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Corundum (sapphire) and zircon relationships, Lava Plains gem fields, NE Australia: Integrated mineralogy, geochemistry, age determination, genesis and geographical typing

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

F. L. Sutherland
Affiliation:
School of Science and Health, Paramatta North Campus, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia Geoscience, Australian Museum, 6 College Street, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia
R. R. Coenraads
Affiliation:
Gemmological Association of Australia (NSW Division), 24 Wentworth Avenue, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia
A. Abduriyim
Affiliation:
GIA Tokyo Laboratory, Yamaguchi Bld. 7, 11F, 4-19-9, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0016, Japan
S. Meffre
Affiliation:
Earth Sciences & ARC Centre of Excellence in Ore Deposits, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 79, Hobart, Tas 7001, Australia
P. W. O. Hoskin
Affiliation:
Department of Geology, University of Namibia, Private Bag 13301, Windhoek, Namibia
G. Giuliani
Affiliation:
Université de Lorraine, CRPG UMR 7358 CNRS-UL, BP20, 54501, Vandoevre-lès-Nancy, France
R. Beattie
Affiliation:
Gemmological Association of Australia (Queensland Division), P.O. Box 163, Jimboomba, Queensland 4280, Australia
R. Wuhrer
Affiliation:
Advanced Materials Characterisation Facility (AMCF), Parramatta North Campus, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia
G. B. Sutherland
Affiliation:
Geoscience, Australian Museum, 6 College Street, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia
Corresponding

Abstract

Gem minerals at Lava Plains, northeast Queensland, offer further insights into mantle-crustal gemformation under young basalt fields. Combined mineralogy, U-Pb age determination, oxygen isotope and petrological data on megacrysts and meta-aluminosilicate xenoliths establish a geochemical evolution in sapphire, zircon formation between 5 to 2 Ma. Sapphire megacrysts with magmatic signatures (Fe/Mg ∼100–1000, Ga/Mg 3–18) grew with ∼3 Ma micro-zircons of both mantle (δ18O 4.5–5.6%) and crustal (δ18O 9.5–10.1‰) affinities. Zircon megacrysts (3±1 Ma) show mantle and crustal characteristics, but most grew at crustal temperatures (600–800°C). Xenolith studies suggest hydrous silicate melts and fluids initiated from amphibolized mantle infiltrated into kyanite+sapphire granulitic crust (800°C, 0.7 GPa). This metasomatized the sapphire (Fe/Mg ∼50–120, Ga/Mg ∼3–11), left relict metastable sillimanite-corundum-quartz and produced minerals enriched in high field strength, large ion lithophile and rare earth elements. The gem suite suggests a syenitic parentage before its basaltic transport. Geographical trace-element typing of the sapphire megacrysts against other eastern Australian sapphires suggests a phonolitic involvement.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland 2015

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Corundum (sapphire) and zircon relationships, Lava Plains gem fields, NE Australia: Integrated mineralogy, geochemistry, age determination, genesis and geographical typing
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Corundum (sapphire) and zircon relationships, Lava Plains gem fields, NE Australia: Integrated mineralogy, geochemistry, age determination, genesis and geographical typing
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