Skarn Formation Between Metachalk and Agglomerate in the Central Ring Complex, Isle of Arran, Scotland

G. Cressey
Department of Mineralogy, British Museum (Natural History), Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD

Abstract: A skarn mineral assemblage occurs at the junction between vent pyroclastics and a xenolithic Cretaceous chalk block which subsided into the collapsed caldera of the Central Ring Complex, Isle of Arran, Scotland. Adjacent to the metachalk marble an andradite garnet exoskarn zone has developed at the expense of the carbonate. An andradite grossular/diopsidic clinopyroxene endoskarn zone has formed in the surrounding agglomerate, and a magnetite exoskarn is present in places between the andradite and garnet/pyroxene zones. The andraditic exoskarn garnets have fluor-hydrogarnet components, indicating that fluorine was present in the metasomatic fluid. From petrographic evidence, three distinct episodes of exoskarn garnet crystallization can be recognized, in which the fluor-hydrogarnet component steadily increased as a function of time, which probably reflects falling temperature. The REE compositions of the exoskarn minerals are regarded as having been largely inherited from the carbonate, and the exoskarn garnets increasingly fractionated HREE with time. The endoskarn and agglomerate have also been epidotized. The REE signatures of epidotes appear to be inherited partially from precursor clinopyroxenes or feldspars, which have been replaced by epidote. Late-stage vein minerals include prehnite, laumontite and K-rich laumontite, and their REE compositions appear to have been derived from the marble, probably via REE fluoro-complexes in the fluid.

Keywords: skarn mineralogy • fluor-hydrogarnets • rare earth elements • chalk xenolith • pyroclastics • Isle of Arran • Scotland

Mineralogical Magazine; June 1987 v. 51; no. 360; p. 231-246; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1987.051.360.05
© 1987, The Mineralogical Society
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