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Peraluminous granites: the effect of alumina on melt composition and coexisting minerals

  • François Holtz (a1), Wilhelm Johannes (a2) and Michel Pichavant (a3)


Liquidus phase relationships at H2O-saturated and -undersaturated conditions and 2 kbar in the systems Qz-Or-Ab (SiO2-KAlSi3O8-NaAlSi3O8), Qz-Or-Ab-Al2O3, and subsystems are compared and discussed. In the peraluminous systems (i.e. when melts are saturated with respect to mullite) the liquidus temperatures are lowered by 40-55°C for compositions in the quartz primary field and by 15-25°C for cotectic compositions. The composition of the Qz-Ab eutectic and of the minimum are slightly shifted towards more Qz-rich compositions (minimum composition at P(H2O) = 2 kbar in the system Qz-Or-Ab-A12O3, saturated with respect to mullite: Qz40Or23Ab37). In melts saturated with sillimanite or mullite, the effect of high Al content may be lower for the Qz-Or than for the Qz-Ab eutectic.

The depression of the liquidus temperatures may be partly related to the higher H2O solubility in melts saturated with respect to mullite. The solubility of H2O in a melt with a composition of Qz28Or34Ab38 at 2 kbar and 800°C is 5·77 ± 0·15 wt% H2O and 6·36 ± 0·30 wt% H2O in a melt with the same Qz/Or/Ab proportions but saturated with respect to mullite.

The effect of high Al contents on the Mg and Fe contents of Ca-free granite melts was investigated at 775°C-3 kbar (melts coexisting with phlogopite), and at 820°C-2 kbar (melts coexisting with biotite and spinel), under NNO buffer conditions. Less than 0·15 wt% MgO is incorporated in subaluminous melts coexisting with phlogopite, whereas peraluminous melts (2·9 wt% normative corundum) contain 0·6–0·7 wt% MgO. A similar behaviour of the MgO content is observed for melts coexisting with biotite. In contrast, no significant effect of high Al contents on the FeO content of melt coexisting with biotite was observed. This suggests that the Fe/Mg ratio may be significantly lower in peraluminous than in subaluminous granitic melts.



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