A Nitrogen-Rich Metamorphic Fluid and Coexisting Minerals in Slates from North Wales

S. H. Bottrell, L. P. Carr and J. Dubessy
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT
Department of Earth Sciences, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA
Centre de Recherches sur la Geologie de l'Uranium, 3 rue du Bois de la Champelle, 54500 Vandœuvre-les-Nancy, France

Abstract: Volatile species analysis of fluid inclusions in metamorphic quartz veins from the Llanbedr Formation, North Wales, show nitrogen to be an important component. Microthermometric and Laser Raman analysis indicates that the N2 is resident in a generation of very N2-rich inclusions and demonstrates the presence of both N2-rich and aqueous fluids during metamorphism of the Llanbedr Formation. N2-rich fluids do not appear to have been present in adjacent lithologies. Isotopic analysis of N2 in fluid inclusions and in the slates indicates that the N2 in the slates (thought to be present as NH4+ substituting for K+ in muscovite and for Na+ in albite) was probably originally derived from organic matter in the sediment and subsequently released to the fluid phase during metamorphism.

Mineral-fluid and fluid-phase equilibrium calculations show that the mineral assemblage in the slates could be in equilibrium with either N2-rich or aqueous fluid depending on redox conditions. The N2-rich and aqueous fluids in the veins could, therefore, have been trapped at different times under different conditions, though their coexistence as immiscible fluids is a possibility.

Keywords: nitrogen-rich metamorphic fluid • coexisting minerals • slate • North Wales

Mineralogical Magazine; September 1988 v. 52; no. 367; p. 451-457; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1988.052.367.03
© 1988, The Mineralogical Society
Mineralogical Society (www.minersoc.org)