Potash-Rich Volcanic Rocks from Southern Spain

G. D. Borley
Department of Geology, Imperial College, London, S.W.7

Summary: Several restricted outcrops of potash-rich volcanic rocks occur in the Spanish provinces of Murcia and Almeria, where they form intrusive pitchstones or surface lavas among country rocks consisting of Tertiary and Quaternary sediments: the volcanic rocks include jumillites and verites from the type localities of Jumilla and Vera and it is these rocks that have been investigated. Jumillites are basic lavas, sometimes coarse-grained, rich in MgO, CaO, K2O, TiO2, and P2O8, poor in SiO2, Al2O3, and Na2O and they contain important, if minor, concentrations of Cr2O3, BaO, SrO, and ZrO2. Their mineralogy is distinctive: chrome diopside, forsterite, titaniferous phlogopite, kataphorite, and sanidine, with rare leucite. Verites, typically, are black pitchstones or pitchstone breccias that range from basic to acid in composition ; they are more variable in their chemistry than jumillites, but in part this variation might be due to introduction of silicate and carbonate into some of the verites during extensive hydrothermal alteration, which has undoubtedly affected their initial chemistry. Mineralogically, verites are simpler than jumillites and have fewer phenocrysts: forsterite, some diopside, phlogopite, and, occasionally, leucite. Certain mineralogical and compositional similarities of jumillites and verites suggest they may have originated from the same type of parental magma. Their mineralogy and chemistry also relate the jumillites and verites to phlogopite-bearing potash-rich volcanics from East Africa, America, and Australia and it seems possible that all these rocks might have a common parent in mica peridotite or mica pyroxenite.

Mineralogical Magazine; September 1967 v. 36; no. 279; p. 364-379; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1967.036.279.07
© 1967, The Mineralogical Society
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