Significance of OH, F and Cl content in biotite during metamorphism of the Western Adamello contact aureole

  • Guillaume Siron
  • Lukas Baumgartner
  • Anne-Sophie Bouvier
Original Paper


The hydroxyl (O(4)) site composition of biotite can in principle be used to retrieve information about fluid composition during fluid–rock interaction; however, due to low F and Cl content, as well as difficulties involved with analyzing the H2O content using in situ techniques, measuring these species in biotite has remained an elusive goal. Here we present high-precision secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) OH–F–Cl measurements from biotite within metapelites from the Western Adamello Tonalite (WAT) contact aureole, Northern Italy. Fluorine, chlorine and hydrogen are analyzed on the SIMS sequentially by peak-hopping at the same biotite spot; H2O, F and Cl content were measured with a precision (1σ) οφ 0.06 ωτ%, 50 ανδ 5 ππµ, ρεσπεχτιϖελψ. The compositions of isolated biotite crystals in andalusite are compared with that of biotite in the matrix, documenting that halogens and H2O behave refractory in biotite during the time scale of contact metamorphism. The H2O and halogen contents of biotite are mostly locked in during the prograde to peak formation of biotite, and are not reset during further heating or cooling, unless significant biotite recrystallization occurs. It also appears that both Ti content and XMg of the biotite from the Western Adamello contact aureole were not significantly reset during cooling. The concentration of F and Cl does not vary systematically with metamorphic grade, which indicates that these species reflect initial compositions. No significant Rayleigh fractionation behavior was observed for these elements. H2O variations in the biotite from samples throughout the Western Adamello contact aureole suggest that Al-oxy substitution partially controls the variations in OH content through charge balance of the type R2+,VI + OH = Al3+,VI + O2− + H2, while the Ti-oxy substitution does not seem to influence the O(4) site occupation. The main titanium substitution appears to be the Ti-vacancy (\({\text{2}}{{\text{R}}^{{\text{2}}+}}~=~{\text{T}}{{\text{i}}^{{\text{4}}+}}~+\,{\square ^{{\text{VI}}}}\)) exchange. Variations in H2O and halogen concentrations in biotite define sub mm-scale areas of localized equilibration, even for biotite recrystallized during dehydration reactions that produced large amounts of fluid (chlorite or muscovite breakdown). Similar systematics were observed for Ti4+ and Al3+. These findings further support the increasing number of observations that kinetics control much of the mineralogical reactions occurring in contact aureoles, and hence care is advised in using equilibrium thermodynamics in this environment.


Biotite Contact metamorphism Fluid–rock interactions Chlorine SIMS OH content 



We would like to thank David Floess for the samples. Simon Harley, Darrel Henry and Bernardo Cesare provided insightful reviews on previous versions of the paper. Finally, LPB acknowledge the contribution of funding from PCI KIP 6 and SNF 200021-153094.

Supplementary material

410_2018_1491_MOESM1_ESM.eps (30.9 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (EPS 31672 KB)
410_2018_1491_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (66 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (XLSX 66 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Earth SciencesUniversity of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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