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Vol. 81, 1986, pp. 1976-1982

The IsoconDiagram A Simple Solutionto Gresens'Equation

for Metasomatic Alteration

Departmentof Geology,Universityof Minnesota-Duluth,Duluth, Minnesota55812


Gresens'(1967) methodof analysisof changesin volumeandconcentrations duringmeta-

somatismhave been appliedin many studiesof hydrothermalalteration.This paper provides
a simplemethodof solutionof Gresens'equations,for both volume (or mass)changeand
concentrationchanges,one which requiresno significantmanipulationof analyticaldataand
is readily accomplishedboth graphicallyand on a computerspreadsheet.Gresens'equation
is rearrangedinto a linear relationshipbetween the concentrationof a componentin the
alteredrockandthatin the original.Simultaneous solutionof suchequations for all components
that showno relativegainor lossof massdefinesan "isocon."On a graphof the concentrations
in the alteredrock againstthosein the original,an isoconis a straightline throughthe origin.
The slopeof the isocondefinesthe masschangein the alteration,andthe deviationof a data
pointfromthe isocondefinesthe concentration changefor the corresponding component.As
is shown,this canbe appliedto severalstagesof alterationsimultaneously,and to other kinds
of masstransfersuchasmigmatization.

Introduction is a factorcommonto the behaviorof all components.

IN a studyof metasomatically alteredrocks,the im- That is, the alterationis pervasive,rather than con-
mediatequestions concernthe natureof the original finedto only part of the rockconsidered,asin veins
rockandthe gainsandlossesof materialnecessary to or alterationpatches.It seemstimely to bringGresens'
producethe alteredrock.By carefulconsideration of notationmoreintoline with currentpractice,andboth
the field relationsandpetrologyof an area,onemay hisoriginalandthe presentnotationsaregivenin Ta-
ble 1.
be ableto determinea "least-alteredequivalent."This
isprobablythe majorstepin unravelingthe alteration For the alterationof A to B, with possiblevolume
process.Assumingthat this has been done, one has change,Gresens'basicformulais:
to considernextthebasisfor determiningthe relative Xn• [fv(g
gainsandlossesthat gaverise to the alteredrock. In
somecasesthe assumptionof constantvolumeseems Ifa = 100 g, asisconvenientif usingchemicalanalyses
to work, in some,constantalumina,and in other cases, summedto 100 weight percent, this becomesGre-
other componentsseemto have been relatively im- sens'(1967) equation14:
X, = [fv(gU/g•')C,•
- C,•I100.
Gresens(1967) consideredcomposition-volume
relationsin metasomatic alteration,presentingequa- Thisequationisthe basisfor Gresens'"Composition-
tionsfor calculationof gainsandlossesfromchemical Volume"diagrams, asgivenin Gresens(1967, fig. 3).
analyses andspecificgravitiesof alteredandunaltered In this, for eachcomponentthe relationbetweenX,
equivalents,both mineralsandrocks.His basicequa- anda set of arbitraryvaluesof f• is shown,resulting
tion and method of graphical solutionhave been in generalin a setof intersecting straightlines.Where
widely used (e.g., Appleyard, 1980; Gibsonet al., the lines for one or more componentsintersect X,
1983; Morton andNebel, 1984). Thispaperprovides = 0, at or closeto a commonvalue of f•, that is taken
an alternativemeansof graphicalor computerized as the volume factor for the alteration.This implies
solutionof Gresens'equation. that thesecomponentsare relativelyimmobilein the
alteration.Changesin the amountsof mobile com-
Gresens'Equation Revisited ponentsarethenreadfromthe graph.Thesechanges
Gresens'basicargumentis that somecomponents are commonlypresentedin termsof fictitiousvalues
are likely to have been immobile in the alteration of f• correspondingto zero compositionalchange,
process,and that if thesecanbe identified,they caii whichmaybe mathematically permissiblebut which
be usedto establishany volumechangewhich has unnecessarily obscures the real valueof the method.
takenplace.Gainsor lossesof othercomponents can A more direct methodof applyingGresens'equa-
then be calculatedassumingthat the volumechange tion is as follows. First note that Gresens'equation

oa61-0128/86/626/1976-752.50 1976

TABLE 1. Abbreviations For eachcomponentthere is an equationof this

form,in which(Mø/MA)isconstant. If we canidentify
Gresens This paper in particularthose(immobile)components for which
Superscriptfor unaltered ACt = 0, we can obtainthis ratio by solvinga set of
(original) sample A O simultaneous
equationsof the form:
Superscriptfor altered (final)
sample B A CiA= (Mø/MA)Ci
¸. (4)
Subscriptfor component n i
Specificgravity g p This is readily done graphically,by plotting the an-
Volume of sample v V alytical
Ci¸ . Theimmobile
"Volume factor" fv generate,throughthe origin,a straightline of slope
Massof sample M (Mø/MA),whichisthefundamental ratioof equivalent
Massof componenti Mi massesbefore and after alteration. This line, for which
Referencemassof originalsample a Mø
Gain or loss of mass of ACi = 0, may be called an "isocon,"that is, "a line
componentrelative to the connectingpoints of equal geochemicalconcentra-
reference mass x AMi tion" (Gary et al., 1974, p. 374). It is readily deter-
Concentration C C
minedby inspection,whichinvolvesthe bestfit of a
straightline througha seriesof points.The equation
to the isocon is:

really relatesto massrather thanto volume.The ratio CA= (Mø/MA)C¸. (5)

of equivalentmasses
after (MA)andbefore(M¸) al- If insteadit is assumedthat alumina hasbeen constant,
teration is:
from equation(3) we have:
po--fv(gn/gX).(1) (MO/MA)= (CA120,/CA120,),
Relativeto anarbitrarymassof theoriginalrock(Mø), and the equationof the isoconis:
the massof somecomponentafter alteration equals C A = (CAi203/CA1203)
the originalmassplusanychangein massof that com-
ponent: If constant massis assumed,
M•A= M•¸ + AMi. C A = C ¸.
byM¸ togetconcentration
units, If constant volume is assumed,
we obtain:
Mi• Mi¸ AMi c A= (pø/pA)Cø.
M•- M•+M--
W. (2) The relative gainsand lossesof (mobile)compo-
(asin nentsare given by the displacements
(Miø/M¸) is indeedthe originalconcentration of data points
unitsof gramsper gram),andthe finalconcentration for all other componentsfrom the referenceisocon.
M•A/MA) is relatedto the originalby the following Probablythe mostusefulmeasureof gain or lossis
expression,obtainedby multiplyingequation(2) by the changein concentrationof a componentrelative
(Mø/MA): to itsconcentration
priorto alteration.Thisisobtained
by dividingbothsidesof equation
(3) by Ci¸,
M•A M¸ M•A Mø/Mi¸ AMi\
' Mo- •X•-6+-•IW
]' Ci Mø/Ci
¸ ACi]
Usingconcentrationunits,we obtain:
and rearrangingto obtain:

Ci • ' +ACi).
MA (3) (ACi/C•
¸) = (MA/Mø)(c•A/c•
¸) - 1. (6)
This is but a revampedversionof Gresens'equation, In the generalcase,(MA/M¸) is determined fromthe
ascanbe seenby rearrangingit into the form: best-fit isocon. If constant alumina is assumed,

AMi= [(MA/Mø)C•
A- C•ø]M
¸. (ACi/Ci)= (CA12o3/CA12O3)(Ci
O A A/CiO)-- 1.
The Isocon Method If constant massis assumed,

The basicequation,then, is equation(3). Note that (aC,/C,) = (C,•/C?)- 1.

ifM ø = 1 g,C isg/g,ifM ¸ = 100g, C isinwt percent, If constant volume is assumed,
ifM ¸ = 106g, C isin ppm,ifM ¸ = 1,000p0,C isin
g/l,000 cc, and so on. (ACi/Ci)= (pA/pO)(ciA/ci
¸) -- 1.

The basicgeometryof the isocondiagramis dis-

i 25%

cussedusingFigure 1. Considerfirst a hypothetical 22

two-stage alteration. Let the concentration in the 20 ......................... -o '• .... •' 0%
rockof,say,MgObe CøMgO
----10 wt percent 18

(point C). Assumethat the rock undergoessome •

changein masswithoutgainor lossof MgO, as in
simplehydration,andlet thischangebe an increase Ld

of 25 percent.The new concentration

of MgO will
a,O __(MO/Ma)COMg
ø = (100/125)10
= 8 wtper- 6
cent (point G). If 50 percentof the MgO is then 4-
• • • -15%
leachedfromthe rock,in someprocess suchthatthere
is no further masschange,the final concentrationis o i i •1 • J i i i i i i • i • t -lOO%
= 0.5CAM•o
= 4 wt percent
(pointD). , 4B 8 C 12 16 20 24 28
From the set of data points (not shown)for this ORIGINAL


alteration,thosecorresponding to zero change(ACi

= 0) will forma straightline emanatingfromthe or- FIG. 1. An illustrationof someof the basicgeometryof the
igin. In thiscase,thisisoconis AG, whichhasa slope isocondiagram. The isoconcorrespondsto AC• = 0 and is des-
ignatedC* = 0.8Cø. All components for which AC• is constant
(Mø/MA)= (100/125)= 0.8 andhenceanequation, plot on a line parallel to the isocon,suchasBD. All components
CA= 0.8C ø. for whichthe gainor lossrelativeto Cø is constantplot on a line
radiatingfrom the origin, suchasAD or AH or the isoconitself
For eachcomponent, therewill thusbe anequation (At).
of the form of equation(3),
ci = 0.s(c? + within the figure), draw a vertical line and scaleit
accordingto relativegainsandlosses,givenby
generatinga line parallel to the isocon.
ac, c-c, c-20
In this hypotheticalalteration,the line for MgO -- _

passesthroughpoint D and interceptsthe abscissa c? ci 20

(CA= 0) at pointB, whereCø = 5, sothatACMgoCopythescaletopassthroughCA*= 20 onthechosen
= --5. The changein concentration
of MgO relative isocon. In Figure1, thisisat pointI, whereCA* -- 20
to that before alteration is thus o O_
ACMgo/CMg -- -- 5/ andCø = 25. Foranycomponent, gainsorlosses may
10 = -50 percent.Note the geometryinvolved: be read directly on this scaleat the intersectionwith
AC• Cp- Cp* the line throughthe corresponding datapoint andthe
origin,e.g., pointK (-50%) for a componentplotting
c•.O-Cid, (7) at point D in Figure 1.
So for MgO and point D, Example 1: Osterberg(1985)
In plotting data from major, minor, and trace com-
(ACMgo/CøMgO)= -(AB/AC)= -(5/10) ponents,it seemsthat rangesfrom about 0 to 30 wt
= -(DG/CG) = -(4/8) = -0.5. percentand 0 to 300 ppm are generallyuseful;com-
ponentswhoseconcentrations are not accommodated
Extendingthis, the data pointsfor all components comfortablyin theserangescanbe scaledasdesired.
that underwent 50 percent losswould lie on a line Osterberg(1985) providesa large range of major,
throughthe originand point D (AD) describedby minor, and trace element data on alteration associated
with mafic and felsic metavolcanic rocks from the On-
CA= 0.8(Cø- 0.5CO), amanRiver area,near Geraldton,Ontario. In dealing
with one of Osterberg'scomparisonsof mafic lava
andsimilarlyall pointscorresponding
to a 50 percent flowschangingfrom iron chlorite alterationto chlo-
increasewould lie on AH, describedby ritoid alteration, we have not only a large range of
concentrations but major volume change.In Figure
CA= 0.8(Co + 0.5Cø). 2, the data for all componentsare scaledas shown.
Data for the majorandminorcomponents are plotted
A simplegraphicalmethodfor readinggainsand as weight percent of the oxides.Data for trace ele-
lossesis as follows.ConsiderFigure 1 and equation mentsare plotted in 0.1 ppm. So, for example,the
(7) above,and choosea convenientvalueof Ca*, let point labeled0.5SiO2corresponds to an originalcon-
ussay,Ca* = 20. Then a horizontalline at CA = 20 centrationof 44.1 wt percentSiO2,andthe point la-
to zero percentchange,andto eachvalue beled Cu, to an original concentrationof 110 ppm
of CAtherecorresponds
a percentage
gainor loss.As Cu. Not onlyissuchscalingvalidmathematically, but
illustratedat the sideof Figure i (to avoidcongestion it gives due respectto changesin componentsthat

Sr, andRb, 60 percentMgO, and20 percentZn. The
26 1.5AI203 gainsareabout15 percentMnO, Co, andNi, 35 per-
O centCr andY, andvirtuallyall S. Note thatalthough.
24- 10Y
[] ,•'• Fe•O3showsa gainandFeO showsloss,totaliron (as
/___ oo.•"..,•" FeO) showsnochange.Oxidationratherthangainor
lossof ironwaspart of the alterationprocess.
Example2: GibsonEt AI. (1983)
o 10 Gibsonet al. (1983) discusshydrothermalaltera-
8 2Fe•31. tion in the Amulet Rhyolite Formationat Noranda,
Quebec.Let usconsiderthe changes impliedby their
4 o10S •H20'
DS/• 0 -MgO • 1.5CAO
' . _- data for the least altered andesitc and mottled andesitc
/ G1.SRbO10Na20 ' (1983, table 1). This illustratesthe effects of the
o • • •2 •6 •o 2• choice of isocon where the choice is moot. The data
areplottedin Figure3. If constant

there wouldhaveto havebeen a 5 percentincrease
FIG. 2. An isocondiagramfor samples238 and 236 from Os- in volume. If constantvolume is assumed,this is tan-
terberg(1985). Oxidesare plottedin weightpercent,elements tamountto constantmass,sincethe ratio of specific
in 0.1 ppm. A best-fitisoconis estimated,with a slopeof 1.3, gravitiesof the originaland final rocksis 0.993. The
corresponding to a volumedecreaseof -24 percent.For com-
parison,isoconsbasedon the hypothesesof constantmassand relative changesin concentrationunder each as-
constant volume are shown, and one based on constant alumina sumptionare shownin Table 2.
would,of course,passthroughthe pointfor AlcOa. According
to Gibsonet al. (1983,p. 965), assuming
constant volume metasomatism, Si and Ca were the
elementsaddedto the rockduringmottledalteration,
we might consider"minor" relative to silicaor alu- whereasA1,Fe, Mg, andTi were removed.The pres-
mina but which are still useful parametersin deci- ent interpretationsuggests
that Fe, Mg, Ti, (andP•O5
pheringthe alterationprocess.In Figure2 it is seen andZn) were removedin significant amountsandthat
that H20, Zr, TiO2, total Fe asFeO, Cu, A1•O3,and K and Cu were added,but that the other constituents,
SiO•forma lineararraythroughtheorigin.Thissug- includingSi, A1,Ca, Na, andMn wererelativelycon-
geststo the writer that thesemay be consideredim- stant, no matter which of the three model isoconsis
mobile components,and used to define a best-fit chosen.If there is goodevidencefor silicification in
isocon. thisstageofalteration,thenthe hypothesis of constant
A statementthat "the componentsusedto define alumina is more attractive than those of constant mass
an isoconhavebeen relativelyimmobile"canbe in- or volume,and indeedmore attractivethan usinga
terpretedin two differentways.First,it maybe taken bestfit to the datapointsthat form the linear array
to mean that there has been little mass transfer of
usedto definethe isocon.Second,it may
be taken to mean that the concentration of one com-
ponentrelativeto that of anotherhasnot changed:
that they have not decoupledgeochemically.As
pointedoutto the writer by C. M. Lesher(pers.com-

22 10CaO
mun.), this couldhappenin the caseof elementslike 18

K andRb thatmightbe mobilizedtogether.In choos-

ing an isoconit is thusdesirableto baseit on species • 010Cu
that are geochemicallydissimilar,and the more dif-
ferent speciesthat canbe usedthe better. • • 10
/ • 5MgO
• • D10TiO2G
The choice of isocon fixes the volume and com- -"
positionalchangesto be gleanedfrom the data.The
2 /•5MnO•o,
best-fitisoconin this casecloselyapproximates
the 0

constant alumina isocon, but this is distinct from the o • a •2 •6 2o z•

isoconscorrespondingto either constantvolume or ,EAST A•TEReD

constantmass.The slopeof the best-fitisoconyields
(Mø/M^) = 1.3, whichis equivalentto (M^/M¸) FI•. 3. An isocondiagramfor averageanalysesof leastaltered
-- 0.77 andthusa massdecrease
of-23 percent.(V^/ andesiteandmottledandesitefrom Gibsonet al. (1983). Oxides
V¸) -- 0.77(2.82/2.85)
= 0.76,equivalent
toavolume are plottedin weightpercent,elementsin 0.1 ppm. Isoconsare
changeof -24 percent.On thisbasis,or that of con- shownaccording to hypothesesof constant•umina, constantm•s,
and constantvolume,the lasttwo being virtually identicalin this
stantalumina,the lossesof mobilecomponents are case. The slope of the constantalumina isocon is 0.95, corre-
between90 and 75 percentK•O, Na•O, CO2, CaO, spondingto a volumeincreaseof 5 percent.
19 8 0 JAMES

TABLE2. Concentration Changesin Altered Andesitc

Correspondingto Two Model Isocons
(basedon Gibsonet al., 1983)



Component ConstantAI•03 Constant mass
O< 16

Zn -0.45 -0.47 o
k) 12
MgO -0.30 -0.33
P2Os -0.29 -0.32
TiO2 -0.21 -0.25
Fe•O3,ot., -0.18 -0.22 H•
D iO2

MnO -0.07 -0.12 2

NaaO -0.05 -0.09 o

4. 8 12 16 20 24 28
AlsO3 0.00 -0.05
SiO• +0.10 +0.05

CaO +0.13 +0.07

K20 +1.31 +1.20 FIG. 4. An isocondiagramfor quartz-feldspar-porphyry, com-

Cu +5.85 +5.53 paring fresh rock with that from the core of an alterationpipe
(RiverinandHodgson,1980), providingan exampleof pervasive
alteration.All data are plotted in weight percent. TiOa, AlsO3,
and SiOa are colinear, in an apparentlyexcellent example of a
best-fit isocon,corresponding to a volumechangeof only +10
within 10 percent of the constantmassisocon.This percent. However, the alkalisand CaO have been significantly
involvesgeologicinputbut doesnot significantly
alter depleted, and FeO, MgO, and HaO have been enriched about
fourfold (see alsoTable 3).
the major changeswhich mustbe inferred.
Example 3: Riverin and Hodgson(1980)
initial increase (related to sericitization) before
Asan exampleof pervasivealteration,considerthe plummetingto similarlow concentrations.
changesin the quartz-feldspar-porphyry in the alter-
Example 4: SheehanEt AI. (1985)
ationpipe at the MillenbachCu-Zn mine at Noranda,
from the freshrock to the core of the pipe (Riverin Massbalanceis pertinentnot onlyto hydrothermal
and Hodgson,1980, table 3) as shownin Figure 4. alteration.It iscriticalto the questionof whetherpar-
Despite the drastic changesin other constituents, ticular migmatiteshave developedin open or closed
TiO2, A1203, and SiOa yield an apparentlyperfect systems,whichbearsdirectlyon the rangeof possible
isoconinvolvingonlya 10 percentincreasein volume. mechanismsof migmatite formation (Olsen, 1985).
Relativeto thesecomponents, FeO, MgO, and HaO As an exampleof the applicationof the isoconmethod
haveincreasedfourfold,CaO hasdecreased by about to migmatites,let us considerthe well-definedrela-
60 percent, and NaaO and KaO by about 80 percent tionshipsbetween palcosome,melanosome,and leu-
(seeTable 3). cosomedescribedby Sheehanet al. (1985), using
However, there is moreto this.Riverin andHodg- their samplesNB2-3.
sonprovide data on a seriesof alteration zones,from First, let us comparethe melanosometo the pa-
freshthroughweaklyaltered,spotted,giantspotted, lcosome,asshownin Figure 6. There is a clearlinear
and silicifiedto core. One can comparesucha suite arraypassing
from the originthroughFeaO3tot•,
of progressively alteredrockswith their protolithus- arraybeingdefinednot onlyby the majorconstituents
ing the sameformat.This is illustratedin Figure 5,
with the omissionof the analysesfrom the silicified TABLE3. ConcentrationChangesfor Alterationof Quartz-
zone,whichdoesnot seemto the writer to be part of Feldspar-Porphyry
(basedon Riverin and Hodgson,1980)
the main sequence.Although this conformsto the
majorconclusions of Riverin andHodgson,there are Component ACi/Ci
someinterestingaddenda.There is no significantdif-
ferencebetween the best-fit isoconthroughTiO2, K20 -0.8
Na20 -0.8
SiOn, and AI•O3 and the constantalumina, constant CaO -0.6
mass,or constantvolumeisoconsat leastthroughthe
TiOa 0
spottedzone. Thereafter, the best-fit and constant
AlsO3 0
aluminaisoconsdivergefrom the constantmass(and SiOa 0
constantvolume) isoconsthrough to the core for-
mation,illustratedin Figure 4. HaO, FeO, and MgO MgO +3.8
H20 +5.3
showprogressiveincreasesin concentration,CaO and FeO +4.5
NaaO showprogressivedecrease,but K20 showsan

but ratherthanjust leavingthe matterthere, we can

usethe isoeonmethodagainto estimatethe best fit
24 *•
i between the mass lost and the leueosome. The result
• o
is shownin Figure 7. There is a lineararraybetween
:0 ;• %,,0 the originandAl=O3,anda lone datapoint for SiO=.
• 18 2FeO +1
i i •o i Thissuggests thatif the leueosome were formedfrom
the masslostin makingmelanosome frompaleosome,
therewouldalsohaveto havebeensignificant transfer
of silicaaway from the site.
6 ll+
These resultsare summarizedin Table 4, in which
columns1, :2,and 3 give the major elementanalyses
2 • 10CaO of paleosome,melanosome,and leueosome,respec-
tively, reealeulatedto 100 percent.Column4 gives
4 8 • 2 16 20 24 28

the massremainingin the melanosome relativeto 100
Co g ofpaleosome, followingthe isoeonanalysisofFigure
6. Columns5 and 6 givethe masslostin thisprocess,
FIG. 5. An isocondiagramfor quartz-feldspar-porphyry,com- distributed between best-fit leueosomeand silica loss,
paringfreshrock with that from four zonesof progressivealter-
ation (•iverin and Hodgson,1980). Squaresdenote the weakly followingthe analysis illustratedin Figure7. For each
altered zone; plus signs,the spottedzone; diamonds,the giant component,the sumof the entriesin columns4, 5,
spottedzone;and triangles,the core (shownseparatelyin Fig. and 6 shouldequalthe entry in column1. Column7
4). All data•e plottedin weightpercent.Heavylinesshowisocons is the best-fit leueosome(column5 reealeulatedto
for the weakest and most intense alterations. Dashed lines show
the progressivechangesin gainand lossof components.
100%), which canbe comparedwith the actualleu-
eosome in column 3. Given loss of silica in addition
to formationof theleueosome, a reasonable
shownherebut alsoby traceconstituents, whichare be made for a relatively closedsystemdevelopment
notplotted.A best-fitisoconthusdefinedhasa slope of the leueosomeand melanosomefrom the paleo-
of about 2 (1.96), correspondingto a masslossof some.Sheehanet al. (1985) cameto a similarconclu-
nearly 50 percentin formingmelanosome from pa- sion independently,basedon their major element
lcosome.In the process,SiO2, A1203, CaO, Na=O, mass balance calculations.
andK=Owouldhaveto be lost,in amountsranging Conclusions
from 60 to 20 percent of the concentrationsin the
palcosome. 1. tiearrangementof Gresens'equationprovides
a simple and direct method for consideringthe
Next, it is a simple matter to calculate the com-
positionof themasslostin theprocessandto compare changesin mass(or volume)andconcentrationsthat
thiswith the actualcomposition At may arisein metasomatiealteration.
of the leucosome.

Fe203(TOTAL) 0.3SLO2 D

40 / 2AI203

Z• 2.% /• •D5MgO
5CaO 0.5SiO

z ,<

• f•2o 10Fe20aH t•
• 8

• •5
/ •5K20
•5Na20 []?%0
•o 7,OT,O•ø•,
ø, 10MgO
] 2Fe203(TOTAL)

5 / •0
• 10MnO
• • , , ,
0 4 8 12 16 20 24


FIG. 7. An isocondiagramcomparingthe leucosomewith mass
•C. 6. An isoeondiagramfor melanosomeand paleosomeof lost in formingmelanosomefrom palcosomein migmatitesuite
migmatitesuiteNB•-3 of Sheehanet al. (1985). All dataare plot- NB2-3 of Sheehanet al. (1985). TiO2, MnO, and P205 plot es-
ted in weight percent.A best-fitisoeonis indicated.SiOz, AlzOa, sentially at the origin. The major observationis that SiOz is far
CaO, NazO,andKzOall showdepletionrelativeto the paleosome removedfrom the linear array formedby the other data points
(seealsoTable 4). (seealsoTable 4).

TABLE 4. MassBalancein a Migmatite (basedon Sheehanet al., 1985)

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

SiOa 65.04 48.92 62.91 24.96 17.55 22.53 66.37

TiO• 0.42 0.84 0.08 0.43 0.00 0.00
AlcOa 16.08 20.34 22.16 10.38 5.70 21.56
Fe•Oa,o• 4.43 8.66 0.80 4.42 0.01 0.04
MnO 0.05 0.11 0.01 0.06 0.00 0.00
MgO 3.67 6.94 0.52 3.54 0.13 0.49
CaO 4.61 6.66 6.97 3.40 1.21 4.58
NaaO 3.05 3.35 5.29 1.71 1.34 5.07
KaO 2.34 3.63 1.23 1.85 0.49 1.85
PaO5 0.29 0.55 0.03 0.28 0.01 0.04
Total 99.98 100.00 100.00 51.02 26.44 22.53 99.99

1, 2, and 3, chemicalanalyses of palcosome, melanosome, and leucosome, recalculatedto 100 percent; 4, massremaining in
melanosome, relativeto 100 g palcosome; 5, massformingbest-fitleucosome,relativeto 100 g palcosome; 6, massof silicalost,
relativeto 100 g palcosome; and7, best-fitleucosome,recalculatedto 100 percent

2. In general,a referenceline corresponding to a the wondersof geochemistry,particularlyRb-Srsys-

zero concentration change(anisocon)is determined tematics,whichprovidedthe clueto thissolutionof
by a best fit to the data;this is simplya graphical Gresens' equation.Thisworkwassupported by grant
simultaneous solutionof Gresens'equationsfor zero EAR-8409664 from the National ScienceFoundation,
concentrationchange.If desired,the isoconmaybe whichis gratefullyacknowledged.
basedon constancyof the concentration of some
component, or of mass,or of volume.Onecandiscuss July 31, 1985;January21, 1986
the effectsof suchdifferinghypotheses in the context Note in proof:Akella (1966) alsousedconstancy
ofa singlearrayof data.The slopeoftheisoconyields of the ratio of concentrationsof immobilespeciesas
the masschange,and hence,the volumechangein the basis for his calculations.
the alteration.
3. Once the isocon,and henceany changein mass
or volume, is chosen,one can determine the gains Akella, J., 1966, Calculationof materialtransportin somemeta-
and lossesrelative to concentrations
in the original somaticprocesses: NeuesJahrb.MineralogieAbh., v. 104, p.
rock,graphicallyor by calculation. 316-329.

4. The input datamaybe conventional analytical Appleyard, E. C., 1980, Massbalancecomputationsin metaso-
matism:Metagabbro/nephelinesyenite pegmatiteinteraction
dataandspecificgravities,andthe computations are in northern Norway: Contr. Mineralogy Petrology,v. 73, p.
readily adaptedto a computerspreadsheet, as has 131-144.
been donefor this paper. Gary, M., McAfee,R., Jr., andWolf, C. L., eds.,1974, Glossary
5. The two majorstepsarethe initialchoiceof the of geology:Washington,D.C., Am. Geol. Inst., 860 p.
protolithfor the alteredrocks-andthe choiceof an Gibson, H. L., Watkinson, D. H., and Comba, C. D. A., 1983,
Silicification:Hydrothermal alteration
in anArchcangeothermal
isocon.It is hopedthatthispaperwill helpmakedis- systemwithinthe AmuletRhyoliteFormation,Noranda,Que-
criminationbetweenhypotheses of constantvolume, bec: ECON. GEOL., v. 78, p. 954-971.
constantmass,constantalumina, or the like, clearer Gresens,R. L., 1967, Composition-volume relationships
of meta-
than is sometimesthe case.Not only is this essential somatism:Chem. Geology, v. 2, p. 47-55.
Morton, R. L., andNebel, M. L., 1984, Hydrothermalalteration
to the choiceof an isocon,but moresignificantlyit is of felsic volcanic rocks at the Helen siderite deposit, Wawa,
essentialto the understanding of metasomatic alter- Ontario: ECON. GEOL., v. 79, p. 1319-1333.
ation. Olsen, S. N., 1985, Massbalancein migmatites,in Ashworth,
J. R., ed., Migmatites:Glasgow,Blackieand Son,p. 145-179.
Acknowledgments Osterberg,S., 1985, Volcanicstratigraphyandhydrothermalal-
I am indebtedto SteveOsterbergfor the stimula- terationin the vicinityof the Headway-Couleemassivesulfide
prospect,OnamanRiver area, Ontario:Unpub.M.Sc. thesis,
tion of a well-written thesisand for permissionto use Univ. Minnesota-Duluth, 115 p.
someof his unpublisheddata.I am alsogratefulto Riverin,G., andHodgson,C. J., 1980,Wall-rockalterationat the
BobBauerfor permission to useunpublished analyses Millenbach Cu-Zn mine, Noranda, Quebec: ECON. GEOL., v.
ofthemigmatite suiteNB2-3.Thepaperhasbenefited 75, p. 424-444.
considerablyfrom suggestionsfrom Ron and Penny Sheehan,T. J., Bauer,R. L., Nabelek,P. I., andGlascock,M.D.,
1985, Partialmeltingunderconditionsof filter pressing:Field
Morton,whoare warmlythankedfor their interest.I andgeochemical evidencefromthe migmatites of NE Minnesota
alsoowea long-standingdebtof thanksto JerryWas- [abs.]:Geol. Soc.AmericaAbstractswith Programs,v. 17, p.
serbergfor his perserverancein introducingme to 714.