Detrital rutile: Records of the deep crust, ores and fluids

Inês Pereira, Craig D. Storey

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

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Rutile is a robust heavy mineral that can survive multiple sedimentary cycles. It is common in high-grade metamorphic rocks and hydrothermally-altered rocks. Hence, it can be a recorder of either the deep crust or of ores and fluids. In this review paper we cover a range of different topics concerning the use and application of detrital rutile as a means of retrieving these records and highlight some important recent advances. We discuss the occurrence of rutile formed at different pressures and temperatures and how we can use it to fingerprint metamorphic processes, with a focus on the use of combined Zr-thermometry and mineral inclusion geothermobarometry. We then present a review and discussion on the approaches made using detrital rutile trace element and isotopic geochemistry in provenance studies. We present some of the strengths and limitations of combining trace element and U–Pb isotopic dating to detrital rutile, including a discussion on U–Pb detrital rutile dating and different trace element diffusivities with an evaluation of potential decoupling between these. We then discuss some of the applications of detrital rutile in unravelling large scale geodynamic or tectonic processes. We also summarise the main features of rutile associated to ores and how these may be used using detrital rutile as an ore mineral vector. We finish with some considerations regarding the stability of detrital rutile in the upper crust, either by means of metamorphic or fluid-related processes, and how this may affect studies relying on detrital rutile.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107010
Number of pages20
Early online date2 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2023


  • Detrital rutile
  • Detrital Zr-in-rutile thermometry
  • Metamorphic capsule
  • Ore mineral vector
  • Provenance
  • Geodynamics
  • UKRI
  • NERC
  • NE/I025573

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