Serpentinization of phlogopite phenocrysts from a micaceous kimberlite

Thomas Sharp, Max T. Otten, P R Buseck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Phenocrysts of phlogopite from a micaceous kimberlite contain finely interlayered serpentine. These phenocrysts occur in the kimberlite groundmass and are altered along the mica layers and are slightly deformed. Lizardite is the predominant serpentine mineral, but chrysotile and mixed structures also occur. The lizardite occurs as lamellae within phlogopite, oriented such that (001) layers of the two minerals are parallel and the [100] direction of lizardite is parallel to the [100] or 〈110〉 directions of phlogopite. The serpentinized regions of phlogopite are localized and extensive along the (001) layers. Chrysotile fibers and chrysotile-like curled serpentine occur within regions of disrupted material, and polygonal structures occur in folded lizardite lamellae. Textural relations suggest three events: 1) replacement of phlogopite by lizardite, 2) deformation of the phenocrysts, and 3) partial transformation of the lizardite to chrysotile-like structures. Deformation features include openings along (001), folds, and regions of disrupted or broken material. The folded and broken material consists of lamellar lizardite and phlogopite, indicating that lamellar replacement preceded deformation. Intergrowths of lizardite and curled serpentine are associated with cleavage openings and voids in disrupted material, suggesting that a partial transformation of lizardite to chrysotile occurred within openings created by deformation. Clay minerals also occur within phlogopite as either a minor product of serpentinization or of late-stage alteration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)530-539
Number of pages10
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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