Thermal Constraints on the Emplacement Rate of a large Intrusive Complex: The Manaslu Leucogranite, Nepal Himalaya

C J Annen, B Scaillet, RSJ Sparks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)


The emplacement of the Manaslu leucogranite body (Nepal, Himalaya) has been modelled as the accretion of successive sills. The leucogranite is characterized by isotopic heterogeneities suggesting limited magma convection, and by a thin (<100 m) upper thermal aureole. These characteristics were used to constrain the maximum magma emplacement rate. Models were tested with sills injected regularly over the whole duration of emplacement and with two emplacement sequences separated by a repose period. Additionally, the hypothesis of a tectonic top contact, with unroofing limiting heat transfer during magma emplacement, was evaluated. In this latter case, the upper limit for the emplacement rate was estimated at 3.4 mm/year (or 1.5 Myr for 5 km of granite). Geological and thermobarometric data, however, argue against a major role of fault activity in magma cooling during the leucogranite emplacement. The best model in agreement with available geochronological data suggests an emplacement rate of 1 mm/year for a relatively shallow level of emplacement (granite top at 10 km), uninterrupted by a long repose period. The thermal aureole temperature and thickness, and the isotopic heterogeneities within the leucogranite, can be explained by the accretion of 20-60 m thick sills intruded every 20 000-60 000 years over a period of 5 Myr. Under such conditions, the thermal effects of granite intrusion on the underlying rocks appear limited and cannot be invoked as a cause for the formation of migmatites.
Translated title of the contributionThermal constraints on the emplacement rate of a large intrusive complex: The manaslu leucogranite, nepal himalaya
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71 - 95
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Petrology
Volume47 (1)
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Oxford University Press

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