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Tourmaline: An Ideal Indicator of its Host Environment

Volume 49, Part 1, 2011
Editors : V. J. van Hinsberg, D. J. Henry, H. R. Marschall, R.F. Martin

Tourmaline-group minerals are ubiquitous accessory minerals in rocks of the Earth’s crust. They can adjust their composition to suit a wide variety of environments, and therefore they display a remarkable stability range in terms of pressure, temperature, fluid composition, and host-rock composition. Because of this compositional sensitivity, tourmaline is an excellent indicator of the environmental conditions affecting its host.

The 24 papers in this thematic issue of The Canadian Mineralogist highlight the exciting possibilities offered by these properties and demonstrate that we are on the brink of a major breakthrough in the use of tourmaline as a quantitative indicator of the chemical and physical properties of its host environment.