Growth of myrmekite coronas by contact metamorphism of granitic mylonites in the aureole of Cima di Vila, Eastern Alps, Italy

B. Cesare*, C. Marchesi, J. A D Connolly

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


In the contact aureole of the Oligocene granodiorite of Cima di Vila, granitic pegmatites of Variscan age were strongly deformed during eo-Alpine regional metamorphism, with local development of ultramylonites. In the ultramylonite matrix, consisting of quartz, plagioclase, muscovite and biotite, microstructures show grain growth of quartz within quartz ribbons, and development of decussate arrangements of mica. These features indicate that dynamic recrystallization related to mylonite development was followed by extensive static growth during contact metamorphism. K-feldspar porphyroclasts up to 1.5 cm are mantled by myrmekite that forms a continuous corona with thickness of about 1 mm. In both XZ and YZ sections, myrmekite tubules are undeformed, and symmetrically distributed in the corona, and oligoclase-andesine hosts have random crystallographic orientation. Myrmekite development has been modelled from the P-T-1 evolution of the ultramylonites, assuming that the development of the ultramylonites occured during eo-Alpine metamorphism at c. 450 °C, 7.5 kbar, followed by contact metamorphism at c. 530 °C, 2.75 kbar. Phase diagram pseudosections calculated from the measured bulk composition of granitic pegmatite protolith indicate that the equilibrium assemblage changes from Qtz-Phe-Ab±Zo±Cpx±Kfs during the ultramylonite stage to Qtz-Pl(An30.40)-Ms-Kfs-Bt(Ann55) during the contact metamorphic stage. The thermodynamic prediction of increasing plagioclase mode and anorthite content, change of white mica composition and growth of biotite, occuring during the end of the heating path, are in agreement with the observed microstructures and analysed phase compositions of ultramylonites. Along with microstructural evidence, this supports the model that K-feldspar replacement by myrmekite took place under static conditions, and was coeval with the static growth accompanying contact metamorphism. Myrmekite associated with muscovite can develop under prograde (up-temperature) conditions in granites involved in polymetamorphism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-213
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Metamorphic Geology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Contact metamorphism
  • Eastern Alps
  • Mylonite
  • Myrmekite


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