Detrital tourmaline as an indicator of source rock lithology: an example from the Ropianka and Menilite formations (Skole Nappe, Polish Flysch Carpathians)

Dorota Salata


Tourmaline populations studied from the Campanian–Maastrichtian part of the Ropianka (Upper Cretaceous–Paleocene) and Menilite (Oligocene) formations of the Polish Carpathians, represent a mixture of first-cycle and polycyclic grains. The tourmalines of the deposits studied display very strong resemblance in terms of optical features and chemical composition. They belong mostly to the schorl-dravite series with a minor contribution of tourmalines of foititic or Mg-foititic composition. Euhedral tourmalines originated from metasedimentary rocks, while the rounded grains crystallised in Li-poor granitic rocks or in pegmatites, Al-poor and Al-rich metasedimentary rocks. Most of the tourmalines studied crystallised during a single igneous or metamorphic event. However, tourmalines forming in evolving chemical conditions as well as polymetamorphic grains (having a metamorphic detrital core and metamorphic overgrowths) are also present. The chemical composition of the metamorphic tourmalines studied indicates their formation in medium-grade metamorphic conditions. This is supported by the crystallisation temperature of the garnet-biotite inclusion present in one of rounded metamorphic tourmalines from the Ropianka Formation. The euhedral grains derive from metasediments, directly from a massif located close to the Skole Basin. The scarcity of euhedral grains in the tourmaline populations studied suggests that their source rocks were poor in these minerals. The direct sources of rounded tourmalines (most probably polycyclic grains), may have been Paleozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary rocks of the Skole Basin foreland or crystalline rocks of remote source areas. The initial igneous and metamorphic host rocks of the tourmalines may have been crystalline domains of the Bohemian Massif and/or the crystalline basement of Brunovistulicum.


detrital tourmaline; source rocks; Ropianka Fm.; Menilite Fm.; Skole Nappe; Outer Carpathians

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