Geochemical variations and element transfer during shear zone development and related episyenitisation at middle crust depths: insights from the study of the Mont Blanc Granite (French Italian Alps). - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Book Sections Year : 2005

Geochemical variations and element transfer during shear zone development and related episyenitisation at middle crust depths: insights from the study of the Mont Blanc Granite (French Italian Alps).

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Abstract

his paper highlights the relationships between the formation of shear zones, associated quartz-rich veins and their quartz-depleted alteration haloes (‘episyenites') that have formed in the Mont Blanc Massif during the Alpine orogeny. The shear zones are steeply dipping and formed late (18–13 Ma) during collisional orogeny, at mid-crustal depths (5 ± 1 kbar, 400 ± 50 °C) during uplift of the Mont Blanc Massif. Between the shear zones, nearly undeformed granite contains widely dispersed, subhorizontal veins with a quartz-dominant quartz + albite + chlorite + adularia assemblage. They do not intersect the shear zones and are surrounded by quartz-depleted alteration haloes up to several metres wide. The compositions of the shear zones and the vein-alteration haloes (episyenites) show substantial departures from the bulk composition of the host rock. Shear zones are characterized by greenschist facies assemblages (epidote-, chlorite- or K-white-micabearing assemblages). Each shear zone type is featured by a specific chemical change: depletions in K2O, and enrichments in Fe2O3 and CaO (epidote-); with depletions in CaO, Na2O, K2O and slight SiO2 enrichments (white mica-chlorite-); with depletions in SiO2, CaO, Na2O, K2O and enrichments in MgO (phlogopite-chlorite shear zones). Episyenites are characterized by chemically induced porosity enhancement due to dissolution of magmatic quartz and biotite, with subsequent partial infilling of pore spaces by quartz, chlorite, albite and adularia. The vein arrays have accommodated minor vertical stretching in the Mont Blanc Massif, probably at the same time as the adjacent shear zones were accommodating more substantial vertical stretching in the massif. Coupled quartz dissolution in the wallrock alteration haloes and quartz precipitation in veins could be interpreted to reflect local mass transfer between wallrock and veins during essentially closed-system behaviour in the relatively underformed granite domains between shear zones. In contrast, shear zones probably develop in opened systems due to their kilometric length.

Dates and versions

hal-00105064 , version 1 (10-10-2006)

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Cite

M. Rossi, Yan Rolland, Olivier Vidal, S. Cox. Geochemical variations and element transfer during shear zone development and related episyenitisation at middle crust depths: insights from the study of the Mont Blanc Granite (French Italian Alps).. Bruhn D. and Burlini L. High-strain zones: structure and physical properties., Geological Society of London Publication, pp.373-396, 2005, Special Publication 245, ⟨10.1144/GSL.SP.2005.245.01.18⟩. ⟨hal-00105064⟩
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