Fluorine in Igneous Rocks and Minerals with Emphasis on Ultrapotassic Mafic and Ultramafic Magmas and Their Mantle Source Regions

A. D. Edgar, L. A. Pizzolato and J. Sheen
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5B7

Abstract: In reviewing the distribution of fluorine in igneous rocks it is clear that F abundance is related to alkalinity and to some extent to volatile contents. Two important F-bearing series are recognized: (1) the alkali basalt—ultrapotassic rocks in which F increases with increasing K2O and decreasing SiO2 contents; and (2) the alkali basalt—phonolite—rhyolite series with F showing positive correlation with both total alkalis and SiO2. Detailed studies of series (1) show that F abundance in ultrapotassic magmas (lamproite, kamafugite, lamprophyre) occurs in descending order in the sequence phlogopite>apatite>amphibole>glass. Fluorine contents in the same minerals from fresh and altered mantle xenoliths may be several orders of magnitude less than those in the host kamafugite. For many lamproites, F contents correlate with higher mg# suggesting that F is highest in the more primitive magmas.

Experiments at mantle conditions (20 kbar, 900–1400°C) on simplified F-bearing mineral systems containing phlogopite, apatite, K-richterite, and melt show that F is generally a compatible element. Additionally, low F abundance in minerals from mantle xenoliths suggests that F may not be available in mantle source regions and hence is unlikely to partition into the melt phase on partial melting. Melting experiments on the compositions of F-free and F-bearing model phlogopite harzburgite indicate that even small variations in F content produce melts similar in composition to those of lamproite.

Keywords: fluorine • igneous rocks • mafic magmas • ultramafic magmas

Mineralogical Magazine; April 1996 v. 60; no. 399; p. 243-257; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1996.060.399.01
© 1996, The Mineralogical Society
Mineralogical Society (www.minersoc.org)