The multidisciplinary study of the Ballachulish Igneous Complex and thermal aureole represents the most comprehensive investigation of contact metamorphism yet published. The aim of this study was to investigate equilibrium and kinetic aspects of mineral- and rock forming processes in a well-constrained natural setting. The Ballachulish Igneous Complex and its aureole were chosen because of the simple shape of the intrusion and the lack of any later episodes of metamorphism, deformation or retrogression that postdates emplacement and cooling of the complex. A great variety of metasedimentary rocks run into the thermal aureole: feldspathic quartzites, psammopelites with and without graphite and pyrite, impure limestones and dolomites. All rock types experienced regional upper greenschist-lower amphibolite metamorphism and acquired fine-grained equilibrium mineral assemblages prior to emplacement of the complex. Regional structures are simple and uniform. The psammopelites show a penetrative slaty cleavage and heat was transferred either parallel or normal to it in different parts of the contact; thus, the effects of different heat conductivities and anisotropy effects could be assessed.
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- Summary and Outlook
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg