Chemical signatures of melt-rock interaction in the root of a magmatic arc

C. A. Stuart*, U. Meek, N. R. Daczko, S. Piazolo, J.-X. Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Identification of melt-rock interaction during melt flux through crustal rocks is limited to field relationships and microstructural evidence, with little consideration given to characterising the geochemical signatures of this process. We examine the mineral and whole-rock geochemistry of four distinct styles of melt-rock interaction during melt flux through the Pembroke Granulite, a gabbroic gneiss from the Fiordland magmatic arc root, New Zealand. Spatial distribution, time-integrated flux of melt and stress field vary between each melt flux style. Whole-rock metasomatism is not detected in three of the four melt flux styles. The mineral assemblage and major element mineral composition in modified rocks are dictated by inferred P-T conditions, as in sub-solidus metamorphic systems, and time-integrated volumes of melt flux. Heterogeneous mineral major and trace element compositions are linked to low time-integrated volumes of melt flux, which inhibits widespread modification and equilibration. Amphibole and clinozoisite in modified rocks have igneous-like REE patterns, formed by growth and/or recrystallisation in the presence of melt and large equilibration volumes provided by the grain boundary network of melt. Heterogeneities in mineral REE compositions are linked to localisation of melt flux by deformation and resulting smaller equilibration volumes and/or variation in the composition of the fluxing melt. When combined with microstructural evidence for the former presence of melt, the presence of igneous-like mineral REE chemical signatures in a metamorphic rock are proposed as powerful indicators of melt-rock interaction during melt flux.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-340
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Petrology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


  • amphibolite
  • hydration
  • lower crust
  • melt-rock interaction
  • porous melt flow


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