On the origin of microrhythmic layering in arfvedsonite lujavrite from the Ilímaussaq alkaline complex, South Greenland

John C. Bailey*, Henning Sørensen, Tom Andersen, Lia N. Kogarko, John Rose-Hansen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    Microrhythmic layering is locally developed in agpaitic arfvedsonite lujavrite from the Ilímaussaq alkaline complex, South Greenland. Three-15-cm-thick laminated dark layers alternate with 1-10-cm-thick, light-coloured granular urtitic layers. Dark layers are uniform (isomodal) but the urtitic layers are enriched in early nepheline and eudialyte in their lower parts and in late analcime and REE phosphate minerals in the upper parts. The layers are separated by sharp contacts; they are draped around rafts from the overlying roof zone and lack structures indicative of current processes or post-cumulus deformation. Compared with the background arfvedsonite lujavrite of the complex, the dark layers are richer in sodalite, microcline and arfvedsonite and poorer in analcime and eudialyte. They have higher K2O, Cl, FeO* and S but lower Na2O, H2O+, Zr and P contents, the opposite of the light-coloured layers. The complementary chemistry of the two types of layers oscillates about the composition of the background arfvedsonite lujavrite. Layers probably formed in a stagnant bottom layer of the lujavrite magma chamber. Each layer started as a liquid layer which exchanged components with the underlying crystallization front. On cooling, it crystallized primocrysts and exchanged components with the overlying magma which became a new, complementary liquid layer and, during further cooling and burial within the sequence of layers, it underwent largely closed-system interstitial crystallization. Exhaustion of Cl and a sharp decrease in aNaCl relative to aH2O terminated the crystallization of a sodalite-rich dark layer and initiated abundant crystallization of nepheline in the overlying liquid layer (urtitic layer). The layered sequence represents a local K2O-, Cl-rich but Na2O-, H2O-poor facies of arfvedsonite lujavrite and may have formed by exchanging components with sodalite-bearing rafts from the roof zone.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)301-318
    Number of pages18
    Issue number1-4
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006


    • Agpaitic
    • Lujavrite
    • Microrhythmic layering
    • Oscillatory crystallization
    • Volatile activities


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