and Mn-rich ilmenite. In contrast, in the more aluminous subgroup rocks, zircon is weakly zoned and exhibits very low Th but relatively high U contents. The REE minerals are dominated by Th-rich monazite-(Ce). Titanium-poor magnetite, pyrophanite and rutile are the major Fe-Ti oxides. These occurrences indicate that peralkaline magmas favour the formation of REE silicates, whereas magmas with higher alumina saturation stabilize REE phosphates. Peralkaline granites crystallized at temperatures 50–100°C greater than the more aluminous granites, but under lower oxidation conditions. These differences in formation conditions of the two A-type granite subgroups, deduced by accessory mineral characteristics, are inferred to be related to magma derivation at different crustal levels, with peralkaline magma deriving from a deeper crustal level with more mantle input.

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