Sillimanite and andalusite produced by base‐cation leaching and contact metamorphism of felsic igneous rocks

R. H. Vernon*, R. H. Flood, W. F. D'arcy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract Contact metamorphism adjacent to a porphyritic quartz‐monzodiorite at Kentucky, New South Wales, Australia has produced hornfelses in porphyritic leucogranite at a peak temperature of about 650–700° C and a maximum confining pressure of about 2 kbar (200 MPa). A gradation appears to exist from normal slightly peraluminous to modified strongly peraluminous metagranite hornfelses, which have also been enriched in sulphur. The strongly peraluminous hornfelses, containing cordierite, andalusite, sillimanite, biotite, pyrite and pyrrhotite, retain residual porphyritic igneous microstructures. These rocks appear to have been formed by leaching of base cations, during and possibly just before the contact metamorphism. Folia of fibrous sillimanite anastomose between lenticular grains of quartz and feldspar and truncate igneous zoning in plagioclase grains, suggesting that cation leaching and solution transfer occurred during growth of the sillimanite. Fibrous sillimanite also grew in grain boundaries of polygonal aggregates formed by the contact metamorphism. Therefore, at least some of the cation leaching appears to have occurred at the highest metamorphic grade. Metasandstones that are locally strongly peraluminous adjacent to the monzodiorite stock also, have probably undergone similar leaching.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-450
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Metamorphic Geology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1987


  • base‐cation leaching
  • contact metamorphism
  • felsic hornfelses
  • Key‐words: andalusite
  • sillimanite
  • sulphides


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