Charnockites and Granites of Western Adirondacks, New York, USA; A Differentiated A-type Suite

TitleCharnockites and Granites of Western Adirondacks, New York, USA; A Differentiated A-type Suite
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1992
AuthorsWhitney, PR
JournalPrecambrian Research

Granitic rocks in the west-central Adirondack Highlands of New York State include both relatively homogeneous charnockitic and hornblende granitic gneisses (CG), that occur in thick stratiform bodies and elliptical domes, and heterogeneous leucogneisses (LG), that commonly are interlayered with metasedimentary rocks. Major- and trace-element geochemical analyses were obtained for 115 samples, including both types of granitoids. Data for CG fail to show the presence of more than one distinct group based on composition. Most of the variance within the CG sample population is consistent with magmatic differentiation combined with incomplete separation of early crystals of alkali feldspar, plagioclase, and pyroxenes or amphibole from the residual liquid. Ti, Fe, Mg, Ca, P, Sr, Ba, and Zr decrease with increasing silica, while Rb and K increase. Within CG, the distinction between charnockitic (orthopyroxene-bearing) and granitic gneisses is correlated with bulk chemistry. The charnockites are consistently more mafic than the hornblende granitic gneisses, although forming a continuum with them. The leucogneisses, while generally more felsic than the charnockites and granitic gneisses, are otherwise geochemically similar to them. The data are consistent with the LG suite being an evolved extrusive equivalent of the intrusive CG suite.

Both CG and LG suites are metaluminous to mildly peraluminous and display an A-type geochemical signature, enriched in Fe, K, Ce, Y, Nb, Zr, and Ga and depleted in Ca, Mg, and Sr relative to I- and S-type granites. Rare earth element patterns show moderate LREE enrichment and a negative Eu anomaly throughout the suite. The geochemical data suggest an origin by partial melting of biotite- and plagioclase-rich crustal rocks. Emplacement occurred in an anorogenic or post-collisional tectonic setting, probably at relatively shallow depths. Deformation and granulite-facies metamorphism with some partial melting followed during the Ottawan phase of the Grenville Orogeny, yielding the present migmatitic granitic and charnockitic gneisses.