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Petrology and geochemistry of the orbicular granitoid of Caldera, northern Chile. Models and hypotheses on the formation of radial orbicular textures

Fecha de publicación:
Datos de publicación:
Lithos Volumes 284–285, July 2017, Pages 327-346
Índice de citas:
Science Citation Index Expanded
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The orbicular granitoid of Caldera, located at the northern part of the Chilean Coastal Range, is a spectacular example of radial textures in orbicular structures. The orbicular body crops out as a 375 m2 tabular to lensoidal intrusive sheet emplaced in the Lower Jurassic Relincho pluton. The orbicular structures are 3–7 cm in diameter ellipsoids hosted in a porphyritic matrix. The orbicules are comprised by a Qtz-dioritic core (3–5 cm in diameter) composed by Pl + Hbl + Qtz + Bt ± Kfs with equiaxial textures and a gabbroic shell (2–3 cm in diameter) characterized by feathery and radiate textures with a plagioclase + hornblende paragenesis. The radial shell crystals are rooted and orthogonally disposed in the irregular contact with the core. The radial shell, called here inner shell, is in contact with the granodioritic equiaxial interorbicular matrix through a 2–3 mm wide poikilitic band around the orbicule (outer shell). The outer shell and the matrix surrounding the orbicules are characterized by the presence of large hornblende and biotite oikocrystals that include fine-grained rounded plagioclase and magnetite. The oikocrystals of both the outer shell and the matrix have a circumferential arrangement around the orbicule, i.e. orthogonal to the radial inner shell. The coarse-grained granodioritic interorbicular matrix present pegmatitic domains with large acicular hornblende and K-feldspar megacrysts. This work presents a review of the textural characteristics of the orbicules and a complete new mineral and whole-rock geochemical study of the different parts of the orbicular granitoid, together with thermobarometric and crystallographic data, and theoretical modeling of the crystallization and element partitioning processes. We propose a model for the formation of the orbicular radial textures consisting of several processes that are suggested to occur fast and consecutively: superheating, volatile exsolution, undercooling, geochemical fractionation and columnar and equiaxial crystallization. According to the obtained results, the formation of the orbicular granitoid of Caldera may have initiated 1) during the generation of a magmatic fracture in the crystallization front of the Relincho pluton, where the water released by the host crystal mush was dissolved in the new batch of dioritic magma. 2) The high influx of water-rich liquids induced superheating conditions in the newly intruding magma that became a depolymerized liquid, where the only solid particules were the small irregular fragments of the host mush dragged from the fracture walls. 3) Volatile exsolution promoted crystallization under undercooling conditions. 4) Undercooling and nucleation around the core (cold germs) involved the physical and geochemical fractionation between two sub-systems: a gabbroic sub-system that comprises the solid paragénesis with a residual water-rich liquid and a granodioritic sub-system. 5) The orbicules, including core and inner shell, behaved as viscous bodies (crystals + residual liquid) floating in the granodioritic magma. 6) Higher undercooling rates occurred at the starting stage, close to the liquidus, promoting columnar crystallization around the cores and formation of the shells. Conversely, in the granodioritic matrix sub-system, equiaxial crystallization was promoted by low relative crystallization rates. 7) The rest of the crystallization process evolved later in the outer shell and the matrix, as suggested by the poikilitic textures observed in both sides of the orbicule contact, and under conditions close to the solidus of both sub-systems (shell and matrix). The water-rich residual liquid expelled during the orbicular shell crystallization was mingled with the partially crystallized matrix magma, generating the pegmatitic domains with large Kfs megacrysts.

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Atribución-SinDerivadas 3.0 Chile
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