Compositional variations in mafic phyllosilicates from regional low-grade metabasites and application of the chlorite geothermometer
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Mafic phyllosilicates in metabasites affected by low-grade regional metamorphism from Wales and eastern North Greenland show variations in their structure and chemistry. These variations are related to four mineral zones in these metabasites, which are recognized on the presence/absence of various key calc-silicate minerals and also actinolite. Zones 1 and 2 equate with the zeolite facies, zone 3 with the prehnite-pumpellyite facies (or prehnite-actinolite facies in rocks with appropriate bulk rock composition) and zone 4 with the greenschist facies. Whilst variations in Fe/(Fe + Mg) in chlorite correlate closely with Fe/(Fe + Mg) ratios in the whole-rock, other chemical variations are clearly unrelated to whole-rock compositions. Contents of Al(iv) are seen to increase systematically in samples from zone 1 through to zone 4, which relate to an increase in temperature. Calibration of alteration temperatures, calculated using the chlorite geothermometer (based on Al(iv) contents) developed for meta-andesites in the Los Azufres geothermal system (Mexico), against x values (an estimate of the proportion of chlorite to swelling component in the mafic phyllosilicates) shows a decrease in the swelling component in passing from zone 1 to zone 4, i.e. with an increase in temperature. Calculated temperatures compare favourably with published stability estimates for the various key calc-silicates and actinolite. These data indicate that the chlorite geothermometer, although developed for meta-andesites from a hydrothermal system, does show a correlation with temperatures estimated from calc-silicate assemblages in metabasites affected by low-grade metamorphism developed on a regional scale.
- Los Azufres