Granulite

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Description:
Granulites are medium to coarse–grained metamorphic rocks that have experienced high temperature metamorphism, composed mainly of feldspars sometimes associated with quartz and anhydrous ferromagnesian minerals, with granoblastic texture and gneissose to massive structure. D.R. Bowes (1989), The Encyclopedia of Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology; Van Nostrand Reinhold ISBN: 0-442-20623-2 They are of particular interest to geologists because many granulites represent samples of the deep continental crust. Some granulites experienced decompression from deep in the Earth to shallower crustal levels at high temperature; others cooled while remaining at depth in the Earth.

The minerals present in a granulite will vary depending on the parent rock of the granulite and the temperature and pressure conditions experienced during metamorphism. A common type of granulite found in high-grade metamorphic rocks of the continents contains pyroxene, plagioclase feldspar and accessory garnet, oxides and possibly amphibole. Both clinopyroxene and orthopyroxene may be present, and in fact, the coexistence of clino- and orthopyroxene in a metamorphosed basalt defines the Granulite facies.

Formation

Granulites form at high temperature conditions at a range of pressure conditions, typically during regional metamorphism. In some cases, the high temperatures are difficult to account for at the inferred depths at typical geothermal gradients. In extreme cases, granulites...
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