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The Layos Granite, Hercynian Complex of Toledo (Spain): an example of parautochthonous restite-rich granite in a granulitic area

  • L. Barbero (a1) and C. Villaseca


The Layos Granite forms elongated massifs within the Toledo Complex of central Spain. It is late-tectonic with respect to the F2 regional phase and simultaneous with the metamorphic peak of the region, which reached a maximum temperature of 800–850°C and pressures of 400–600 MPa. Field studies indicate that this intrusion belongs to the “regional migmatite terrane granite” type. This granite is typically interlayered with sill-like veins and elongated bodies of cordierite/garnet-bearing leucogranites. Enclaves are widespread and comprise restitic types (quartz lumps, biotite, cordierite and sillimanite-rich enclaves) and refractory metamorphic country-rocks including orthogneisses, amphibolites, quartzites, conglomerates and calc-silicate rocks.

These granites vary from quartz-rich tonalites to melamonzogranites and define a S-type trend on a QAP plot. Cordierite and biotite are the mafic phases of the rocks. The particularly high percentage of cordierite (10%–30%) varies inversely with the silica content. Sillimanite is a common accessory mineral, always included in cordierite, suggesting a restitic origin. The mineral chemistry of the Layos Granite is similar to that of the leucogranites and country-rock peraluminous granulites (kinzigites), indicating a close approach to equilibrium. The uniform composition of plagioclase (An25), the high albitic content of the K-feldspar, the continuous variation in the Fe/Mg ratios of the mafic minerals, and the high Ti content of the biotites (2.5–6.5%) suggest a genetic relationship.

Geochemically, the Layos Granite is strongly peraluminous. Normative corundum lies between 4% and 10% and varies inversely with increase in SiO2. The CaO content is typically low (<1.25%) and shows little variation; similarly the LILE show a limited range. On many variation diagrams, linear trends from peraluminous granulites to the Layos Granite and associated leucogranite can be observed. The chemical characteristics argue against an igneous fractionation or fusion mechanism for the diversification of the Layos Granite. A restite unmixing model between a granulitic pole (represented by the granulites of the Toledo Complex) and a minimum melt (leucogranites) could explain the main chemical variation of the Layos Granite. Melting of a pelitic protolith under anhydrous conditions (biotite dehydration melting) could lead to minimum-temperature melt compositions and a strongly peraluminous residuum.

For the most mafic granites (61–63% SiO2), it is estimated that the trapped restite component must have been around 65%. This high proportion of restite is close to the estimated rheological critical melt fraction, but field evidence suggests that this critical value has been exceeded. This high restite component implies high viscosity of the melt which, together with the anhydrous assemblage of the Layos Granite and the associated leucogranites, indicates H2O-undersaturated melting conditions. Under such conditions, the high viscosity magma (crystal-liquid mush) had a restricted movement capacity, leading to the development of parautochthonous plutonic bodies.



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The Layos Granite, Hercynian Complex of Toledo (Spain): an example of parautochthonous restite-rich granite in a granulitic area

  • L. Barbero (a1) and C. Villaseca


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