01 – Magnetic susceptibility and mineral chemistry of the Mesoarchean granitoids from Ourilândia do Norte (PA) – Carajás Mineral Province

Ano 7 (2020) – Número 1 Artigos




Aline Costa do Nascimentoa,b, Davis Carvalho Oliveiraa,b, Luciano Ribeiro da Silvaa,b
(aline.nascimento@ig.ufpa.br; davis@ufpa.br; lucianor@ufpa.br).

aUniversidade Federal do Pará (UFPA), Instituto de Geociências (IG), Caixa Postal 8608, CEP 66075-800, Belém, Pará, Brasil.

bPrograma de Pós-Graduação em Geologia e Geoquímica (PPGG), Grupo de Pesquisa Petrologia de Granitoides (GPPG), Belém, Pará, Brasil.

*Corresponding author.
E-mail address: aline.nascimento@ig.ufpa.br



This study constitutes the first attempt to investigate the crystallization conditions of the Mesoarchean granitoids (~2.92-2.88 Ga) from Ourilândia do Norte area, located in the midwest portion of the Carajás Mineral Province. The investigation is focused on the magnetic susceptibility signature, opaque minerals petrography and mineral chemistry analysis in amphibole and biotite from three granitoids groups: (i) leucogranite and associated granodiorite, (ii) sanukitoids, and (iii) trondhjemite. The opaque minerals are composed by magnetite and ilmenite, with minor occurrence of goethite, pyrite and chalcopyrite. Magnetic susceptibility (MS) studies provided three distinct magnetic distribution patterns: (i) the lowest MS values (group A; MS varying of 0,08×10-3 to 0,70×10-3 SI), (ii) moderate MS values (group B; MS 0,23×10-3 to 2,35×10-3 SI), and (iii) the highest MS values (group C; MS 0,02×10-3 to 17,0×10-3 SI). Mineral chemical analysis reveals that amphibole composition varies from Mg-hornblende to tschermakite and biotite displays magnesian composition. Amphibole geothermobarometry indicates crystallization temperature of 730-788 °C in the sanukitoids and 790-892 °C in the trondhjemite, at 100-280 kbar. Due to the absence of amphibole in leucogranites and associated granodiorites, Ti content in biotite was used to calculate the temperature providing values of 700-730 °C. These results are considered lower than crystallization conditions estimated for the analogous granitoids from Rio Maria Suite (Carajás Mineral Province). Previous microstructural studies in Ourilândia do Norte have indicated that dynamic recrystallization processes can have occurred at temperatures close to solidus. Therefore, the lower crystallization conditions estimated in Ourilândia granitoids and microstructural observations indicate that amphibole was re-equilibrated during the slow magma ascent in asyntectonic setting. Mineral paragenesis and geothermobarometric data indicated that the magma precursor of the Ourilândia granitoids were oxidized, with high to intermediate water content in sanukitoids (H2Omelt 4-7 wt%) and lower in the leucogranites and trondhjemite.

Keywords: Magnetite. Granite. Sanukitoid. Archean. Carajás



Magnetic susceptibility study allied to petrography of Fe-Ti oxide minerals and mineral chemistry analysis in ferromagnesian silicates is a powerful tool to determinate the crystallization parameters (P, T, fO2, xH2O) in magmatic systems (Clark 1999). In the last decades, this methodology has been applied in granitoids from Carajás Mineral Province, especially in high-HFSE (A-type) granites, and it has contributed with significative information about crystallization conditions of these rocks (Dall’Agnol et al. 1988; Magalhães and Dall’Agnol 1992; Dall’Agnol et al. 1997; Cunha et al. 2016; Mesquita et al. 2018; Oliveira et al. 2018). However, its application is rare in calcic-alkaline Archean granitoids such as sanukitoids and leucogranites (Oliveira et al. 2010; Gabriel and Oliveira 2014).

Semi-detail geological mapping, petrography, geochemistry and geochronology studies of the Ourilândia do Norte area, located in the Midwest portion of the Carajás Mineral Province, showed that this region is characterized by a voluminous and diversified Mesoarchean magmatism (~ 2.92-2.88 Ga – Silva et al. 2019) distinguished into three main lithologic associations (Santos et al. 2013a; Santos and Oliveira 2016; Silva et al. 2018): (i) leucogranite and associated granodiorite – The first is formed by monzogranites (equi- to heterogranular) and the latter shows porphyritic texture. Biotite is the main mafic phase and titanite is an important mineral phase in granodiorite; (ii) sanukitoids – they are constituted by granodiorites (even-grained, heterogranular and porphyritic), with subordinated tonalite, quartz-monzodiorite and quartz-diorite. In these rocks hornblende and epidote are the main ferromagnesian phases and are further characterized by occurrence of innumerous mafic enclaves; and (iii) trondhjemite – it is slightly deformed and are characterized by porphyritic texture.

Despite advances in geological understanding and structural framework of the Mesoarchean granitoids from Ourilândia do Norte, there are no studies integrating magnetic susceptibility data, opaque mineral petrography and mineral chemistry analysis that aim to investigate the crystallization conditions of those rocks and their relation with deformation events. To pursue this goal were defined magnetic susceptibility distribution patterns combined with Fe-Ti oxide mineralogy and mineral chemistry data (amphibole and biotite) for the three main granitoids associations identified in Ourilândia do Norte.



The Carajás Mineral Province is considered a preserved Archean crustal segment of the South American plataform geotectonically stable since the Neoproterozoic (Almeida et al. 1981). Tassinari and Macambira (2004) have proposed that Carajás region is part of geochronological domain of the Central Amazonian Province while Santos (2003) considers as an independent tectonic province, introducing the concept of Carajás Province. The province was subdivided into three tectonic domains (Vasquez et al. 2008; Dall’Agnol et al. 2013): (i) Rio Maria Domain, exclusively Mesoarchean (2.9-2.8 Ga); (ii) Sapucaia Domain (~ 2.9-2.7 Ga) interpreted as similar to DRM, although affected by Neoarchean events; and (iii) Canaã dos Carajás Domain (3.0-2.7Ga) which represents embasement of the Neoarchean Carajás Basin.

The Mesoarchean Rio Maria Domain, situated in the southeastern portion of the province, is constituted by greenstone belts and four main groups of Archean granitoids: (i) tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) series represented by Arco Verde and Mariazinha tonalites and Mogno trondhjemite; (ii) high-Mg granitoids and associated rocks of Rio Maria Suite; (iii) high Ba-Sr leucogranodiorite-granites group of Guarantã Suite; and (iv) potassic leucogranites formed by Mata Surrão Granite (Oliveira et al. 2009; Almeida et al. 2011; Almeida et al. 2013). The Sapucaia Domain is defined by: (i) Sapucaia greenstone belts and amphibolites; (ii) TTG series composed by Colorado, Água Azul do Norte and Nova Canadá trondhjemites; (iii) high-Mg Água Azul e Água Limpa granodiorites; (iv) high Ba-Sr Nova Canadá leucogranodiorite; (v) potassic Xinguara and Velha Canadá granites; and (vi) high-HFSE granitoids of Vila Jussara Suite (Teixeira et al. 2013; Gabriel et al. 2014; Leite-Santos and Oliveira 2014; Silva et al.. 2014; Leite-Santos and Oliveira 2016; Dall’Agnol et al. 2017; Santos et al. 2018). Finally, the Canaã dos Carajás Domain is formed essentially by: (i) Chicrim-Cateté granulites; (ii) high-K leucogranites (Cruzadão, Serra Dourada, Boa Sorte and similar granites); (iii) restrict TTG series (Rio Verde trondhjemite) and amphibole-bearing tonalites (Campina Verde tonalitic Complex); (iv) high-HFSE granitoids (Planalto and Vila União Suites); and (v) charnockites (Feio et al. 2013; Santos et al. 2013b; Marangoanha et al. 2019; Marangoanha et al. 2020).



Petrographic studies on polished thin sections were performed on 14 representative samples. Complementary opaque minerals characterization was conducted using reflected microscope and then carbon coated for electron microscopy with LEO-1430 (SEM). Magnetic susceptibility values were measured on a SM-30 susceptibilimeter of the ZH Instruments at the Magnetic Susceptibility Laboratory (Universidade Federal do Pará – UFPA). The 141 MS measurements were plotted in graphs and frequency histograms using Minitab software (free version 18). The mineral chemistry analysis in silicates (amphibole and biotite) were obtained with JEOL JXA-8230 microprobe equipped with five spectrometers of wavelengh dispersive energy (WDS) at the Microanalysis Laboratory (UFPA). Analytical operations conditions follow standand ZAF patterns.



4.1 Magnetic Susceptibility

Ourilândia do Norte granitoids display MS values ranging from 0.08×10-3 (log -4.26) to 17.0×10-3 SI (log -1.77). The Figure 1 shows 141 MS measurements distributed into three magnetic populations, according with their frequency statistic: (i) magnetic population A (MS varying of 0.08×10-3 to 0.70×10-3 SI or log -4.26 to -3.15) – it is characterized by the smallest MS values which predominates sanukitoids and trondhjemite; (ii) magnetic population B (MS 0.23×10-3 to 2.35×10-3 SI or log -3.64 to -2.63) – it presents intermediate MS values with variable proportion of sanukitoids and leucogranites; and (iii) magnetic population C (MS 0.02×10-3 to 17.0×10-3 SI or log -2.62 to -1.77) – predominates leucogranite and associated granodiorite, besides subordinate porphyritic sanukitoid (Figure 1).


4.2 Opaque minerals

Opaque minerals described in the Mesoarchean granitoids from Ourilândia do Norte region includes magnetite and ilmenite, with minor occurrence of goethite, pyrite and chalcopyrite (Figure 2). In the leucogranite and associated granodiorite the magnetite occurs as the main Fe-Ti oxide mineral and it is characterized as crystals of cubic-idiomorphic habit with dimensions between 0.5 and 1.5 mm. Ilmenite is subordinated occurring as trellis, composite and fine-grained individual crystals (Figure 2a-b). In the sanukitoid rocks individual ilmenite predominates in relation to magnetite, and displays hypidiomorphic crystals (< 1mm). Ilmenite occurs partial or completely transformed to titanite while magnetite has thin lamellar hematite inclusion and frequently occurs in association with epidote. Additionally, there are decreasing magnetite contents from porphyritic granodiorites to even-grained granodiorite (Figure 2c-d). Trondhjemite variety is marked by rare and very fine-grained opaque phases. Pyrite, chalcopyrite and goethite crystals usually occur dispersed in the quartz-feldspathic matrix in all petrographic associations (Figure 2e-f). According to Buddington and Lindsley (1964), trellis and composite textural types are formed during late magmatic crystallization. Hematite occurs as a product of the magnetite oxidation process which exhibits the shape of thin lamellae arranged at the edge and along the planes [111] of the host mineral.

Figure 1. The distribution of magnetic susceptibility values for study area: a) cumulative percentage of MS values in the leucogranite and granodiorite; b) cumulative percentage of MS values in the sanukitoids; c:) cumulative percentage of MS values in the trondhjemite;; d) distribution frequency of 141 MS measurements carried in the samples from Ourilândia do Norte granitoids.

Figure 2. The main petrographic varieties from Ourilândia do Norte studied area showed by phtomicrographies. (a) thin trellis ilmenite (Ilm-T) lamellae hosted by magnetite (Mgt); (b) idiomorphic magnetite in regular contatct with titanite (Tnt); (c) hypidiomorphic magnetite crystal; (d) hypidiomorphic ilmnite crystal enveloped by titanite; (e) very fine grined pyrite (Py); (f) fine grained ilmenite crystal. Photomicrographs (a-e) were obtained in reflected light with crossed nicols and (f) was obtained in electron microscopy.


4.3 Mineral chemistry and classification

Amphibole classification follow the nomenclature scheme proposed by Leake et al. (1997) and Hawthorne et al. (2012), with structural formula based on 23 oxygen atoms (free-H2O content), cations reported into a set of 13 cations minus Ca, Na, K (13-CNK) and ferric-ferrous iron partition calculated on the method of Schumacher (Leake et al. 1997) (Table 1). The analyzed crystals found in sanukitoid and trondhjemite rocks are calcic [BCa> 1.7; (Na+K)A < 0.50; BCa/Ca+Na = 0.81- 0.96], they are classified mainly as magnesio-hornblende, with subordinate actinolite hornblende and tschermakite compositions (Figure 3a). Amphibole compositions are characterized by a significant increasing in MgO and relatively low FeO content in sanukitoid rocks, while the opposite is observed in porphyritic varieties and moderate FeO content in trondhjemite. In addition, the Mg/(Mg+Fe+2) ratio range from 0.53 to 0.80, Al total from 0.52 to 3.10 a.p.f.u and Fe/(Fe+Mg) ratio (Fe-number) varies from 0.24 to 0.43 in the sanukitoids and reaching up to 0.50 in trondhjemite. Biotite structural formula follows the method based on 22 oxygen atoms (anhydrous basis) and assumption that all iron is in the Fe+2 state (Deer et al. 2013)(Table 2). According to the classification criteria of the International Mineralogical Association (IMA – Rieder 1998), the biotite from Ourilândia granitoids plot in the annite field (Figure 3b). They are characterized by high MgO (> 10 wt.%), low TiO2 (< 2 wt.%), Al2O3 (15 to 16 wt.%). Most of them are represented by low Fe/(Fe+Mg) ratio which such aspect is consistent with its magnesian feature in the ternary diagram [Mg, R+3, Fe+2(Mn+2) (Figure 3c). In the leucogranites and associated granodiorite, Fe/(Fe + Mg) ratio reach up to 0.5 while in sanukutoids and trondhjemite Fe/(Fe+Mg) is lower than 0.50.

Figure 3 – Amphibole and biotite classification diagram: (a) Amphibole classification diagram based on Leake et al. (1997), (b) IVAl vs Fe/(Fe + Mg) ratio diagram based on biotite composition (Deer et al. 2013), (c) Mg, R+3, Fe+2(Mn+2) ternary diagram using biotite composition (Foster 1960).



4.4 Geothermobarometry

Ridolfi et al. (2010) have proposed refined equations for estimating temperature based on magnesian amphibole composition. The results provided temperatures ranging from 730 to 776°C for equi- to heterogranular sanukitoids, 768-788°C for that porphyritic and 790-892°C for trondhjemite rocks. Geothermometer based on Ti content in biotite (Henry et al. 2005) resulted in temperatures between 700 to 730°C for leucogranites and associated granodiorite. Similarly, Al-in amphibole geobarometer was used for determining the pressure of calcic-alkaline granites (Mutch et al. 2016). For even-grained and heterogranular sanukitoids, all geobarometers equations overlap between 100 to 200 Mpa while for that porphyritic and trondhjemite rocks pressure range from 200 to 280 Mpa.

Microstructural observations indicate that amphibole is formed at an early stage of magmatic crystallization which leads to expect higher temperatures for this process, close to those obtained by zircon (826-863 ºC; Watson and Harrison 1983) and apatite saturation (858-909 ºC; Harrison and Watson 1984). However, for both amphibole and biotite, the results indicate lower temperatures (< 800 ºC). This discrepancy can be understood as a result of compositional reequilibrium process and let us assume two main formation hypotheses: (i) mineral reequilibrium would be related to retrometamorphism process at upper amphibolite facies; or (ii) it would be associated with recrystallization and alteration, during deformation-assisted late to post-magmatic cooling process. The first assumption is unlikely, since the concept of retrometamorphism does not apply for an originally igneous rock (Best 2003). On the other hand, the second premise is consistent with geologic and microstructural observations such as presence of microfractures in feldspars filled by residual minerals, indicating that dynamic recrystallization processes can have occurred at temperatures close to solidus and confirming a syntectonic setting for the studied granitoids, as suggested by Silva et al. (2018). This is in line with amphibole deformation experiments which indicated that the recrystallization processes are activated at temperatures above 650-700 ºC (Imon et al. 2004).

The Fe/(Fe+Mg) ratio in amphibole and magnetite + quartz + titanite assemblage are important to infer the redox state and water content of magma (Wones 1989; Anderson et al. 2008). In Ourilândia do Norte granitoids, the occurrence of magnesio-hornblende, MgO/(FeOt+MgO) ratio in whole-rock above than 0.70 and Fe# = Fe/(Fe+Mg) in amphibole below than 0.55 suggest that sanukitoid and trondhjemite rocks were formed from of oxidized magmas. The calculated water content was obtained using amphibole composition and the results showed values range from H2Omelt 4.0 wt.% to 5.7 wt.% for sanukitoids (Ridolfi et al. 2010). These values are in conformity with the minimum values necessary to stabilize amphibole at magmatic temperature and prevent pyroxene crystallization in typical calc-alkaline magma (4 wt% to up 7 wt% H2O; Naney 1983). Considering amphibole absence in leucogranites and granodiorites, besides low amphibole content in trondhjemite, water content values < 4 wt% H2Omelt possibly was attained during their magmatic evolution.



The magnetic signature of granitic rocks is intrinsically associated with their Fe-Ti oxide minerals (specially magnetite). Mesoarchean granitoids from Ourilândia do Norte were individualized in three main magnetic groups: (i) the lowest MS values (group A; MS varying of 0,08×10-3 to 0,70×10-3 SI) are predominantly liked to sanukitoid and trondhjemite rocks, with rare opaque phases; (ii) moderate MS values (group B; MS of 0,23×10-3 to 2,35×10-3 SI) are attributed to variable proportion of sanukitoid and leucogranite rocks, and ilmenite prevailing in relation to magnetite; and (iii) the highest MS values (group C; MS of 0,02×10-3 to 17,0×10-3 SI) are dominated by leucogranite and associated granodiorite, with minor occurrence of porphyritic sanukitoid rocks, which is characterized by the highest magnetite content. Application of Al-in-amphibole geothermometers in sanukitoid and trondhjemite rocks provided temperatures ranging from 730-788 °C (sanukitoids) and 790-892°C (trondhjemite), at 100-280 MPa (upper crust). In leucogranites and associated granodiorites, it was used a geothermometer based on Ti content in biotite providing temperatures varying of 680-730 °C. These results associated with microstructural observations indicate that dynamic recrystallization processes can have occurred at temperatures close to solidus, according to the syntectonic character attributed to studied granitoids. In addition, the Mg/(Fe+Mg) ratio in biotite and amphibole associated with presence of titanite + magnetite + quartz assemblage indicates that the precursor magmas that originated those rocks were oxidized and hydrated (H2O content probably reached up to 5 – 7 wt.% in sanukitoids and H2O < 5 wt.% in leucogranites-granodiorite and trondhjemite).



The authors thank C.N. Lamarão, G.T. Marques and A.P.P. Corrêa for their cooperation with the electron microprobe and scanning electron microscopy analyses conducted at the Microanalyses Laboratory from Universidade Federal do Pará (UFPA) and R. Dall’Agnol for his feedback about magnetic petrology. CNPq for providing masters’s scholarship (A.C. Nascimento; Proc.130983/2018-7). Funding for this project came from CNPq (D.C. Oliveira – Proc. 311388/2016-7; 435552/2018-0 and 311647/2019-7).



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