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Experimental determination of boron isotope fractionation between silicate melts and hydrous fluids, with application to understanding magmatic-hydrothermal ore genesis

The magmatic-hydrothermal transition is an important but poorly-understood process in the formation of Sn-W, Nb-Ta and Li deposits associated with evolved granites and pegmatites. Theory predicts that boron isotopes will fractionate between magma and fluid, so the magmatic-hydrothermal transition may be recorded in the borosilicate mineral tourmaline, which is widespread and common in these kinds of deposits. The key information needed to interpret the tourmaline record is the B-isotope fractionation between granitic melts and the fluids derived from them but former experimental studies on B-isotope fractionation between the relevant phases are not in agreement (e.g. Kowalski and Wunder, 2018, Maner and London, 2018).

This study fills this gap by an experimental, multivariant approach. We synthesized a glass of haplogranitic composition (Ab40Or25Qtz35) and produced variants of water content (0, 4 and 6 wt%), aluminum saturation (ASI 0.7, 1, 1.3) and boron concentration (2 and 5 wt%). For each composition we determined the coordination environment of B in the glass and the fractionation of B isotopes between the respective melt and aqueous fluid at near-solidus temperature. The first part of the study was the chemical characterization and analysis of B coordination in the glasses. The NMR analysis of 11B indicates that the coordination of 11B is dominantly trigonal in all glasses, but there is an increase of tetrahedral coordination with increasing boron concentration and water content. Fluid-melt fractionation experiments are ongoing and first results will be presented.


Jakob Heinrich Rauscher1, Bernd Wunder2, Max Wilke3, Robert Trumbull2, Sandro Jahn4, Melanie Jutta Sieber3, Julie Michaud5, Florian Pohl5, Maria Rosa Scicchitano2, Michael Fechtelkord6, Oona Appelt2
1GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Germany;University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Str.24-25, 14476 Potsdam-Golm; 2GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Germany; 3University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Str.24-25, 14476 Potsdam-Golm; 4University of Cologne, Zülpicher Str. 49b, 50674 Köln; 5University of Hannover, Callinstraße 3, 30167 Hannover; 6University of Bochum, Universitätsstraße 150, 44780 Bochum
GeoBerlin 2023