Dilip K Mukhopadhya
Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science
Volume 121 Issue 1 February 2012 pp 29-44
The Malari Leucogranite in the Garhwal Himalaya is cut across by a continental-scale normal fault system called the South Tibetan Detachment (STD). A mineralogical, geochemical and fluid inclusion study of samples from the fault zone of the Malari Granite was performed to reveal the imprints of fluid–rock interaction. Fluid inclusion assemblages observed in the alteration zone indicate the presence of NaCl-dominated aqueous fluids with varied salinity of 6 –16 wt.% of NaCl equivalent. Mineralogical changes include the alteration of feldspar to muscovite and muscovite to chlorite. This alteration took place at temperatures of 275°$–$335°C and pressures between 1.9 and 4.2 kbars as revealed by the application of chlorite thermometry, fluid isochores, and presence of K-feldspar+muscovite+chlorite+quartz mineral assemblage. Geochemical mass-balance estimates predict 32% volume loss during alteration. An estimated fluid/rock ratio of 82 is based on loss of silica during alteration, and reveals presence of a moderately low amount of fluid at the time of faulting.
Results of fluid inclusion and alteration mineralogy indicate that the Malari Leucogranites were exhumed due to normal faulting along the STD and erosion from mid-crustal levels. Most of the leucogranites in the Himalayas occur along the STD and possibly a regional-scale fluid flow all along the STD might have caused similar alteration of leucogranites along this tectonic break. Regional fluid flow was probably concentrated along the STD and channelized through mesoscopic fractures, microcracks and grain boundaries.
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