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Petrology of nepheline syenite pegmatites in the Oslo Rift, Norway: Zr and Ti mineral assemblages in miaskitic and agpaitic pegmatites in the Larvik Plutonic Complex

Tom Andersen
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, PO Box 1047 Blindern, N-0316 Oslo Norway
  • Email:
/ Muriel Erambert
  • Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, PO Box 1047 Blindern, N-0316 Oslo Norway
/ Alf Olav Larsen
  • Statoil ASA, Hydroveien 67, N-3908 Porsgrunn, Norway
/ Rune S. Selbekk
  • Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, Sars gate 1, N-0562 Oslo, Norway
Published Online: 2014-07-31 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/mipo-2013-0007


Agpaitic nepheline syenites have complex, Na-Ca-Zr-Ti minerals as the main hosts for zirconium and titanium, rather than zircon and titanite, which are characteristic for miaskitic rocks. The transition from a miaskitic to an agpaitic crystallization regime in silica-undersaturated magma has traditionally been related to increasing peralkalinity of the magma, but halogen and water contents are also important parameters. The Larvik Plutonic Complex (LPC) in the Permian Oslo Rift, Norway consists of intrusions of hypersolvus monzonite (larvikite), nepheline monzonite (lardalite) and nepheline syenite. Pegmatites ranging in composition from miaskitic syenite with or without nepheline to mildly agpaitic nepheline syenite are the latest products of magmatic differentiation in the complex. The pegmatites can be grouped in (at least) four distinct suites from their magmatic Ti and Zr silicate mineral assemblages. Semiquantitative petrogenetic grids for pegmatites in log aNa2SiO5 - log aH2O - log aHF space can be constructed using information on the composition and distribution of minerals in the pegmatites, including the Zr-rich minerals zircon, parakeldyshite, eudialyte, låvenite, wöhlerite, rosenbuschite, hiortdahlite and catapleiite, and the Ti-dominated minerals aenigmatite, zirconolite (polymignite), astrophyllite, lorenzenite, titanite, mosandrite and rinkite. The chemographic analysis indicates that although increasing peralkalinity of the residual magma (given by the activity of the Na2Si2O5 or Nds component) is an important driving force for the miaskitic to agpaitic transition, water, fluoride (HF) and chloride (HCl) activity controls the actual mineral assemblages forming during crystallization of the residual magmas. The most distinctive mineral in the miaskitic pegmatites is zirconolite. At low fluoride activity, parakeldyshite, lorenzenite and wöhlerite are stable in mildly agpaitic systems. High fluorine (or HF) activity favours minerals such as låvenite, hiortdahlite,rosenbuschite and rinkite, and elevated water activity mosandrite and catapleiite. Astrophyllite and aenigmatite are stable over large ranges of Nds activity, at intermediate and low water activities, respectively.

Keywords: alkaline rocks; nepheline syenite pegmatite; agpaitic rocks; zirconium minerals; titanium minerals; Oslo Rift


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About the article

Received: 2010-12-01

Revised: 2012-05-15

Accepted: 2012-06-01

Published Online: 2014-07-31

Published in Print: 2013-07-01

Citation Information: Mineralogia, ISSN (Online) 1899-8526, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/mipo-2013-0007. Export Citation

© by Tom Andersen. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

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