Abstract

Electron microprobe analyses are presented for fluorapatite phenocrysts from a benmoreite-peralkaline rhyolite volcanic suite from the Kenya Rift Valley. The rocks have previously been well characterized petrographically and their crystallization conditions are reasonably well known. The REE contents in the M site increase towards the rhyolites, with a maximum britholite component of ∼35 mol.%. Chondrite-normalized REE patterns are rather flat between La and Sm and then decrease towards Yb. Sodium and Fe occupy up to 1% and 4%, respectively, of the M site. The major coupled substitution is REE3+ + Si4+ ↔ Ca2+ + P5+. The substitution REE3+ + Na+ ↔ 2Ca2+ has been of minor importance. The relatively large Fe contents were perhaps facilitated by the low fO2 conditions of crystallization. Zoning is ubiquitous and resulted from both fractional crystallization and magma mixing. Apatites in some rhyolites are relatively Y-depleted, perhaps reflecting crystallization from melts which had precipitated zircon. Mineral/glass (melt) ratios for two rhyolites are unusually high, with maxima at Sm (762, 1123).

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