Compositions of Trioctahedral Micas in the Cornubian Batholith

M. Stone1, C. S. Exley2 and M. C. George1
1 Department of Geology, The University, Exeter EX4 4QE
2 Department of Geology, The University, Keele, Staffs ST5 5BG

Abstract: New major and trace element chemical analyses of trioctahedral micas of the Cornubian batholith emphasize their enrichment in a ‘trace-alkali element’ association (Li, Rb, Cs, F, Nb, Mn) and their deficiency in a ‘femic element’ association (Zr, Ce, Th as well as Mg and Ti) compared with micas from many other granite suites, although there are similarities with some Hercynian granites and with rare metal pegmatites. The new data demonstrate a continuous series from siderophyllite through zinnwaldite to lepidolite, principally as a result of Li-R2+ substitution as indicated by Foster (1960), although a more complete replacement is (Li, Al) = (Fe2+, Fe3+, Ti). It is suggested that the ranges of these micas are based upon the Li content in the unit cell formula and the ratio of Li to R2+, in effect, a compromise between the ranges proposed by Foster (1960) and Rieder (1970). Microprobe analyses lack Li2O, but can be plotted on FeO-SiO2 and FeO-Al2O3-SiO2 diagrams (wt. or atom %) in order to locate compositions within the trioctahedral LiFe micas and to distinguish between lepidolite and muscovite.

An examination of 55 new mica analyses shows that hornfels biotites are richer in Mg and that the Cornubian Type A granite (as classifed by Exley and Stone, 1982) micas are richer in Ti and Fe compared with those of Type B granites. Micas from microgranite dykes appear to be poorer in femic elements and richer in trace alkalis and F compared with their Type B granite hosts, consistent with their differentiation from the latter. Mica chemistry is consistent with the magmatic evolution of the A-B-microgranite sequence in the biotite granites, the transformation of Types B to D upon emplacement of E, the derivation of Types E from B by extreme differentiation or metasomatic transformation and mobilization, and the in situ differentiation of Types G from E.

Keywords: micas • Cornubian batholith • granite • Cornwall

Mineralogical Magazine; April 1988 v. 52; no. 365; p. 175-192; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1988.052.365.04
© 1988, The Mineralogical Society
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