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Open Access Tetrahedral substitutions in tourmaline: a review

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The Si4+ cation, typically the overwhelming occupant of the tetrahedral site of the tourmaline structure, can be partially replaced by Al3+, B3+, and Be2+. Tetrahedrally coordinated Al (up to ~0.9[4] Al atom per formula unit, apfu) has been found in different Mg- and/or Fe2+-rich tourmalines from high-temperature aluminous lithologies as well as in Li-rich pegmatites. It is relatively common for Li- and[4] Al-bearing tourmalines to also contain some[4] B. While the highest boron content (~0.8[4] B apfu) in a natural tourmaline was found in an Al-rich tourmaline (olenite) from the Eastern Alps, Austria, much higher contents of up to ~2.8 apfu have been reported for synthetic Al-rich tourmalines. Natural tourmalines with a higher total Al content (>7.2 Al apfu) can also contain significant [4]B. The highest verified beryllium content in a tourmaline is still below 100 ppm, but current data show that in pegmatitic tourmaline crystals the Be content is positively correlated with the overall Al content. Therefore Li-rich tourmalines can contain higher Be contents in pegmatites that originated from differentiated granitic magma, than in pegmatites that have evolved as granitic pegmatitic melts from the surrounding country-rocks during decompression.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2018

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  • The European Journal of Mineralogy publishes original papers, review articles and letters dealing with the mineralogical sciences s.l. These include primarily mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry, crystallography and ore deposits, as well as environmental, applied and technical mineralogy. Nevertheless, papers in any related field, including cultural heritage, will be considered.
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