Characterization of multiple fluid-granite interaction processes in the episyenites of Avila-Béjar, Central Iberian Massif, Spain

C. Recio*, A. E. Fallick, J. M. Ugidos, W. E. Stephens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Episyenites are small granite-hosted pipe-like masses characterized by hydrothermal alteration and the major loss of silica compared with the host granites. Such bodies are fairly common in the Hercynian granites of western Europe. This study deals with late Hercynian amphibole-bearing and biotite granodiorites/monzogranites from the Central Iberian Massif using petrological, geochemical (major oxides, trace elements and REE), and isotopic (O, H) data to constrain the paragenesis of alteration, the apparent changes in bulk composition, and the sources and conditions of fluids involved in fluid-rock interactions. Episyenitization leads to reduction of quartz content, albitized plagioclases and chloritized ferromagnesian phases, and the process results in increasingly ordered alkali feldspars. There are noticeable variations in whole-rock Na2O, K2O, MgO, CaO, Rb and Sr contents with SiO2, in some cases behaving differently depending on whether the episyenite is hosted in amphibole granite or biotite granite. The LREE, Y, Zr and Nb have also been modified in those syenites associated with amphibole-bearing granites, this being attributed to destabilization of accessory minerals and recrystallization of new stable mineral assemblages. The process is complex and two generations of chlorite (early high-Fe and late low-Fe) are observed. Whole rocks and mineral separates were studied for O and H isotopes. The data rule out meteoric fluids as the cause of syenitization (and the later resilicification of some) and suggest that at least two different fluids were involved in generating the syenites. The first is interpreted to be a high-temperature (300-450°C) late-magmatic deuteric fluid, as recorded by feldspar-O isotope data. Later, a different fluid with δ18O ≈ -1.4%o and δD ≈ -13%o, isotopically indistinguishable from seawater on a deglaciated Earth, produced the chlorite, secondary quartz and minor epidote. Such a fluid was only available for a short period, since feldspars did not re-equilibrate. The fault systems occupied by the episyenites provided suitable pathways for fluids of both shallow and deep origins over a long term during the Carboniferous.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-144
Number of pages18
JournalChemical Geology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 1997


  • Geochemistry
  • Hercynian
  • Iberian Massif
  • Stable isotopes
  • Syenites


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterization of multiple fluid-granite interaction processes in the episyenites of Avila-Béjar, Central Iberian Massif, Spain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this