Abstract

A detailed field study to determine quantitatively the distribution of K-feldspar megacrysts, mafic microgranular enclaves (MME) and metasedimentary xenoliths has been carried out in the Monte Capanne pluton (Elba, Italy) with a view to evaluating the utility of this approach to petrogenetic investigations. Mafic microgranular enclaves are inferred to result from interactions between mafic and felsic magmas, while xenoliths attest to crustal assimilation occurring in the Monte Capanne magma chamber. In particular, we emphasize, based on our field data, that both processes are intimately linked, such that xenolith dissolution during assimilation was triggered by replenishment with hot mafic magma. It is suggested that the previously defined ‘San Piero’ and ‘San Francesco’ facies do not differ substantially, and are thus amalgamated and renamed as the ‘Pomonte’ facies. Results also indicate that the abundance of K-feldspar megacrysts is positively correlated with the volumetric abundance of MME in the Sant’ Andrea facies, which we link to a recharging, mingling and textural coarsening event that occurred at a rather late stage of magma-chamber evolution prior to emplacement. This study demonstrates how petrogenetic processes can be deciphered by detailed field quantitative analyses of granite-forming components, thus complementing geochemical investigations.

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