The Chemistry and Cell Parameters of Omphacites and Related Pyroxenes

A. D. Edgar, A. Mottana1 and N. D. Macrae
Department of Geology, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada
1Istituto di Mineralogia, Petrografia e Geochimica, Università di Milano, Italy.

Summary: In an attempt to correlate the chemical compositions and cell sizes of omphacites and related pyroxenes, the cell dimensions of fifty-five analysed pyroxenes have been determined, or taken from the literature. Twenty-two of the chemical analyses are new, nineteen of them being done by electron microprobe. Approximately two-thirds of the total number of analyses may be considered first class, the remainder are of doubtful or unknown quality. Cell parameters, determined by X-ray powder diffraction methods, have errors of 0·1 % for the majority of samples, although for some samples taken from the literature errors are unknown.

The majority of methods of recalculating omphacite analyses into their end-member molecules are unsuitable for correlation of cell constants with chemistry, mainly due to the impossibility of graphical representation of more than three end-member molecules, and to the non-stoichiometry of these molecules. Using a modification of Tröger's (1962) method of recalculating chloromelanite analyses the present analyses have been recalculated into the diopside-jadeite-acmite and diopside-jadeite-hedenbergite molecules and compared with their determined cell parameters. Because of the gradations in all parameters between these end-member molecules, determination of compositions based on the cell parameters (a, b, c, vol, or β) can only be made within wide limits. However, using a method of projection of compositions from the acmite and hedenbergite apices to the diopside-jadeite join the ratios of diopside to jadeite can be determined for most samples to within ±5 mol%. As there are the most important constituents of most omphacites, this method permits an approximate estimation of omphacite compositions. From a knowledge of the cell sizes of the omphacite a rough indication of the conditions of formation of its host rock may also be obtained.

Mineralogical Magazine; March 1969 v. 37; no. 285; p. 61-74; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1969.037.285.07
© 1969, The Mineralogical Society
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