Contrasting textures in metamorphic and anatectic migmatites: an example from the Scottish Caledonides



Abstract. A method for the quantitative analysis of the spatial relations of minerals is described. Dispersed distributions are formed by annealing and destroyed in post-tectonic migmatization. Aggregate distributions characterize solid-state differentiation, whereas leucosomes formed in systems of high fluid:rock ratio (in the examples studied, anatectic melts) show random distributions.

Quantitative textural analysis can be used to indicate whether migmatization was post-tectonic or earlier, though caution is necessary if post-migmatite cooling is slow or if there is some minor deformation. More importantly, it can be used to discriminate melt-present from melt-absent leucosomes; this is exemplified by a suite of metamorphic and anatectic migmatites from the Scottish Caledonides.

The textural evolution of anatexites with increasing melt percentage is traced. Initial feldspar porphyroblastesis occurs by Ostwald ripening via grain boundary melts; subsequently ophthalmites develop with fabrics and chemistry inherited from the palaeosome. At greater than 30% melt these inherited fabrics are wholly destroyed. Deformation prompts segregation into melanosome and leucosome; resultant leucosomes contain no inherited crystals. The scale of anatectic systems is fixed at the point at which segregation begins; ophthalmites provide evidence for melt and crystal transfer beyond original palaeosome boundaries. In contrast, metamorphic migmatites are necessarily small-scale systems because of diffusive constraints, and melanosomes are invariably produced.