Abstract

We describe a sample of Proterozoic banded iron-formation from the inner contact aureole of the Duluth complex near Babbitt, Minnesota, that contains a compositionally unique Fe-rich monoclinic ferromagnesian amphibole. Its content of TAl (1.3 atoms per 23 anhydrous oxygens) and ANa (0.55) places it in a compositional field (with the label clinoferrogedrite) outside those recognized in the IMA nomenclature for amphiboles. With declining Al, it grades into Al-rich grunerite, and finally to Al-poor grunerite at the crystal margins. While spot-to-spot compositional trends define basic gedrite substitutions, they differ systematically from the well-established anthophyllite-gedrite trends found in amphibolites. They resemble instead two instances of sodic gedrite described in the literature that are enriched in ANa apfu and depleted in octahedral Al. These unusual trends may be the result of very high temperatures of formation, or a high activity ratio of Fe + Mg to Si. Associated minerals in our sample include orthopyroxene Fs74–76, olivine Fa85–91, almandine, quartz, plagioclase, and accessories graphite, pyrrhotite, ilmenite, biotite, apatite, zircon, monazite, and löllingite. Conditions are estimated to have been ≥800 °C and ≈1.3 kbar, with fO2 close to FMQ-2 log10 units. Clinogedrite should be considered extremely rare, but not non-existent. In the monoclinic structure the symmetry of the double Si–O chains limits the uptake of gedritic components to amounts lower than found in the orthorhombic structure, where Al is distributed across three of the four distinct tetrahedral sites. We also present electron microprobe data for a highly aluminous cummingtonite grading compositionally into clinogedrite (ANa = 0.3, M2Al + Fe3+ + 2Ti = 1.0, TAl = 1.1) that was grown from fused and S-augmented Pinatubo dacite in the laboratory at 780 °C, 2.2 and 3.9 kbar. Growth of this MgFe-clinoamphibole was enabled by the capture of Ca into anhydrite away from potential hornblende.

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