The present work deals with an anomalous spinel assemblage detected within serpentinite rocks, whose peculiar textural and geochemical patterns can provide new information on spinel genesis and transformation within mantle peridotites and serpentinites. Spinel is an important accessory phase in mantle peridotites and serpentinites. It shows a wide range of compositions related to different processes and has been largely used as a petrogentic indicator. Due to its refractory character spinel has long been considered to reflect magmatic conditions of its formation, but in the last years studies pointed out changes in its composition also related to metasomatism, metamorphism and alteration. Spinel occurring as an accessory phase within mantle peridotites is dominated by a strong Cr-Al trend, from Al-rich spinel ss. in high-pressure lherzolite to Al-poor chromite in massive chromitite bodies. The main controls on magmatic spinel composition are Cr exchange with pyroxene and re-equilibration with olivine. During metasomatic and metamorphic events the most common change in spinel composition is a depletion in Al associated with enrichment in Fe and/or Cr. When this process affects Cr-rich spinel (chrome-spinel or chromite) it leads to the formation of ferritchromite, usually as alteration rims around chromite grains. Ferritchromite can further evolve to chrome-magnetite and magnetite, always associated with the formation of kammaererite (chromian-chlorite) in the silicate matrix. The spinels described in this study were found during exploration for chromite ore in the Amanos Mountains, about 15 km NE of Iskenderun, Southern Turkey. There ophiolite slices crop out below Mesozoic carbonates and cherts. Ophiolitic rocks are mainly composed of a serpentinite melange with some strongly tectonized gabbros. Serpentinites host several small chromitite lenses that underwent limited exploitation in the last century. All but one of the chromitite bodies detected show a massive to densely disseminated texture with 30 to 80% modal spinel and the composition of a typical chromite from podiform chromitite bodies within ophiolite peridotite. Alteration to ferritchromite is widespread even if it never completely obliterates primary spinel composition at the crystal cores. The exception to the described outline comes from a sample of chromitite which shares texture at the cm-scale with the other chromitites, i.e., millimetric euhedral spinel grains densely disseminated within a completely serpentinized matrix. Microscope observation shows a complex texture with strong zonation related to alteration of the primary spinel. The spinel crystals perfectly preserved their original shapes in spite of deep alteration and transformation occurred from rim to core. Primary spinel is preserved only as irregular core portions and is an Al-rich chrome-spinel with about 41 wt% Al2O3 and 27 wt% Cr2O3. The Al-rich core is surrounded by a porous rim of about 200-300 micron in thickness composed of Fe-rich chromite, with about 9 wt% Al2O3, 40 wt% Cr2O3 and 35 wt% FeOtot. A second alteration rim, closer to the original crystal border, is highly porous and is made up of ferritchromite, with 5-7 wt% Al2O3, 30 wt% Cr2O3 and 31-35 wt% FeOtot. Finally a thin rim, external and developed also in the fractures cutting the original crystal, consists of very anomalous Cr-magnetite. This Cr-magnetite shows a composition different from any spinels described in literature, with 35-37 wt% Cr2O3 and about 45 wt% FeOtot, but still with 4-5 wt% Al2O3. The silicate matrix is mainly fine-grained chlorite, that is found also in the porosity within the original spinel crystals. Chlorite Cr2O3 content (1-1.5 wt%) is lower than that of kammaererite usually associated to ferritchromite. Relics of serpentine are found only in the matrix.

Preliminary data on an anomalous chrome-spinel assemblage from Amanos Mountains serpentinites (Turkey) / G. Grieco, M. Pedrotti, S. Kastrati, M. Moroni. - In: GEOLOGICA BALCANICA. - ISSN 0324-0894. - 39:1-2(2010), pp. 144-145. ((Intervento presentato al 19. convegno Congress of Carpathian-Balkan Geological Association tenutosi a Salonicco nel 2010.

Preliminary data on an anomalous chrome-spinel assemblage from Amanos Mountains serpentinites (Turkey)

G. Grieco;M. Pedrotti;S. Kastrati;M. Moroni
2010

Abstract

The present work deals with an anomalous spinel assemblage detected within serpentinite rocks, whose peculiar textural and geochemical patterns can provide new information on spinel genesis and transformation within mantle peridotites and serpentinites. Spinel is an important accessory phase in mantle peridotites and serpentinites. It shows a wide range of compositions related to different processes and has been largely used as a petrogentic indicator. Due to its refractory character spinel has long been considered to reflect magmatic conditions of its formation, but in the last years studies pointed out changes in its composition also related to metasomatism, metamorphism and alteration. Spinel occurring as an accessory phase within mantle peridotites is dominated by a strong Cr-Al trend, from Al-rich spinel ss. in high-pressure lherzolite to Al-poor chromite in massive chromitite bodies. The main controls on magmatic spinel composition are Cr exchange with pyroxene and re-equilibration with olivine. During metasomatic and metamorphic events the most common change in spinel composition is a depletion in Al associated with enrichment in Fe and/or Cr. When this process affects Cr-rich spinel (chrome-spinel or chromite) it leads to the formation of ferritchromite, usually as alteration rims around chromite grains. Ferritchromite can further evolve to chrome-magnetite and magnetite, always associated with the formation of kammaererite (chromian-chlorite) in the silicate matrix. The spinels described in this study were found during exploration for chromite ore in the Amanos Mountains, about 15 km NE of Iskenderun, Southern Turkey. There ophiolite slices crop out below Mesozoic carbonates and cherts. Ophiolitic rocks are mainly composed of a serpentinite melange with some strongly tectonized gabbros. Serpentinites host several small chromitite lenses that underwent limited exploitation in the last century. All but one of the chromitite bodies detected show a massive to densely disseminated texture with 30 to 80% modal spinel and the composition of a typical chromite from podiform chromitite bodies within ophiolite peridotite. Alteration to ferritchromite is widespread even if it never completely obliterates primary spinel composition at the crystal cores. The exception to the described outline comes from a sample of chromitite which shares texture at the cm-scale with the other chromitites, i.e., millimetric euhedral spinel grains densely disseminated within a completely serpentinized matrix. Microscope observation shows a complex texture with strong zonation related to alteration of the primary spinel. The spinel crystals perfectly preserved their original shapes in spite of deep alteration and transformation occurred from rim to core. Primary spinel is preserved only as irregular core portions and is an Al-rich chrome-spinel with about 41 wt% Al2O3 and 27 wt% Cr2O3. The Al-rich core is surrounded by a porous rim of about 200-300 micron in thickness composed of Fe-rich chromite, with about 9 wt% Al2O3, 40 wt% Cr2O3 and 35 wt% FeOtot. A second alteration rim, closer to the original crystal border, is highly porous and is made up of ferritchromite, with 5-7 wt% Al2O3, 30 wt% Cr2O3 and 31-35 wt% FeOtot. Finally a thin rim, external and developed also in the fractures cutting the original crystal, consists of very anomalous Cr-magnetite. This Cr-magnetite shows a composition different from any spinels described in literature, with 35-37 wt% Cr2O3 and about 45 wt% FeOtot, but still with 4-5 wt% Al2O3. The silicate matrix is mainly fine-grained chlorite, that is found also in the porosity within the original spinel crystals. Chlorite Cr2O3 content (1-1.5 wt%) is lower than that of kammaererite usually associated to ferritchromite. Relics of serpentine are found only in the matrix.
Settore GEO/09 - Georisorse Miner.Appl.Mineral.-Petrogr.per l'amb.e i Beni Cul
Settore GEO/07 - Petrologia e Petrografia
Settore GEO/06 - Mineralogia
GEOLOGICA BALCANICA
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/213036
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