- © The Mineralogical Society Of America
The widespread occurrence of epidote minerals in metamorphic and igneous rocks as well as in many ore deposit types makes it a promising candidate for fluid inclusion studies. Apart from high- to very high-temperature and low- to intermediate-pressure conditions, epidote minerals are stable over a wide range of pressure and temperature in the continental and oceanic crust (e.g., Poli and Schmidt 1998). Yet fluid inclusion studies on epidote minerals are surprisingly scarce, even in fluid-saturated environments like certain vein-type deposits or hydrothermal-volcanic vugs and druses. For example, epidote minerals are not mentioned in the subject index of Roedder’s (1984) outstanding summary and review of fluid inclusion studies and occurrences, which lists more than sixty different host minerals for fluid inclusions. Nonetheless, more recent studies showed fluid inclusions in epidote minerals to be the only direct witness of the physiochemical and compositional fluid evolution during certain geodynamic processes mainly found in fossil geothermal systems, ore deposits and high-pressure to ultra-high pressure rocks.
The aim of this review is to outline and summarize some aspects and interpretations of geodynamic processes, which are based on temperature (T), pressure (P), molar volume (V) and composition (X) data from fluid inclusions in epidote minerals as well as associated host minerals from various geological environments.
The review starts with a chapter on some typical mixed volatile solid-fluid equilibria involving epidote minerals, which are relevant for the here discussed environments. This is followed by a short introduction into the basic concepts of fluid inclusion research and the role of epidote minerals. The next section covers fluid inclusion studies on epidote minerals from active and fossil geothermal systems as well as low-grade metamorphic rocks and constraints on the P-T-X properties of the fluids present in these systems. This is followed by a short introduction …