Compositional Variation in Högbomites from North Connemara, Ireland

N. S. Angus and R. Middleton
Department of Geology, The University, Hull, HU6 7RX

Abstract: Högbomite occurs in two contrasting mineral assemblages within the Currywongaun-Dough-ruagh intrusion of north Connemara: a cordierite-rich pelitic xenolith and an orthopyroxenite. In the latter, högbomite and green spinel form blebs within magnetite-ilmenite grains. The högbomite displays significant compositional variation from grain to grain: TiO2 (3.0–6.3%), FeO (21.6–21.3%), MgO (10.0–7.5%), ZnO (3.6–2.4%). This chemical heterogeneity appears to represent variable degrees of partial substitution of Mg and Zn by Ti, in the replacement of spinel by högbomite. By contrast, in the cordierite-hornfels, the högbomite compositions are more notably enriched in iron: TiO2 (4.7–7.0%), FeO (29.6–24.3%), MgO (4.2–6.2%), ZnO (2.7–2.1%). This iron-rich högbomite appears to have formed primarily by interaction between opaque ore and adjacent cordierite, rather than by replacement of spinel.

Two high-grade metamorphic episodes appear to be necessary for högbomite growth, one determining chemical composition and the other appropriate physical parameters. In the Connemara occurrences thermal metamorphism and partial melting, coupled with contamination of the surrounding magma, controlled the formation of mineral assemblages rich in Fe, Mg, Al, Ti, and Zn. Emplacement of the intrusion was accompanied by amphibolite facies regional metamorphism and it is to this metamorphic event that the growth of högbomite may be attributed.

Keywords: högbomite • orthopyroxenite • cordierite-hornfels • Connemara • Ireland

Mineralogical Magazine; December 1985 v. 49; no. 354; p. 649-654; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1985.049.354.03
© 1985, The Mineralogical Society
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