Field, petrographic and geochemical evidence from the K-feldspar megacrystic Kameruka pluton, Lachlan Fold Belt, southeastern Australia, suggests that complex, multicomponent, mafic microgranular enclaves (MME) are produced by two-stage hybridisation processes. Stage 1 mixing occurs in composite dykes below the pluton, as mafic and silicic melts ascend through shared conduits. Pillows formed in these conduits are homogeneous, fine-to medium-grained stage 1 MME, which typically range from basaltic to granitic compositions that plot as a sublinear array on Harker diagrams. Stage 2 hybridisation occurs in the magma chamber when the composite dykes mix with the resident magma as synplutonic dykes. The stage 2 hybrids also form linear chemical arrays and range from basaltic to granodioritic compositions, the latter resembling the more mafic phases of the pluton. Stage 2 MME are distinguished from stage 1 types by the presence of K-feldspar xenocrysts and a more heterogeneous nature: they commonly contain stage 1 enclaves. Subsequent disaggregation and dispersal of stage 2 hybrid synplutonic dykes within the magma chamber produces a diverse array of multi-component MME.
Field evidence for conduit mixing is consistent with published analogue experimental studies, which show that hybrid thermo-mechanical boundary layers (TMBL) develop between mafic and silicic liquids in conduits. A mechanical mixing model is developed, suggesting that the TMBL expands and interacts with the adjacent contrasting melts during flow, producing an increasing compositional range of hybrids with time that are mafic in the axial zone, grading to felsic in the peripheral zones in the conduit. Declining flow rates in the dyke and cooling of the TMBL zones produce a pillowing sequence progressing from mafic to felsic, which explains the general observation of more MME in more silicic hosts.
The property of granitic magmas to undergo transient brittle failure in seismic regimes allows analogies with fractured solids to be drawn. The fracture network in granitic magmas consists of through-going ‘backbone’ mafic and silicic ± composite dykes, and smaller ‘dangling’ granitic dykes locally generated in the magma chamber. Stage 1 hybrids form in composite backbone dykes and stage 2 hybrids form where they intersect dangling dykes in the magma chamber. With subsequent shear stress recovery, the host magma chamber reverts to a visco-plastic material capable of flow, resulting in disaggregation and dispersal of these complex, hybrid synplutonic dykes, and a vast array of double and multicomponent enclaves potentially develop in the pluton.