Halogen geochemistry of the Great Dyke, Zimbabwe

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Apatite from the Great Dyke of Zimbabwe is relatively rich in the hydroxy-fluorapatite end-members. The mole fraction of fluorapatite increases from approximately 40% in cumulates of the Ultramafic Sequence to over 60% in a sample near the top of the exposed Mafic Sequence. The chlorapatite component decreases from a typical high of 10-20 mole% in the Ultramafic Sequence to about 1% in the uppermost part of the Mafic sequence. However, within-sample variation may be as great as the entire stratigraphic variation. Halogen contents of marginal samples generally are similar to axial samples, but tend not to have as high Cl concentration and tend to OH-enrichment. Biotite compositions approach hydroxyl end-member compositions, and apatite-biotite OH-F exchange geothermometers give an average closure temperature of 564°C. Apatite from the Umvimeela Dyke, an unlayered dike that parallels the Great Dyke over much of its length, contains less Cl than is seen in the Ultramafic Sequence cumulates of the Great Dyke. While the overall stratigraphic trend is characterized by a decrease in the Cl/F ratio with stratigraphic height, within the P1 unit at the top of the Ultramafic Sequence there is a positive correlation between Cl and other incompatible elements such as Na and Ce. The apparent contradiction between the general stratigraphie trend of decreasing Cl/F ratio with fractionation and the apparent increase in Cl and other incompatible elements seen in the P1 unit can be explained by assuming that the Great Dyke magma chamber was degassing near its top, where confining pressure was lowest and Cl was preferentially lost to a separating volatile- rich fluid. As cumulates formed on the floor, they entrapped liquid that was increasingly depleted in Cl at the higher stratigraphic levels. However, at any given stratigraphie interval, either local fluid enrichment or the eventual crystallization of halogen-bearing minerals that incorporate the smaller F ion in preference to the larger Cl ion led to a local increase in the Cl/F ratio.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Boudreau, AE; Love, C; Prendergast, MD

Published Date

  • December 1, 1995

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 122 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 289 - 300

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0010-7999

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s004100050128

Citation Source

  • Scopus