Formation, origin and geographic typing of corundum (ruby and pink sapphire) from the Fiskenæsset complex, Greenland

Nynke Keulen, Tonny B. Thomsen, John C. Schumacher, Majken D. Poulsen, Per Kalvig, Torsten Vennemann, Rita Salimi

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftArtikelForskningpeer review

12 Citationer (Scopus)


Metamorphic petrology observations on rubies found in-situ in their host-rock are combined with geochemical measurements and optical microscopy observations on the same rubies, with the aim of connecting the ruby-forming metamorphic reaction to a unique fingerprint for these minerals. The Fiskenæsset complex in Greenland is used as an area of this case study. Isochemical pressure-temperature sections were calculated based on electron microprobe and whole-rock geochemistry analyses, and compared to field observations. Rubies formed from reaction between olivine/serpentine and anorthite, triggered by the intrusion of a 2.71 Ga pegmatite. Al is sourced from the anorthite reacting to calcic amphibole, silica from the pegmatite reacts with olivine/serpentine to anthophyllite, Cr3+ is mobile in the pegmatitic fluid, giving colour to the rubies. The ruby-forming reaction occurs at about 640 °C and 7 kbar. In order to establish the unique fingerprint for this ruby-bearing ultramafic complex, laser-ablation inductively-coupled-plasma mass-spectrometry trace-element measurements, oxygen isotope compositions, optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy were applied. Due to the setting in an ultramafic rock-anorthosite-leucogabbro complex, the fingerprint of the rubies from the Fiskenæsset complex is rather unique. Compared to rubies from other localities, Fiskenæsset complex rubies contain high Cr, intermediate Fe, and low V, Ga, and Ti concentrations, low oxygen isotope values (1.6–4.2‰) and a rarely-observed combination of optical growth features and mineral inclusions like anthophyllite+biotite. Results for other Greenland localities are presented and discussed as well. Even though these are derived from ultramafic rock settings too, they record different trace-element ratios and oxygen isotope values, resulting from variations in the Archaean ruby-forming reaction.

StatusUdgivet - aug. 2020


  • Programområde 4: Mineralske råstoffer


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