Exsolution During Metamorphism with Particular Reference to Feldspar Solid Solutions

Brian A. Sturt
Geologisk Institutt, Universitetet i Bergen, Norway

Summary: In the aureole of the syn-orogenic Hasvik Gabbro a variety of exsolution phenomena developed during the contact metamorphism. These exsolution phenomena have similar textures to those produced during the age-hardening of metal alloys. In feldspars the exsolution precipitates are closely related to the pattern of excesses over and deficiencies from the formula requirements, particularly in terms of SiO2 and Al2O3. The exsolution products are dependent upon both the temperatures of ageing and the details of the mineral chemistry. Evidence supporting an exsolution theory of origin for myrmekite is provided, and it is shown that precipitation from heterotype feldspar solid solutions during metamorphism may in fact be a complex process involving a number of precipitate phases.

The nucleation of sillimanite as a precipitate phase is discussed and it is shown how sillimanite develops at a number of distinctive sites within feldspar and garnet. From the textural relations of sillimanite precipitates and their host minerals a control exerted by the thermal stress configuration over the nucleation of precipitate phases is suggested. It is argued that the thermal stresses exerted across grain boundaries and within minerals during metamorphism may have considerable relevance to the interpretation of textures in metamorphic rocks.

Mineralogical Magazine; September 1970 v. 37; no. 291; p. 815-832; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1970.037.291.07
© 1970, The Mineralogical Society
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