Significance of Illite Crystallinity and bo Values of K-white Mica in Low-Grade Metamorphic Rocks, North Hill End Synclinorium, New South Wales, Australia

R. Offler and E. Prendergast
Department of Geology, University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia, 2308
School of Earth Sciences, Macquarie University, N. Ryde (Sydney), NSW, Australia, 2113

Abstract: A study of low-grade metamorphism in late Silurian to early Carboniferous rocks in the North Hill End Synclinorium and adjacent anticlinoria has been made by the determination of illite crystallinity and bo values of K-white mica in eighty slates and phyllites. Illite crystallinity values vary from 0.40 Δ°2θ on the Molong Anticlinorium to 0.12 Δ°2θ within the axis of the synclinorium, suggesting anchizonal to epizonal metamorphic conditions. This is in agreement with previous observations on Ca-Al-hydrosilicate assemblages which indicated a change from prehnite-pumpellyite facies in the anticlinoria adjacent to the synclinorium to middle greenschist facies in the axis. Local variations in crystallinity are attributed to variation in aK+ in fluids migrating along cleavage zones.

The mean bo value obtained from the pelites is 9.017 Å (σn = 0.008; n = 80) which is in close agreement with that obtained from part of the adjacent Capertee Anticlinorium (x¯=9.019Å ; σn = 0.007; n = 52). However, ‘t’ tests indicate that two bo populations are present in the synclinorium (x¯=9.010 and 9.022Å), with the lower values concentrated in the southern portion of this structure. The two populations are considered to be the result of slightly different metamorphic conditions prevailing during the deformation of the rocks in the synclinorium. A higher geothermal gradient affecting rocks giving the lower bo values is attributed to the presence of granitoids at shallower depths than elsewhere in the synclinorium.

Keywords: illite • mica • metamorphic rocks • North Hill End Synclinorium • New South Wales • Australia

Mineralogical Magazine; June 1985 v. 49; no. 352; p. 357-364; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1985.049.352.06
© 1985, The Mineralogical Society
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