Abstract: This paper presents new data on the metasomatic development of zoned ultramafic balls from Fiskenaesset, West Greenland. Field and petrographic evidence indicate retrogression of original ultrabasic inclusions in acid country rock gneisses to serpentinemagnesite assemblages, followed by regional metamorphism and consequent development of the zonal structure upon metasomatic re-equilibration via a supercritical aqueous fluid phase confined to grain boundaries. The balls show varying degrees of deviation from an ideal sequence (antigorite-talc-tremolite-hornblende-chlorite-country rock) intimated by non-equilibrium thermo-dynamics, the currently accepted conceptual framework for the discussion of diffusion metasomatism.
Major and trace-element variations behave in a similar manner to those reported from other zoned ultramafic balls but fail to define the original country rock ultrabasic discontinuity unambiguously. It is tentatively suggested that application of the apparently systematic deviations from ideality may provide additional evidence.
The presence of a hornblende zone and absence of a continuous biotite zone are two significant differences from other zoned ultramafic bodies. The former may suggest increased mobility of the aluminium species at Fiskenaesset, the latter a lower temperature of formation or smaller K2O content of the gneissic hosts.