Application of titanium-in-quartz thermobarometry to greenschist facies veins and recrystallized quartzites in the Hsüehshan range, Taiwan

S. Kidder, J. P. Avouac, Y. C. Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


The accuracy, reliability and best practises of Ti-in-quartz thermobarometry (TitaniQ) in greenschist facies rocks have not been established. To address these issues, we measured Ti concentrations in rutile-bearing samples of moderately deformed, partially recrystallized quartzite and vein quartz from the Hsüehshan range, Taiwan. The spread of Ti concentrations of recrystallized grains in quartzite correlates with recrystallized grain size. Recrystallized quartz (grain size ∼100-200 μm) that formed during early deformation within the biotite stability field shows a marked increase in intermediate Ti-concentration grains (∼1-10 ppm) relative to detrital porphyroclasts (Ti ∼0.1-200 ppm). Fine recrystallized quartz (∼5% of the samples by area, grain size ∼10-20 μm) has a further restricted Ti concentration peaking at 0.8-2 ppm. This trend suggests equilibration of Ti in recrystallized quartz with a matrix phase during deformation and cooling. Unlike previously documented examples, Ti concentration in the quartzite is inversely correlated with blue cathodoluminescence. Deformation was associated with a minimum grain boundary diffusivity of Ti on the order of 10−22m2 s-1. Vein emplacement and quartzite recrystallization are independently shown to have occurred at 250-350 C and 300-410 C, respectively, with lithostatic pressure of 3-4 kbar (assuming a geothermal gradient of 25 km-1), and with hydrostatic fluid pressure. Estimates of the accuracy of TitaniQ at these conditions depend on whether lithostatic or fluid pressure is used in the TitaniQ calibration. Using lithostatic pressure and these temperatures, the Thomas et al. (2010) calibration yields Ti concentrations within error of concentrations measured by SIMS. If fluid pressure is instead used, predicted temperatures are ∼30-40 C too low. TitaniQ has potential to yield accurate PT information for vein emplacement and dynamic recrystallization of quartz at temperatures as low as ∼250 C, however clarification of the relevant pressure term and further tests in rutile-present rocks are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalSolid Earth
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 7 Jan 2013


Dive into the research topics of 'Application of titanium-in-quartz thermobarometry to greenschist facies veins and recrystallized quartzites in the Hsüehshan range, Taiwan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this