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Clinopyroxene-corundum assemblages from alkali basalt and alluvium, eastern Thailand: constraints on the origin of Thai rubies

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 July 2018

C. Sutthirat
Affiliation:
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK Department of Geology, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
S. Saminpanya
Affiliation:
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
G. T. R. Droop
Affiliation:
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
C. M. B. Henderson
Affiliation:
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
D. A. C. Manning
Affiliation:
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
Corresponding

Abstract

An inclusion of corundum (ruby) was found in a clinopyroxene xenocryst in alkali basalt from the late-Cenozoic Chanthaburi-Trat volcanics of eastern Thailand. The clinopyroxene is fairly sodic, highly aluminous and magnesian (0.12–0.14 Na, 0.31–0.33 AlIV and 0.36–0.40 AlVI per 6(O), and Mg/(Mg+Fe2+) > 0.9)) and is chemically similar to clinopyroxene inclusions in rubies from nearby alluvial gem deposits, suggesting a common origin for the two types of occurrence. Sapphirine (Mg/(Mg+Fe2+) = 0.91–0.94) and garnet (py56–67alm11–18grs18–23) also occur as inclusions in alluvial rubies. Thermodynamic calculation of the equilibrium 2 di + 2 crn = 2 cats + en constrains the temperatures of clinopyroxene + corundum crystallization to between 800 and 1150 ± 100°C. Use of other equilibria as stability limits places the pressures of crystallization between 10 and 25 kbar, implying depths of between 35 and 88 km. The most Fe-rich clinopyroxene crystallized at a pressure in the lower part of the range. The pyropic garnet inclusions in corundum crystallized at pressures of >18 kbar (i.e. at depths > ~63 km).

The xenocrystic clinopyroxene could have coexisted in equilibrium with garnet of similar composition to the observed inclusions at the deduced temperatures of crystallization. The rubies probably crystallized in rocks of mafic composition, i.e. garnet-clinopyroxenites or garnet-pyriclasites, within the upper mantle.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland 2001

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Footnotes

Current address: Department of General Science, Faculty of Science, Srinakharinwirot University, Sukhumvit 23, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

Current address: Department of Agricultural & Environmental Science, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, UK

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Clinopyroxene-corundum assemblages from alkali basalt and alluvium, eastern Thailand: constraints on the origin of Thai rubies
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Clinopyroxene-corundum assemblages from alkali basalt and alluvium, eastern Thailand: constraints on the origin of Thai rubies
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