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Title: Contact metamorphism surrounding the Alta stock: Finite element model simulation of heat- and {sup 18}O/{sup 16}O mass-transport during prograde metamorphism

Results of calcite-dolomite geothermometry and oxygen isotope studies of marbles in the southern portion of the contact aureole surrounding the Alta stock (Utah) provide evidence for extensive hydrothermal metamorphism in this part of the aureole. Simulation of these two independent data sets with two-dimensional, finite element fluid flow and heat transport models constrains the pattern of fluid flow, minimum permeability, and the permeability structure in this part of the aureole. Model results demonstrate that intrusion of the stock into a homogeneous, isotropic permeability medium yields peak metamorphic temperatures significantly lower than those measured in the marbles and significant {sup 18}O depletions both above and below the Alta-Grizzly thrust system. The latter contradicts the observations in the south aureole that {sup 18}O depletions in the marbles are restricted to marbles below the Alta-Grizzly thrust; dolomitic marbles above the thrust retain original sedimentary values up to the intrusive contact. Models with horizontal permeability barriers above the Alta-Grizzly thrust and extending over the top of the Alta stock are capable of reproducing the observed thermal and {delta}{sup 18}O profiles in the southern aureole. The presence of such horizontal barriers reduces the predominantly vertical fluid flow and heat transfer that would occur in amore » homogeneous and isotropic permeability medium, forcing fluid flow and heat transfer laterally away from the upper flanks of the stock. Such horizontal flow patterns are necessary to produce significant {sup 18}O depletion above the thrust, and to provide the necessary lateral heat transfer to duplicate the observed temperature profile. Best fit model results to the observed thermal and {delta}{sup 18}O profiles provide several new insights into the dynamics of fluid circulation and hydrogeologic characteristics of the southern Alta aureole during prograde metamorphism.« less
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  1. Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: American Journal of Science; Journal Volume: 297; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: PBD: Jan 1997
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States