Original paper

Origin of omphacitites from the Nishisonogi metamorphic rocks, western Kyushu, Japan: comparison with jadeitites

Shigeno, Miki; Mori, Yasushi; Shimada, Kazuhiko; Nishiyama, Tadao


Two types of omphacitites are distinguished in ultramafic mélanges that are intercalated with epidote-blueschist facies schists of the Nishisonogi metamorphic rocks in western Kyushu, Japan. One is an omphacitite layer in a metabasite block, and the other is an omphacitite lens in an albitite block. These omphacitites are principally composed of omphacite with minor amounts of winchite/magnesiohornblende, epidote, albite and titanite. Although the petrographic features of both types are similar, the omphacitite layer is depleted in light rare earth elements (LREE; La, Ce and Nd) compared with the omphacitite lens. In the case of jadeitites, those interpreted as being formed by direct precipitation from aqueous fluids are LREE-depleted, while those interpreted as being formed by metasomatic replacement from protoliths are LREE-enriched. Thus, by analogy, the omphacitite layer may have directly precipitated from aqueous fluids, and the omphacitite lens may be metasomatic in origin. The omphacitite layer has amphibole-rich selvages, which are likely formed by the reaction between the omphacitite-forming fluid and the host metabasite. Mass-balance analysis using the isocon method indicates that the formation of the selvages involves additions of large ion lithophile elements (LILE; Rb, K and Ba), Na and Si to the host metabasite. These components were likely introduced via fluid infiltration. Although the source of the omphacitite-forming fluid is not clear, the LILE-rich composition suggests participation of fluids derived from metapelitic rocks.


omphacititejadeititewhole-rock chemistryrare earth elementslarge ion lithophile elementsblueschistnishisonogi