Investigations of the Stillwater Complex: Part V. Apatites as indicators of evolving fluid composition
Variations in the F, Cl and OH contents of apatite are not constrained by crystal-chemical factors (in contrast to micas and amphiboles), and thus changes in the abundance of these components provide an indicator of halogen fugacity variations and insights into the degassing history of igneous rocks. Microprobe analysis of intercumulus apatites from the Stillwater Complex reveal that Cl-rich apatites, typically containing <0.4 wt % F and >6.0 wt % Cl, occur throughout the lower 1/3 of the complex excluding the Basal series. A change from Cl-rich to more F-rich apatite occurs within olivine-bearing zone I (OB I) of the Banded series, the host zone of the platiniferous J-M Reef. Although apatite compositions are somewhat variable above the J-M Reef, more F-rich apatites predominante and typically contain >1.2 wt % F and <3.0 wt % Cl. The most F-rich apatites occur in the uppermost exposed cumulates. Pristine apatites from coeval sills and dikes from below the complex and from the Basal series are similarly F-rich. In all apatites, the Cl and F contents are lower in rocks affected by later metamorphic fluids. Rare earth element (REE) concentrations in chlorapatites show a marked peak in the olivine-rich rocks of the J-M Reef, and contain up to 2 wt % Ce2O3 + La2O3. The trend of first increasing, then decreasing Cl/F ratios with stratigraphic height is modeled by a vapor-driven zone refining process occurring within the cumulate pile causing Cl-enrichment in the interstitial melt accompanied by degassing at the top of the magma chamber causing overall loss of Cl from the magma as crystallization proceeded. The abrupt change from Cl-rich to more F-rich apatites within OB I is interpreted as the result of a breakdown of the Cl-rich zone refining front and mixing with Cl-poor supernatant melt. Any high temperature fluids that exsolved and circulated through the lower 1/3 of the complex must have been enriched in Cl and could have transported REE and trace metals. © 1989 Springer-Verlag.
Boudreau, AE; McCallum, IS
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