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Mawsitsit (chromian jade) (Namshamaw Deposit, Hpakan-Tawmaw Jade Tract, Late Jurassic, 147 Ma; Maw Sit Sit, near Kansi, western Kachin State, Indo-Burma Range, northern Burma) 5 | by James St. John
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Mawsitsit (chromian jade) (Namshamaw Deposit, Hpakan-Tawmaw Jade Tract, Late Jurassic, 147 Ma; Maw Sit Sit, near Kansi, western Kachin State, Indo-Burma Range, northern Burma) 5

Chromian jade (“maw sit sit”) from the Hpakan-Tawmaw Jade Tract (near-latest Jurassic, 147 Ma) of northern Burma. (5.95 cm across at its widest)

 

Bright green = chromojadeite

Medium to dark gray veins = albite feldspar

Black = amphibole

Small blackish chunk at far lower left corner = chromite

Dark green extending from far lower left corner = kosmochlor

 

Maw sit sit is a very rare, complex, polymineralic metamorphic rock. Minerals reported in this material include chromite (metallic black, FeCr2O4), kosmochlor pyroxene (emerald green to dark green to black, NaCrSi2O6), chromian jadeite pyroxene (a.k.a. chromojadeite) (green, Na(Al,Fe,Cr)Si2O6), chromiferous arfvedsonite amphibole (green or gray or black, Cr-bearing NaNa2Fe5Si8O22(OH)2), and symplectite (green, a finely-crystalline mineral mix of mostly chromian jadeite). Reported matrix minerals include thompsonite zeolite, albite feldspar, and serpentine.

 

Maw sit sit formed under high pressure and low temperature conditions at the rim of serpentinized, chromiferous mantle peridotites. The peridotites were emplaced by obduction as oceanic lithosphere was subducting beneath the Burmese portion of southeastern Asia during the Mesozoic.

 

Geologic unit: northeastern end of the Hpakan-Tawmaw Jade Tract, Hpakan Ultramafic Body, Naga-Adaman Ophiolite

 

Age: Syngenetic zircons indicate that Burmese jades formed at 147 Ma (late Tithonian Stage, near-latest Jurassic. The metamorphic age of the serpentinite host rocks is 163 Ma (Middle Jurassic). Older literature interprets Burmese jadeitite as Tertiary in age, hosted by Late Creatceous to Eocene serpentinized peridotites.

 

Locality: Namshamaw Deposit ("Namshamaw Dike"; “Maw Sit Sit Vein") at Maw Sit Sit, just northwest of Namshamaw, near Kansi (Kanzi), western Kachin State, Indo-Burma Range, northern Burma

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References on maw sit sit:

 

Colombo, F., C. Rinaudo & C. Trossarelli. 2000. The mineralogical composition of maw-sit-sit from Myanmar. Journal of Gemmology 27(2): 87-92.

 

Harlow, G.E. & E.P. Olds. 1987. Observations on terrestrial ureyite and ureyitic pyroxene. American Mineralogist 72: 126-136.

 

Shi Guang-Hai, Jiang Neng, Liu Yan, Wang Xia, Zhang Zhi-Yu & Xu Yong-Jing. 2009. Zircon Hf isotope signature of the depleted mantle in the Myanmar jadeitite: implications for Mesozoic intra-oceanic subduction between the Eastern Indian Plate and the Burmese Platelet. Lithos 112: 342-350.

 

Shi G.H., B. Stockhert & Cui W.Y. 2005. Kosmochlor and chromian jadeite aggregates from teh Myanmar jadeitite area. Mineralogical Magazine 69: 1059-1075.

 

Yang Chiu Mei Ou. 1984. A terrestrial source of ureyite. American Mineralogist 69: 1180-1183.

 

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Uploaded on April 24, 2015