Generation, mobilization and crystallization of impact-induced alkali-rich melts in granitic target rocks: Evidence from the Araguainha impact structure, central Brazil
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Centre for Crustal Petrology, Department of Geology, Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Stellenbosch, Private Bag XI, 7602 Stellenbosch, South Africa; Departamento de Geologia e Recursos Naturais, Universidade de Campinas, P.O. Box 6152, 13083-970 Campinas, Brazil; Museum für Naturkunde-Leibniz Institute, Humboldt University of Berlin, Invalidenstrasse 43, 10115 Berlin, Germany; School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University, Main Building, Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3YE, United Kingdom
This paper provides important insights into the generation, extraction and crystallization of clast-laden impact melt rocks from the Araguainha impact structure, central Brazil. Despite the mixed nature of the Araguainha target rocks (comprising a 2 km thick sequence of sedimentary rocks and underlying granitic basement), the exposed melt bodies are characterised by an alkali-rich granitic matrix embedding mineral and rock fragments derived only from the target granite. The melt rocks occur in the form of a massive impact melt sheet overlying the eroded central uplift structure, and as melt veins in the granite of the core of the central uplift. Bulk-rock major and trace element data (including platinum group elements) indicate that the precursor melts were generated locally, principally by partial melting of the target granite, without any contribution from the sedimentary sequence or the projectile. The dense network of melt veins was formed in isolation, by selective melting of plagioclase and alkali feldspar within the granite target. Plagioclase and alkali feldspar melted discretely and congruently, producing domains in the matrix of the melt veins, which closely match the stoichiometry of these minerals. The compositionally discrete initial melt phases migrated through a dense network of microfractures before being assembled into larger melt veins. Freezing of the melt veins was substantially fast, and the melt components were quenched in the form of alkali-feldspar and plagioclase schlieren in the matrix of the melt veins. The overlying impact melt rock is, in contrast, characterised by a granophyric matrix consisting of albite, sanidine, quartz, biotite and chlorite. In this case, melt components appear to have been more mobile and to have mixed completely to form a granitic parental melt. We relate the melting of the minerals to post-shock temperatures that exceeded the melting point of feldspars. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
biotite; chemical composition; chlorite; crystallization; granite; impact structure; melt; mobilization; partial melting; quartz; sanidine; stoichiometry; uplift; Brazil; South America