Summary: The sodic amphiboles possess two independent chemical substitution series (Fe3+-Al and Fe2+-Mg) that combine to provide a ‘plane’ of compositions. Yet at no single T and P are compositions covering the whole plane stable: (i) pure riebeckite exists under low-P conditions but breaks down in normal blueschists to give deerite; (ii) ferro-glaucophane is in competition at all except the lowest blueschist temperatures with almandine garnet; (iii) magnesio-riebeckite is stable at high-T and low-P but within the blueschist facies is replaced by the alternative higher density aegirine-talc assemblage; and (iv) glaucophane is stable only at high-P.
At higher T and P than those of the blueschists, competition from NaCa pyroxenes, garnets, and deerite first erodes, and then removes, nearly all sodic amphibole compositions. At low-P the normal sodic amphibole-forming reactions from stilpnomelane and chlorite (in the presence of iron oxides, albite, etc.) produce an initial ‘rie-beckitic’ amphibole that subsequently becomes more glaucophanitic with increasing P. Under certain conditions, perhaps connected with hydrous fluid overpressures, these reactions become transposed such that crossitic compositions become replaced whilst ferroglaucophane to glancophane compositions remain stable.