Phase relations in the Cabeza de Araya cordierite monzogranite, Iberian Massif: implications for the formation of cordierite in a crystal mush


  • O. GARCÍA MORENO Departmento de Geología, Universidad de Oviedo C/ Jesús Arias de Velasco s/n. 33005, Oviedo, Spain Centro de Investigación en Nanomateriales y Nanotecnología (CINN) – Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) Universidad de Oviedo (UO) Avda. de la Vega, 4-6, 33940 El Entrego, Asturias, Spain
  • L.G. CORRETGÉ Departmento de Geología, Universidad de Oviedo C/ Jesús Arias de Velasco s/n. 33005, Oviedo, Spain
  • F. HOLTZ Leibniz Universität Hannover, Institut für Mineralogie Callinstraat 3, D-30167 Hannover, Germany
  • M. GARCÍA-ARIAS Departmento de Geociencias, Universidad de Los Andes Carrera 1 # 18A-1, Bogotá, Colombia
  • C. RODRÍGUEZ Departmento de Ciencias de la Tierra. Facultad de Ciencias Experimentales, Universidad de Huelva Campus del Carmen, 21071 Huelva, Spain



Cordierite, Monzogranites, Experimental petrology, Peritectic, Perple_X.


Experimental investigations and thermodynamic calculations of the phase relations of a cordierite-rich monzogranite from the Cabeza de Araya batholith (Cáceres, Spain) have been performed to understand the formation of cordierite. The experiments failed to crystallize cordierite in the pressure range 200-600MPa, in the temperature range 700-975ºC and for different water activities (melt water contents between 2 and 6 wt.%). In contrast, clinopyroxene and orthopyroxene (absent in the natural mineral rock assemblage), together with biotite, were observed as ferromagnesian assemblage in a wide range of experimental conditions. Thermodynamic calculations, using the software PERPLE_X, describe the formation of cordierite only at 200 and 400MPa and very low water contents, and the amount of cordierite formed in the models is always below 3.5 vol.%. The results indicate that cordierite is not in equilibrium with the bulk rock compositions. The most probable explanation was that cordierite nucleated and crystallized from a melt that is not in equilibrium with part of the mineral assemblage present in the magma. This “non-reactive” mineral assemblage was mainly composed of plagioclase. The silicate melts from which cordierite crystallized was more Al-rich and K-rich than the silicate melt composition in equilibrium with the bulk composition. One possible process for the high Al content of the silicate melt is related to assimilation and partial melting of Al-rich metasediments. An exo-perictetic reaction is assumed to account for both textural and geochemical observations. On the other hand, hybridization processes typical for calc-alkaline series can also explain the high proportions of “non-reactive” minerals observed in relatively high temperature magmas. This study clearly demonstrates that silicate melts in a crystal mush can depart significantly from the composition of melt that should be in equilibrium with the bulk solid assemblage.






Granites and Related Rocks. A tribute to Guillermo Corretgé