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Das SK and Mohanty JK
Optical microscopy, X-ray diffractometry, micro CT studies and mineral chemistry by SEM-EDS has been carried out on cordierite rich rock fragments from Bandarguha and Orabahala areas of Kalahandi district, Odisha. Macroscopically, cordierite grains exhibit distinct pleochroism in the shades of violet blue to light blue and colourless and are of gem quality (iolite). Biotite is the dominant associated mineral and Mg-Fe distribution coefficient (KD) between coexisting cordierite and biotite varies from 1.71 to 2.76. The cordierite is low cordierite (distortion index, Δ=0.257). Mineral analyses indicate that cordierite is magnesian rich (XMg=0.82-0.88) with limited Fe2+ substitution for Mg2+ and dichroism is due to presence of part of iron in ferric form. Cordierite is formed during metamorphism by reactions: (a) orthopyrox ene+sillimanite+quartz=cordierite+K-feldspar+water and (b) orthopyroxene+sillimanite=cordierite+corundum.