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The Western Belt Granite of Peninsular Malaysia : Some Emergent Problems on Granite Classification and Its Implication

Author(s): Azman AG


The Peninsular Malaysian granites have been grouped into two granite provinces namely Western and Eastern Belt granite. The Western Belt granites have been considered as constituting an exclusively ‘S’ type granites. The ‘S’ type features in the granites are, (a) high initial87Sr/86Sr isotope ratio, >0.710, (b) low Na2O content, <3.2% Na2O in rocks with ∼5% K2O, (c) narrow range of felsic rock (SiO2: 65.95 to 77.4%), (d) high K2O/Na2O ratio, 1.4–2.8 (‘S’ type: 0.9–3.2), (e) usually ilmenite bearing and (f) contain pelitic or quartzose metasedimentary xenoliths. However, detailed study of published and unpublished field and geochemical report revealed that the Western Belt granite consists of mixed ‘I’ and ‘S’ type features and thus the batholiths cannot be designated as exclusively ‘S’ type. The ‘I’ type features are (a) Alrich mineral such as sillimanite and cordierite are absent, (b) occurrence of primary wedge sphene and pale green amphibole especially in the northern part of the batholith, (c) occurrence of pinkish K-feldspar crystal (usually as phenocrysts), (d) occurrence of mafic, hornblende bearing enclaves, (e) increasing ACNK values with SiO2, (f) increasing peraluminosity towards the most differentiated rocks which is in contrast to the ‘S’ type granite (increasing peraluminosity towards the most mafic varieties) and (g) showing a similar trend to the ‘I’ type granite in P2O5 vs. Rb and A-B plots. Implication of this study indicates that the Western Belt granite is not solely derived from metasediments. The study favours a mixed origin of crustal material such as metapelites, greywackes and metaigneous rocks.

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