1989 Edition

Amphibolite facies

  • A. E. Wright
Reference work entry

The metamorphic paragenesis of hornblende plus plagioclase in basic rocks is the basis for the original definition of this facies by Eskola (1939). Despite much subsequent discussion, this is still the most satisfactory and widely accepted definition, the lower boundary being marked by the change in plagioclase composition, albite-epidote-actinolite assemblages changing very sharply into oligoclase-andesine-hornblende. The upper boundaries are marked by the appearance of orthopyroxene when passing into the granulite facies, and by the disappearance of hornblende and the appearance of omphacitic pyroxene into the eclogite facies. The granulite boundary is not normally taken at the disappearance of hornblende as suggested by Lambert (1972)but by the appearance of a distinctive brown aluminous hornblende along with the growth of orthopyroxene. This is not to say that definition of the facies is not difficult, as hornblendes, in these grades, are very variable in composition and...

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© Van Nostrand Reinhold 1989

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  • A. E. Wright

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