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The relationship between crustal magmatic underplating and granite genesis: an example from the Velay granite complex, Massif Central, France

  • B. J. Williamson (a1), H. Downes (a2) and M. F. Thirlwall (a3)


The Velay granite pluton (Massif Central, France) is the youngest (304 ± 5 Ma) and largest (∼6,900 km2) of the major Massif Central monzogranites/granodiorites and was formed nearly 50 Ma after the cessation of Hercynian continental collision (Pin & Duthou 1990). It is a highly heterogeneous pluton consisting of I-type, high-Sr granites (Sr = 500-900 ppm) with low (+35 to +41) and high (-3 to -5), at its centre, grading into S-type and mixed I-S-type heterogeneous granites of more normal Sr content (100–420 ppm) and higher (+40 to +210) and lower (-3·8 to -7.3) at its margins.

The metasedimentary lower crust of the Massif Central was underplated/intruded by mafic mantle-derived magmas between 360 Ma and 300 Ma. From 300-280 Ma (Downes et al. 1991) underplating led to partial melting and granulite facies metamorphism of the underplated material (represented by felsic and mafic meta-igneous lower crustal xenoliths, = –11 to +112, = +2·2 to 8·2, Downes et al 1990). The partial melts assimilated mainly schist but also felsic gneiss and older granite country rock material ( = +100 to +300, = - 5 to -9) to produce the heterogeneous granites. Plagioclase and biotite were accumulated at the base of the intrusion which was intruded to high levels to form the high-Sr granites.



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The relationship between crustal magmatic underplating and granite genesis: an example from the Velay granite complex, Massif Central, France

  • B. J. Williamson (a1), H. Downes (a2) and M. F. Thirlwall (a3)


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