Springer Nature is making Coronavirus research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

The Mud Tank carbonatite complex, central Australia —an example of metasomatism at mid-crustal levels

  • 343 Accesses

  • 25 Citations

Abstract

The Mud Tank carbonatite complex comprises a series of lenses emplaced about 730 Ma ago along a 5 km segment of a ductile shear zone. Each lens consists of a carbonate core surrounded by mica-rich zones, emplaced into granitoid cataclasites, mafic granulites and rare lenses of aluminous rocks. Xenoliths of all sizes abound in the complex. Inclusions of unfoliated mafic granulites lack hypersthene, contain albitic plagioclase and Na-rich taramite to hastingsite amphiboles, and are enriched in Si, Na and Ba and depleted in Fe, Zr and Pb relative to similar granulites in the country rocks. Alkali-syenite inclusions contain riebeckite and aegirine. The complex contains magnesio-katophorite to magnesio-arfvedsonite amphibole, with late riebeckite and ferri-winchite, abundant phlogopitic mica and sparse acmitic pyroxene. Mineral thermobarometry suggests original emplacement at>650°C, 0.5 Gpa under high water and fluorine fugacities. Present configuration of the and entrainment of parts of the metasomatic aureole along shear zones. of abundant detrital magnetite, apatite and zircon drew attention to these bodies more than 40 years ago. A carbonatitic origin, first proposed by Crohn and Gellatly (1969), has been supported by aeromagnetic interpretation (Tipper 1966), preliminary geochemistry (Gellatly 1969), geochronology (Black and Gulson 1978) and stable isotope studies (Wilson 1979). Crohn and Moore (1984) reviewed earlier work, and concluded that alkali metasomatism typical of carbonatite complexes did not occur around the Mud Tank complex. We demonstrate that such metasomatism is present, but of unusual character.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Andersen T (1987) A model for the evolution of hematite carbonatite based on whole rock major and trace element data from the Fen complex, southeast Norway. Appl Geochem 2:163–180

  2. Appleyard EC (1975) Silica-poor hastingsitic amphiboles from metasomatic alkaline gneisses at Wolfe, eastern Ontario. Can Mineral 13:342–351

  3. Bailey DK (1987) Mantle metasomatism—perspective and prospect. In: Fitton JG, Upton BJG (eds) Alkaline igneous rocks. Geol Soc Spec Publ 30, pp 1–14

  4. Berman RG (1988) Internally consistent thermodynamic data for minerals in the system Na2O−K2O−CaO−MgO−FeO−Fe2O3−Al2O3−SiO2−TiO2−H2O−CO2. J Petrol 29:445–522

  5. Black LP, Gulson BL (1978) The age of the Mud Tank carbonatite, Strangways Range, Northern Territory. BMR J Aust Geol Geophys 3:227–232

  6. Crohn PW, Gellatly D (1969) Probable carbonatites in the Strangways Range area, central Australia. Aust J Sci 31:335–336

  7. Crohn PW, Moore DH (1984) The Mud Tank carbonatite, Strangways Range, central Australia. BMR J Aust Geol Geophys 9:13–18

  8. Cullers RL, Medaris G (1977) Rare earth elements in carbonatites and cogenetic alkaline rocks: examples from Seabrook Lake and Callander Bay, Ontario. Contrib Mineral Petrol 65:143–153

  9. Currie KL (1976) The alkaline rocks of Canada. Geol Surv Can Bull 239

  10. Currie KL, Ferguson J (1972) A study of fenitization in mafic rocks with special reference to the Callander Bay complex. Can J Earth Sci 9:1254–1261

  11. de la Calle C, Suquet H (1988) Vermiculite. In: Bailey SW (ed) Hydrous, phyllosilicates. (Reviews in Mineralogy 19) Mineral Soc Am, Washington, D.C., pp 455–496

  12. Eby GN (1975) Abundance and distribution of the rare earth elements and yttrium in the rocks and minerals of the Oka carbonatite complex, Quebec. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 39:597–620

  13. Essene EJ (1983) Solid solutions and solvi among metamorphic carbonates with applications to geological thermobarometry, in Carbonates. In: Reeder RJ (ed) Mineralogy and chemistry. (Reviews in Mineralogy 11) Mineral Soc Am, Washington, D.C. pp 77–96

  14. Flavelle AJ (1965) Helicopter gravity survey by contract-Northern Territory and Queensland, 1965. Aust Bur Miner Resour Record 1965/212

  15. Gaspar JC, Wyllie PJ (1983) Ilmenite (high Mg, Mn, Nb) in the carbonatites from the Jacupiranga complex, Brazil. Am Mineral 68:960–971

  16. Gasparik T, Lindsley DH (1980) Phase equilibria at high pressures of pyroxenes containing monovalent and trivalent ions. In: Preweitt CT (ed) Pyroxenes. (Reviews in Mineralogy 7) Mineral Soc Am, Washington, D.C., pp 307–340

  17. Gellatly DC (1969) Probable carbonatites in the Strangways Range area. Aust Bur Miner Resour Record 1969/77

  18. Giret A, Bonin B, Leger JM (1980) Amphibole compositional trends in oversaturated and undersaturated alkaline plutonic ring complexes. Can Mineral 18:481–495

  19. Gittins J (1979) Problems inherent in the applications of calcitedolomite geothermometry to carbonatites. Contrib Mineral Petrol 69:1–4

  20. Gold DP (1963) Average chemical composition of carbonatites. Econ Geol 58:998–1001

  21. Goldsmith JR (1983) Phase relations of rhombohedral carbonates. In: Reeder RJ (ed) Carbonates, mineralogy and chemistry. (Reviews in Mineralogy 11) Mineral Soc Am, Washington, D.C., pp 49–76

  22. Hawthorne FC (1983) The crystal chemistry of the amphiboles. Can Mineral 21:173–480

  23. Heinrich EW (1966) The geology of carbonatites. Rand-McNally, Chicago

  24. James PR, Ding P (1988) Caterpillar tectonics in the Harts Range area: a kinship between two sequential Proterozoic extensioncollision orogenic belts within the eastern Arunta Inlier of central Australia. Precambrian Res 40/41:199–216

  25. Kerrick DM, Jacobs GK (1981) A modified Redlich-Kwong equation for H2O, CO2 and H2O−CO2 mixtures at elevated pressures and tempertures. Am J Sci 281:735–767

  26. Langworthy AP, Black LP (1978) The Mordor complex: a highly differentiated potassic intrusion with kimberlitic affinities in central Australia. Contrib Mineral Petrol 6751–62

  27. LeBas MJ (1977) Carbonatite-Nephelinite volcanism. John Wiley and Sons, New York

  28. LeBas MJ (1987) Nephelinites and carbonatites. In: Fitton JG, Upton BJG (eds) Alkaline igneous rocks. Geol Soc Spec Publ 30, pp 53–83

  29. Ludington S (1978) The biotite-apatite geothermometer revisited. Am Mineral 63:551–553

  30. Nelson DR, Chivas AR, Chappell W, McCulloch MT (1988) Geochemical and isotopic systematics in carbonatites and implications for the evolution of ocean island sources. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 52:1–17

  31. Ouzegane K, Fourcade S, Kienast J-R, Javoy M (1988) New carbonatite complexes in the Archean In'Ouzzal nucleus (Ahaggar, Algeria): mineralogical and geochemical data. Contrib Mineral Petrol 98:277–292

  32. Piasecki MAJ (1988) Strain-induced mineral growth in ductile shear zones and a preliminary study of ductile shearing in western Newfoundland. Can J Earth Sci 25:2118–2129

  33. Rubie DC, Gunter WD (1983) The role of speciation in alkaline igneous fluids during fenite metasomatism. Contrib Mineral Petrol 87:165–175

  34. Secher K, Larsen LM (1980) Geology and mineralogy of the Sarfartoq carbonatite complex, southern West Greenland. Lithos 13:199–212

  35. Shaw RD, Langworthy AP, Offe LA, Stewart AJ, Allen AR, Senior BR (1979) Report on 1:100,000 mapping in the south eastern Arunta block, Northern Territory. Aust Bur Miner Resour Record 1979/47

  36. Shaw RD, Stewart AJ, Black LP (1984) The Arunta Inlier: a complex ensialic belt in central Australia, part 2: tectonic history. Aust J Earth Sci 31:457–484

  37. Spenser KJ, Lindsley DH (1981) A solution model for coexisting iron-titanium oxides. Am Mineral 66:1189–1201

  38. Stormer JC, Nicholls J (1978) XLFRAC: a program for the interactive testing of magmatic differentiation models. Comput Geosci 4:143–160

  39. Taylor SR, Gorton MP (1977) Geochemical applications of spark source mass spectrography III: element sensitivity, precision and accuracy. Geochem Cosmochim Acta 41:1375–1380

  40. Tipper DB (1966) Strangways Range aeromagnetic survey, Northern Territory, 1965. Aust Bur Miner Resour Rep 136

  41. Watson EB, Green TH (1981) Apatite/liquid partition coefficients for the rare earth elements and strontium. Earth Planet Sci Lett 51:405–421

  42. Wilson AF (1979) Contrast in the isotopic composition of oxygen and carbon between the Mud Tank Carbonatite and the marbles in the granulite terrane of the Strangways Range, central Australia. J Geol Soc Aust 26:39–44

  43. Windrim DP, McCulloch MT (1983) Nd and Sr chronology of Strangway Range granulites: implications for crustal growth and reworking in the Proterozoic of central Australia. In: Sixth Australian Geological Convention, Canberra, 1983: Lithosphere Dynamics and Evolution of Continental Crust. Geol Soc Aust, Abstract Series 9, 192–193

  44. Woodford PJ, Wilson AF (1976) Chemistry of co-existing pyroxenes, hornblendes, and plagioclases of mafic granulites, Strangways Range, central Australia. Neues Jahrb Mineral Abh 128:1–40

  45. Woolley AW (1982) A discussion of carbonatite evolution and nomenclature, and the generation of sodic and potassic fenites. Mineral Mag 46:13–17

  46. Wyllie PJ (1965) Melting relationships in the system CaO−MgO−C CO2−H2O, with petrological applications. J Petrol 6:101–123

  47. Wyllie AG, Higgins CW (1980) Characteristics of a potassian winchite asbestos from the Allamore talc district, Texas. Can Mineral 18:101–107

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to J. Knutson.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Currie, K.L., Knutson, J. & Temby, P.A. The Mud Tank carbonatite complex, central Australia —an example of metasomatism at mid-crustal levels. Contr. Mineral. and Petrol. 109, 326–339 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00283322

Download citation

Keywords

  • Magnetite
  • Shear Zone
  • Ductile Shear Zone
  • Aegirine
  • Mafic Granulite