Abstract

Allanite is abundant and commonly attains unusually large size as a late-replacement mineral in: (1) the comagnatic rocks of the Precambrian Boulder Creek batholith; (2) associated amphibolite xenoliths and related hybrid rocks; and (3) distinctly younger intrusions of Silver Plume Granite that cut the complex. Allanite porphyroblasts develop by replacement of biotite, probably in the presence of emanations from the rare earth-rich and thorium-rich Silver Plume Granite. The largest allanite crystals are made up of nearly isotropic (metamict) cores and birefringent (recrystallized) rims. Smaller crystals are made up exclusively of birefringent material. The maximum birefringence is shown to be that expectable in allanite of Late Cretaceous to early Tertiary age. As plotted on maps, the birefringence increases, and the thorium and uranium contents of the allanite decrease toward a Laramide stock. The variation in birefringence is, therefore, largely relatable to variations in the post-Laramide radiation dosage brought about by differences in the amounts of uranium and thorium lost during recrystallization. The recrystallized allanite is itself partly replaced by epidote which characteristically occurs as a border between allanite and biotite.

Total rare-earth oxides for the eight samples of allanite analyzed range from 17.5 to 21.3 percent by weight. In 13 samples, thorium ranged from 0.50 to 1.14 percent by weight, and uranium from 54 to 158 parts pparts per million. Ranges in optical measurements for 20 samples using the spindle stage are: Nα = 1.719–1.759, Nβ = 1.731-1.774, Nγ = 1.741–1.784, birefringence = 0.020–0.032, 2VX (calc.) 70°–84°. Ranges for unit-cell data obtained on 8 samples are: a = 8.948–8.985Å, b = 5.721-5.763Å, c = 10.184–10.240Å, β = 115°7.50′–115°25.89′ and volume = 473.02–478.43Å 3. The average value for the ratio a:b:c = 1.561:1:1.778.

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