TitaniQ recrystallized: experimental confirmation of the original Ti-in-quartz calibrations

Jay B. Thomas, E. Bruce Watson, Frank S. Spear, D. A. Wark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Several studies have reported the P–T dependencies of Ti-in-quartz solubility, and there is close agreement among three of the four experimental calibrations. New experiments were conducted in the present study to identify potential experimental disequilibrium, and to determine which Ti-in-quartz solubility calibration is most accurate. Crystals of quartz, rutile and zircon were grown from SiO2-, TiO2-, and ZrSiO4-saturated aqueous fluids in an initial synthesis experiment at 925 °C and 10 kbar in a piston-cylinder apparatus. A range of quartz crystal sizes was produced in this experiment; both large and small examples were analyzed by electron microprobe to determine whether Ti concentrations are correlated with crystal size. Cathodoluminescence images and EPMA measurements show that intercrystalline and intracrystalline variations in Ti concentrations are remarkably small regardless of crystal size. The average Ti-in-quartz concentration from the synthesis experiment is 392 ± 1 ppmw Ti, which is within 95 % confidence interval of data from the 10 kbar isobar of Wark and Watson (Contrib Mineral Petrol 152:743–754, 2006) and Thomas et al. (Contrib Mineral Petrol 160:743–759, 2010). As a cross-check on the Ti-in-quartz calibration, we also measured the concentration of Zr in rutile from the synthesis experiment. The average Zr-in-rutile concentration is 4337 ± 32 ppmw Zr, which is also within the 95 % confidence interval of the Zr-in-rutile solubility calibration of Ferry and Watson (Contrib Mineral Petrol 154:429–437, 2007). The P–T dependencies of Ti solubility in quartz and Zr solubility in rutile were applied as a thermobarometer to the experimental sample. The average Ti-in-quartz isopleth calculated from the calibration of Thomas et al. (Contrib Mineral Petrol 160:743–759, 2010) and the average Zr-in-rutile isopleth calculated from the calibration of Tomkins et al. (J Metamorph Geol 25:703–713, 2007) cross at 9.5 kbar and 920 °C, which is in excellent agreement with the P–T conditions of the synthesis experiment. Separates of the high-Ti quartz from the initial synthesis experiment described above were used as starting material in subsequent experiments at 20 kbar, at which pressure the solubility of Ti in quartz is expected to be significantly lower in the recrystallized quartz. These recrystallization experiments were conducted under wet and dry conditions at 925 °C, and under wet conditions at 850 °C. Both wet and dry recrystallization experiments produced polycrystalline quartzites. Rutile occurs as inclusions in quartz, and as individual crystals dispersed along quartz grain boundaries. Quartz that grew during the recrystallization experiments has dark cathodoluminescence indicating substantially lower Ti concentrations. The average Ti concentrations in quartz from the recrystallization experiments are within the 95 % confidence interval of a linear fit to the 20 kbar data of Thomas et al. (Contrib Mineral Petrol 160:743–759, 2010). Collectively, the results from the synthesis and recrystallization experiments confirm that the Ti-in-quartz concentrations used to calibrate the P–T dependencies of Ti-in-quartz solubility in Thomas et al.’s (Contrib Mineral Petrol 160:743–759, 2010) calibration represent the equilibrium concentrations of Ti in quartz.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2015


  • Quartz
  • Rutile
  • Thermobarometer
  • Thermobarometry
  • Ti in quartz
  • Zr in rutile

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


Dive into the research topics of 'TitaniQ recrystallized: experimental confirmation of the original Ti-in-quartz calibrations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this