Abstract

We report an unusual occurrence of margarite, corundum, gahnite and zincohögbomite from the Raleigh terrane in the Piedmont Province of Virginia. The assemblage occurs in a chlorite-rich blackwall associated with a small metamorphosed ultramafic rock body. The blackwall is dominated by chlorite, but also contains distinctive clusters (1–4 mm across) that typically consist of ragged Zn-rich spinel grains surrounded by masses of randomly oriented margarite. Also spatially associated with spinel are smaller grains of corundum and högbomite. In most cases, spinel and högbomite are sufficiently enriched in Zn to be called gahnite and zincohögbomite, respectively. Some högbomite grains are distinctly banded in back-scattered electron images, primarily reflecting variations in Zn-content. Textures suggest that högbomite formed at the expense of spinel (although locally the reverse relationship holds), and högbomite compositions mimic those of spinel. Margarite appears to be a later phase, and textures imply formation via reactions with spinel, corundum and, possibly, chlorite. This occurrence of Zn-rich spinel and högbomite is clearly related to the bulk composition of the blackwall rock, which contains >2500 ppm Zn. The origin of this Zn-rich composition is unclear, but could be due to a small amount of sphalerite or zincian-staurolite in the protolith.

You do not currently have access to this article.