Chemical Variation in Micas from the Cairngorm Pluton, Scotland

T. N. Harrison*
Department of Geology and Mineralogy, Marischal College, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB9 1AS, Scotland
*Present address: 5312 Powis Place, Aberdeen AB2 3TT.

Abstract: Electron microprobe analyses of micas from the Cairngorm pluton in the Eastern Grampian Highlands of Scotland show extensive compositional variation in biotite, despite a lack of chemical variation in the host granite. Biotite has high Fe/(Fe + Mg) (0.6–0.85) and Alvi (0.6–2.1 a.f.u.), and enrichment trends in these two parameters are attributable to the Al-Tschermak and dioctahedral-trioctahedral substitutions, the latter becoming dominant with increasing Alvi content. Ti content is low (0.2–0.4 a.f.u.), and is largely controlled by a Tschermak-type substitution. Biotite is also unusually rich in Mn (up to 2.57 wt. % MnO), which increases with both Alvi and Fe/(Fe+Mg). F contents generally range between 0.55 and 2.05 wt.% All compositional variation in biotite can be attributed to the extensive development of a fluid phase during the late-magmatic and subsolidus evolution of the pluton. The presence of an abundant fluid phase has resulted in the alteration of biotite to muscovite, which has occurred in response to de-stabilization of the biotite as octahedral R2+ cations are lost in favour of Al. Extreme build-up of this fluid phase has resulted in the crystallization of muscovite as a late, interstitial primary phase. Both primary and replacive muscovite have Fe/(Fe+Mg) > 0.50, 15–36 mol. % celadonite and <1 mol. %paragonite.

Keywords: biotite • muscovite • chemical variation • Cairngorm pluton • Scotland

Mineralogical Magazine; September 1990 v. 54; no. 376; p. 355-366; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1990.054.376.01
© 1990, The Mineralogical Society
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