Abstract

The behaviour of ThSiO4 during low-temperature alteration has significance for element mobility and redistribution. Here we describe five types of alteration of ThSiO4 by hydrothermal fluids: (1) primary ThSiO4 associated with chevkinite-(Ce) in a quartz-epidote metasomatite; (2) during alteration of monazite-(Ce) in a quartzolite; (3) during alteration of fergusonite-(Y) in a quartz-epidote metasomatite; (4) following exsolution from chevkinite-(Ce); and (5) associated with cerite-(Ce) and with ilmenite and bastnäsite-(Ce) in late-stage veinlets in a syenitic pegmatite and a metasomatite. The great majority of crystals have been strongly altered compositionally, with variable degrees of replacement of formula elements by non-formula elements, such as Ca, Fe, P and REE. The most reliable geochemical indicators of hydrothermal alteration are low analytical totals and non-stoichiometric structural formulae. The alteration is variably ascribed to dissolution-reprecipitation and pervasive fluid infiltration along cracks. Thorium appears to have shown limited mobility in these samples.

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