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Abstract

Alkaline schorlitic tourmaline with domains of myrmekitic quartz and tourmaline intergrowths is reported for the first time from quartzo-feldspathic gneisses of the Tso Morari Crystalline Complex (TMCC), eastern Ladakh Himalaya. Except for schorlitic tourmaline, the brown-green dravitic tourmaline occurs in melanocratic layers of the gneiss. The schorlitic tourmaline contains REE-rich apatite, which is a typical mineral formed under high-pressure (HP) conditions. The observed myrmekite, marked by vermicular quartz and tourmaline intergrowths, was probably formed during decompression as a consequence of excess silica released from recrystallized tourmaline. The recalculated composition of the tourmaline with quartz myrmekite suggests that Si also occupied the tourmaline octahedral Z site during the HP regime. During decompression excess Si from this tourmaline was replaced by Mg and Fe3+. At an early stage of exhumation needle-shaped schorlitic tourmaline II and mosaic zoning were formed. The excess of silica and the structural disorder suggest that the Si-oversaturated tourmaline was stable at high-pressure–ultrahigh-pressure (HP–UHP) conditions. The greater stability of dravitic tourmaline compared to schorlitic tourmaline at HP conditions is evidently recorded at the TMCC. The tourmaline-bearing gneisses of the TMCC most probably shared the same metamorphic conditions during Tertiary collision of the Indian and Eurasian plates, similar to that observed for the associated UHP eclogites.

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