Abstract

Samples from Russia and Scotland are used to examine the interaction of the REE-Ti silicate chevkinite-(Ce) with hydrothermal fluids. Altered zones in crystals are distinguished by using areas of low intensity on backscattered-electron images, low analytical totals, increasingly large departures from stoichiometry and, in some cases, the presence of micropores. Initial alteration of the chevkinite results in strong Ca enrichment. With increasing degrees of alteration, Ca abundances drop sharply, as do those of the REE, Fe and Si. In contrast, Ti levels increase strongly, usually accompanied by higher Nb ± Th levels. The most altered zones contain up to 36 wt.% TiO2 and the formula cannot be expressed in the standard chevkinite formula. In detail, samples follow different alteration trends, presumably reflecting different P, T, fO2 and fluid composition. The Ti enrichment may have been related to a reaction front of dissolution-reprecipitation passing through the outer zones of the original chevkinite, leaving behind a reprecipitated Ti-enriched phase which may or may not be chevkinite.

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