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The ACF Diagram

Illustrate metamorphic mineral assemblages


in mafic rocks on a simplified 3-C triangular
diagram
Concentrate only on the minerals that
appeared or disappeared during
metamorphism, thus acting as indicators of
metamorphic grade
Eskola (1915) proposed the ACF diagram as a
way to illustrate metamorphic mineral
assemblages in mafic rocks on a simplified 3-C
triangular diagram
He wanted to concentrate only on the minerals

Figure 24.4. After Ehlers and


Blatt (1982). Petrology.
Freeman. And Miyashiro (1994)
Metamorphic Petrology. Oxford.

The ACF Diagram


The three pseudo-components are all
calculated on an atomic basis:
A = Al2O3 + Fe2O3 - Na2O - K2O
C = CaO - 3.3 P2O5
F = FeO + MgO + MnO
To calculate A for a mineral, we combine the atomic proportions Al
and Fe3+ in the mineral formula, and then subtract Na and K
If you begin with an ideal mineral formula Fe3+ is rare, except in a
few minerals
In real mafic minerals, Fe is probably in both valence states, but
generally is dominated by Fe2+
Microprobe analyses cannot distinguish Fe oxidation states, but you
can often estimate the relative proportions of ferric and ferrous iron

The ACF Diagram


A = Al2O3 + Fe2O3 - Na2O - K2O
Why the subtraction?
Na and K in the average mafic rock are
typically combined with Al to produce Kfs and
Albite
In the ACF diagram, we are interested only in
the other K-bearing metamorphic minerals,
and thus only in the amount of Al2O3 that
occurs in excess of that combined with Na2O
and K2O (in albite and K-feldspar)
Because the ratio of Al2O3 to Na2O or K2O in

Although it appears as though we are subtracting sodium and


potassium from aluminum, we are really subtracting from Al an
amount of Al that is equivalent to the amounts of Na +
K, and then dealing with the Al that is left over
As well see in Section 24.3.3, this subtraction is more
appropriately considered as a projection from K-feldspar and
albite, thereby eliminating K 2O and Na2O as components
Combing Al and Fe3+ is not very rigorous, and projecting from
K-feldspar is only justified when this phase is present, which is
rare in mafic rocks
The amounts of Fe3+ and K2O are usually minor, however, and
this is seldom a major problem
Projecting from Ab is more reliable, because this component is
commonly present in plagioclase

The ACF Diagram


C = CaO - 3.3 P2O5
F = FeO + MgO + MnO
C is formulated in a similar way to A
All the P2O5 in most rocks is combined with CaO (in the ratio 1:3.3)
to create apatite
Apatite is an ubiquitous accessory mineral, and in the ACF diagram
we are interested only in the CaO that exists in excess of that
captured by P2O5 to create apatite
Thus we subtract from CaO an amount equal to 3.3 times the
amount of P2O5 to eliminate P2O5 as a component and apatite as a
phase without altering CaO in the rest of the system
F is a combined pseudo-component based on the common
exchangeability of Fe, Mg, and Mn in solid solution on the
octahedral sites of most mafic minerals

The ACF Diagram


By creating these three pseudo-components,
Eskola reduced the number of components in
mafic
rocks
from 8 under
to 3 the assumption that it
Water
is omitted
is perfectly mobile
Note that SiO2 is simply ignored

We shall see that this is equivalent to projecting from quartz

In order for a projected phase diagram to be


truly valid, the phase from which it is
projected must be present in the mineral
assemblages represented
Thus, to be valid, the ACF diagram must have both
quartz, alkali feldspar, and plagioclase present
It may work anyway when these phases are lacking,

The ACF Diagram


An example:
Anorthite CaAl2Si2O8

A = 1 + 0 - 0 - 0 = 1, C = 1 - 0 = 1, and
F=0
Provisional values sum to 2, so we can
normalize to 1.0 by multiplying each
value by , resulting in
A=0.5
C=0.5
Where does Ab plot? Plagioclase?
F=0

Figure 24.4. After Ehlers and


Blatt (1982). Petrology.
Freeman. And Miyashiro (1994)
Metamorphic Petrology. Oxford.

A typical ACF compatibility diagram, referring to


a specific range of P and T (the kyanite zone in
the Scottish Highlands)

Figure 24.5. After


Turner (1981).
Metamorphic
Petrology.
McGraw Hill.

The AKF Diagram


Because pelitic sediments are high in
Al2O3 and K2O, and low in CaO, Eskola
proposed a different diagram that
included K2O to depict the mineral
assemblages
develop
in pseudothem
In the AKF that
diagram,
the

components are:
A = Al2O3 + Fe2O3 - Na2O - K2O CaO
K = K2 O
F = FeO + MgO + MnO

Note that CaO is now subtracted from


Al2O3 in calculating A
This eliminates CaO and plagioclase from the
diagram by projecting
We are now interested only in the Al that
occurs in excess of that combined with K, Na,
and Ca to make any feldspar
As a result, no feldspar, including anorthite or
any intermediate plagioclase, plots on the AKF
diagram
Only one atom of Ca is subtracted from two of
Al because the Al:Ca ratio in anorthite is 1:2.

Figure 24.6. After Ehlers and


Blatt (1982). Petrology.
Freeman.

AKF compatibility diagram (Eskola, 1915)


illustrating paragenesis of pelitic hornfelses,
Orijrvi Figure
region
24.7. Finland
After
Eskola (1915) and
Turner (1981)
Metamorphic
Petrology.
McGraw Hill.

And & Ms plot as


the same point in
the ACF diagram,
and Micr doesnt
plot at all, so the
ACF diagram is
much less useful
for pelitic rocks
(rich in K and Al)