The metamorphic environments of the Strontian, Foyers and Dalbeattie intrusions, Scotland

  • Ian M. Tyler

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Three metamorphic aureoles around intrusions of the Caledonian 'Newer Granite' suite are described. Each represents a different orogenic environment. The Strontian complex is intruded into sillimanite grade Moinian metasediments at the core of the orogen. The aureole comprises three zones; a transitional muscovite + sillimanite + K-feldspar zone, a sillimanite + K-feldspar zone and an inner cordierite + K-feldspar zone. Contact migmatization occurs in the inner part of the aureole. Zoning profiles from garnets in both regional and aureole assemblages show retrograde Mn-rich rims. Fe and Mg compositions are re-equilibrated to contact conditions. Apparent re-equilibration of Ca compositions results from increasingly ideal solid solution behaviour of Ca in plagioclase and garnet with increasing temperature. Temperatures of 690°C at 4.1 kbar (XH2O = 0.53) are estimated in the cordierite + K-feldspar zone, dropping to 630°C (XH2O = 0.69) at the sillimanite + K-feldspar isograd. The zones increase in width to the east, influenced by the regional thermal gradient at the time of intrusion. The timer-scale of the contact event, t2, relative to the regional, tl, - is estimated as t2/t1 = 101.1+ -0.7 and is consistent with Intrusion at an early stage of regional uplift and cooling. The Foyers complex intrudes Moinian rocks at a higher structural level. Regional assemblages range from garnet to sillimanite grade. Three contact zones are recognised; a sillimanite zone, a sillimanite + K-feldspar zone and an inner cordierite + K-feldspar zone. The limit of the aureole is marked by the breakdown of garnet which shows disequilibrium, both texturally, and in complex zoning profiles, within it. Temperatures of 660°C at 3.9 kbar (XH20 = 0.14) are estimated in the cordierite + K-feldspar zone? The Dalbeattie complex is at the margin of the orogen, intruded into low grade Silurian metasediments. Two zones are recognised; a biotite zone and an inner hornblende zone. Cordierite and diopside are present in the inner zone.

Date of Award1981
Original languageEnglish


  • metamorphic environments
  • Strontian
  • Foyers
  • Dalbeattie intrusions
  • Scotland

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