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The correlation of reaction and isotope fronts and the mechanism of metamorphic fluid flow

Skelton, A.D.L., Valley, J.W., Graham, C.M., Bickle, M.J., and Fallick, A.E. (2000) The correlation of reaction and isotope fronts and the mechanism of metamorphic fluid flow. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 138 (4). pp. 364-375. ISSN 0010-7999 (doi:10.1007/s004100050569)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s004100050569

Abstract

Infiltration of a metabasite sill From Islay, Scotland by an H2O-CO2 fluid caused (1) modification of. delta(18)O and (2) carbonation at the sill margins, Maps of delta(18)O and reaction progress were constructed from a 20 X 47.7 metre sample grid across the sill. The grid consisted of 300 samples, spaced at m, dm and cm intervals many of which were analysed for both delta(18)O and reaction progress. The delta(18)O was determined by laser fluorination of whole rock silicate powders and reaction progress was determined by rapid held-based measurement of % calcite ("fizz-o-meter". Skelton et al. 1995). Reaction and isotope fronts outlined tube-like features that emanate from the sill margin and discrete nodes that, although detached From the sill margin in two dimensions, are thought to represent sections through similar tubes in three dimensions. We envisage that these protrusions are the fossil record of metamorphic "fluid pathways" whereby fluid permeated the sill. Isotope and reaction fronts are found to correlate spatially as predicted by a modified form of the chromatographic equation which describes this envisaged geometry, that is where isotopic and reactive transport in the fluid phase are facilitated by advection along specific Fluid pathways and transverse diffusion in the surrounding rock. These fluid pathways consist of bundles of anastomosing grain boundary channels or micro- cracks, which are thought to propagate through transient cyclic infiltration, reaction, porosity enhancement and fracturing, This mechanism is self-perpetuating and accentuates random perturbations at the sill margin to form the observed tubes. We argue that this is the earliest stage of the infiltration process which has affected metabasites of the SW Scottish Highlands and that subsequent shear deformation of the reacted rims of these pathways. has caused their re-orientation and juxtaposition to form the reacted sill margins described by Skelton et al. (1995)

Item Type:Article
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Fallick, Prof Anthony
Authors: Skelton, A.D.L., Valley, J.W., Graham, C.M., Bickle, M.J., and Fallick, A.E.
Subjects:Q Science > QE Geology
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
ISSN:0010-7999

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