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Diversity of primary CL textures in quartz from porphyry environments: implication for origin of quartz eyes

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 19:38 authored by Vasyukova, OV, Vadim Kamenetsky, Karsten GoemannKarsten Goemann, Paul DavidsonPaul Davidson
Porphyry-style mineralization is related to the intrusion and crystallization of small stocks, which can be of different compositions (from intermediate to felsic) and can intrude into different host rocks (from magmatic to sedimentary). We used cathodoluminescence and electron probe microanalysis to study the internal textures of more than 300 quartz eyes from six porphyry deposits, Panguna (Papua New Guinea), Far Southeast porphyry (Philippines), Batu Hijau (Indonesia), Antapaccay (Peru), Rio Blanco (Chile) and Climax (USA). Significant diversity of the internal textures in quartz eyes was revealed, sometimes even within a single sample. Quartz grains with Ti-rich cores surrounded by Ti-poor mantles were found next to the grains showing the opposite Ti distribution or only slight Ti fluctuations.We propose that diversity of the internal patterns in quartz eyes can actually reflect in situ crystallization history, and that prolonged crystallization after magma emplacement under conditions of continuous cooling can account for the observed features of internal textures. Formation of quartz eyes begins at high temperatures with crystallization of high titanium Quartz 1, which as the melt becomes more and more evolved and cooler, is overgrown by low Ti Quartz 2. Subsequent fluid exsolution brings about dramatic change in the melt composition: OH-, alkalis and other Cl-complexed elements partition into the fluid phase, whereas Ti stays in the melt, contributing to a rapid increase in Ti activity. Separation of the fluid and its further cooling causes disequilibrium in the system, and the Quartz 2 becomes partially resorbed. Exsolution of the fluid gradually builds up the pressure until it exceeds the yield strength of the host rocks and they then fracture. This pressure release most likely triggers crystallization of Quartz 3, which is higher in Ti than Quartz 2 because Ti activity in the melt is higher and pressure of crystallization is lower. As a result of the reaction between the exsolved fluid and quartz a new phase, a so called 'heavy fluid' forms. From this phase Quartz 4 crystallizes. This phase has extremely high metal-carrying capacity, and may give a rise to mineralizing fluids. Finally, on the brink of the subsolidus stage, groundmass quartz crystallizes. Prolonged crystallization under conditions of continuous cooling accounts better for the diversity of CL textures than crystallization in different parts of a deep magma chamber. It is also in a better agreement with the existing model for formation of porphyry-style deposits.


Australian Research Council

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Publication title

Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology










School of Natural Sciences



Place of publication

New York, USA

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Copyright 2013 Springer

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Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences

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