Chromian Illite-Ankerite-Quartz Parageneses from the Kintail District of Southern Ross-Shire, Scotland

T. N. Clifford1, D. C. Rex2, R. Green2, A. P. le Roex3, H. S. Pienaar4 and D. Bühmann5
1 Department of Geology, University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, Wits 2050, Johannesburg, South Africa
2 Department of Earth Sciences, University of Leeds, UK
3 Department of Geological Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa
4 Department of Geology, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
5 Council for Geosciences, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract: The Coire Dhuinnid fault zone contains emerald green chromian illite-ankerite-quartz rocks that are similar in appearance to the fuchsite(or mariposite)-carbonate-quartz parageneses that are commonplace in Archaean greenstone belts but which are rather rare in Phanerozoic rocks. The chromian illite contains 2.3 wt.% Cr2O3 low K2O (7.1–7.6 wt.%) and high H2O+ (5.7 wt.%), and it is a 1M polytype with ⩽10% of an illite/smectite interstratification indicative of a formation temperature of c. 175–200°C. The host rocks contain high concentrations of Ni and Cr, and show low concentrations of Ti, Nb, Y and Zr, suggesting a former primitive mafic protolith (boninitic magma?); they are considered to be retrograde remnants of Lewisian rocks. The latter, and the associated rocks of the Moine Series, have been affected by CO2 metasomatism that was accompanied by the addition of Ca(+Sr), Fe and Mg, and by the removal of Na from, and the addition of H2O to the Moine metasediments. Radiogenic isotope studies of mineral separates and whole rock from sample no. 43 yielded ages of 483±2 Ma (Ar-Ar dating on Cr illite), 413±12 Ma (K-Ar dating on Cr illite), and 322±9 Ma (Rb-Sr dating on minerals and whole rock); the significance of this discrepant pattern is discussed.

Keywords: Scottish Highlands • faulting • chromian illite • radiogenic isotopes • CO2 metasomatism

Mineralogical Magazine; February 1999 v. 63; no. 1; p. 37-52; DOI: 10.1180/002646199548295
© 1999, The Mineralogical Society
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