Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Subhorizontally layered pegmatite-aplite bodies are characterized by fine-grained, sodic to granitic aplite that is usually juxtaposed abruptly above by much coarser-grained, commonly graphic potassic pegmatite. Although well studied, there currently is little concensus as to how such dikes form. The Little Three dike near Ramona, California, is representative of such zoned bodies in this and other regions, and contains discontinuous miarolitic pockets near the base of the graphic pegmatite zone. Tourmaline, garnet, biotite, and muscovite show no changes in major- or minor-element compositions indicative of progressive magmatic fractionation until the immediate vicinity of the main miarolitic zone, where they record abrupt and extreme enrichments in Li, F, and Mn. There is no correlation of chemical changes in the dike with the appearance of small miarolitic vugs well below the main miarolitic zone, nor is there any indication that the aplite, graphic pegmatite, or miarolitic pockets represent separate magma injections. The chemistries of tourmaline, garnet, and micas, however, preclude conventional models of Rayleigh fractionation or traditional zone refining. Textural features and modeled cooling histories indicate that the dike cooled quickly and might have solidified partially or totally to glass before crystallization commenced. Geothermometry based on the compositions of coexisting plagioclase and homogeneous, nonperthitic K-feldspar indicates inward crystallization of the dike, from ∼400–435 °C at the margins to ∼350–390 °C within 20–30 cm of the pocket horizon, then a sharp decrease to 240–275 °C in the pockets where K-feldspar is perthitic. We interpret the feldspar geothermometry (except perhaps in the miarolitic cavities) to reflect the temperatures at crystallization fronts that advanced into the pegmatite, first from the foot wall and eventually joined by a similar front downward from the hanging wall. Crystallization down from the hanging wall may have commenced after ∼70–80% of the foot wall aplite had crystallized. The very abrupt increases of Li, Mn, and F in tourmaline and garnet near the miarolitic zone appear to be explained best by the process of constitutional zone refining, in which a fluxed crystallization front sweeps an incompatible element-enriched boundary layer through a solid or semi-solid. After these two highly fluxed boundary layers merged near the main miarolitic zone, compositional evolution could have proceeded by crystal-melt fractionation.
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