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Phase heritage during replacement reactions in Ti-bearing minerals

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 22:32 authored by Pearce, M, Angela EscolmeAngela Escolme

Replacement reactions occur during metamorphism and metasomatism in response to changes in pressure, temperature and bulk rock and fluid compositions. To interpret the changes in conditions, it is necessary to understand what phases have previously been present in the rocks. During fluid-mediated replacement, the crystallography of the replacement phases is often controlled by the parent reactant phase. However, excessive fluid fluxing can also lead to extreme element mobility. Titanium is not mobile under a wide range of fluid compositions and so titanium-bearing phases present an opportunity to interpret conditions from the most extreme alteration. We map orientation relationships between titanium-bearing phases from ore deposits using EBSD and use symmetry arguments and existing relationships to show that completely consumed phases can be inferred in ore deposits.

An ilmenite single crystal from Junction gold deposit is replaced by titanite, rutile and dolomite. The rutile has the following well-documented orientation relationship to the ilmenite

[0001]ilmenite // < 100 > rutile and < 10Ī0 > ilmenite // [ 001]rutile

The anatase is a single crystal and shows a potential orientation relationship

[0001]ilmenite = (0001)ilmenite // {211}anatase and < 10Ī0 > ilmenite // < 0Ī1 > anatase

The single crystal orientation and lack of symmetrical equivalent variants suggest nucleation dominates the anatase production. Dolomite grew epitaxially on the ilmenite despite only sharing oxygen atoms suggesting the surface structure is important in dolomite nucleation.

Titanite partially replaced ilmenite during metasomatism at Plutonic gold deposit. The titanite orientation is weakly related to the ilmenite orientation by the following relationship:

[0001]ilmenite // < 100 > titanite and { 10Ī0}ilmenite // (001)titanite

The prevalence of subgrain boundaries in the titanite suggests multiple nucleation points on an already deformed ilmenite needle leading to the formation of substructure in the absence of deformation. Existing known topotaxial replacement relationship can be used to infer completely replaced phases using the misorientation distributions of the replacement polycrystals. Orientation modelling for a cubic phase replaced by rutile in a sample from Productora tourmaline breccia complex shows misorientation distributions consistent with

< 001 > Rutile // < 110 > cubic and < 100 > Rutile // < 111 > cubic

Combining this with volume constraints and assuming Ti is immobile, the composition of the cubic phase is constrained as titanomagnetite with 85% ulvospinel. Complex microstructures with domanial preferred orientations can also be used to document the microstructure of replaced phases. An aggregate of rutile grains with two parts that share a common < 100 > axis is interpreted as having replaced a twinned ilmenite grain. Modelling shows that the misorientation distribution for the aggregate is consistent with the above relationship replacing ilmenite with a { 10Ī2 } twin.


CSIRO-Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation

Hot Chili Ltd

The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Education Endowment Fund


Publication title

Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology



Article number









School of Natural Sciences



Place of publication

175 Fifth Ave, New York, USA, Ny, 10010

Rights statement

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH, DE part of Springer Nature 2021

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Mineral exploration not elsewhere classified; Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences

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