More than 19,000 analytical data mainly from the literature were used to study statistically the distribution patterns of F and the oxides of minor and trace elements (Ti, Sn, Sc, V, Cr, Ga, Mn, Co, Ni, Zn, Sr, Ba, Rb, Cs) in trioctahedral micas of the system phlogopite-annite/siderophyllite-polylithionite (PASP), which is divided here into seven varieties, whose compositional ranges are defined by the parameter mgli (= octahedral Mg minus Li). Plots of trace-element contents vs. mgli reveal that the elements form distinct groups according to the configuration of their distribution patterns. Substitution of most of these elements was established as a function of mgli. Micas incorporate the elements in different abundances of up to four orders of magnitude between the concentration highs and lows in micas of ‘normal’ composition. Only Zn, Sr and Sc are poorly correlated to mgli. In compositional extremes, some elements (Zn, Mn, Ba, Sr, Cs, Rb) may be enriched by up to 2–3 orders of magnitude relative to their mean abundance in the respective mica variety. Mica/melt partition coefficients calculated for Variscan granites of the German Erzgebirge demonstrate that trace-element partitioning is strongly dependent on the position of the mica in the PASP system, which has to be considered in petrogenetic modelling.

This review indicates that for a number of trace elements, the concentration ranges are poorly known for some of the mica varieties, as they are for particular host rocks (i.e. igneous rocks of A-type affiliation). The study should help to develop optimal analytical strategies and to provide a tool to distinguish between micas of ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ trace-element composition.

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