Brine-induced microtexture formation in upper amphibolite to granulite facies lower crust is investigated using a garnet-hornblende (Grt-Hbl) selvage developed along a planar crack discordantly cutting the gneissic structure of an orthopyroxene-bearing gneiss (central Sør Rondane Mountains, East Antarctica). The Cl contents of hornblende and biotite, K contents of hornblende and the thickness of relatively Na-rich rims of plagioclase decrease with distance from the center of the Grt-Hbl selvage (inferred position of the crack). Biotite and hornblende arrangement defining the gneissic structure can be traced into the selvage, suggesting that the wall-rock was overprinted by the selvage formation. Addition and loss of elements to the wall-rock was examined using Zr as an immobile element. Trace elements that tend to be mobile in brines rather than in melts are added to the wall-rock, indicating that the Grt-Hbl selvage was formed by the advection of NaCl-KCl brine into a thin crack. Plagioclase in the wall-rock shows a discontinuous drop of anorthite content at the rim, indicating that coupled dissolution-reprecipitation took place and the grain boundaries were once wet. Trace element concentrations in the wall-rock minerals decrease with distance from the crack, and, in most cases show exponentially decreasing/increasing profiles depending on the elements. These profiles are best modelled by a diffusion equation, suggesting that the wet grain-boundary diffusion in the wall-rock minerals controlled the observed mass transfer and resulted in dissolution-reprecipitation of mineral rims.
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