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Super Laboratories for the study of fractionation Super Laboratories for the study of fractionation Initially hotInitially hot Initially low viscosityInitially.

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Presentation on theme: "Super Laboratories for the study of fractionation Super Laboratories for the study of fractionation Initially hotInitially hot Initially low viscosityInitially."— Presentation transcript:

1 Super Laboratories for the study of fractionation Super Laboratories for the study of fractionation Initially hotInitially hot Initially low viscosityInitially low viscosity Slow cooling - deepSlow cooling - deep Mafic intrusions come in all sizes Mafic intrusions come in all sizes –from thin dikes and sills –up to the huge 66,000 km 2 x 9 km thick Bushveld intrusion of South Africa Can occur in any tectonic environment where basaltic magma is generated Can occur in any tectonic environment where basaltic magma is generated Chapter 12 Layered Mafic Intrusions

2 Small, shallow intrusives such as the Palisades Sill, show mineral layers consistent with gravity settling and fractionation to silica enrichment.

3 Large or particularly well-studied LMIs exposed in continents (many in flood basalt provinces) Table Some Principal Layered Mafic Intrusions NameAgeLocation Area (km (km 2 ) BushveldPrecambrian S. Africa 66,000 DufekJurassicAntarctica50,000 DuluthPrecambrian Minnesota, USA 4,700 StillwaterPrecambrian Montana, USA 4,400 MuskoxPrecambrian NW Terr. Canada 3,500 Great Dike PrecambrianZimbabwe3,300 KiglapaitPrecambrianLabrador560 SkaergårdEocene East Greenland 100 Large magma chambers are not so simple

4 The funnel shape of a typical LMI (lopolith, etc.) The Muskox Intrusion Figure From Irvine and Smith (1967), In P. J. Wyllie (ed.), Ultramafic and Related Rocks. Wiley. New York, pp

5 Layering layer: any sheet-like cumulate unit distinguished by its compositional and/or textural features –1. uniform mineralogically and texturally homogeneous

6 Uniform Layering Figure 12-3b. Uniform Chromite layers alternate with plagioclase-rich layers, Bushveld Complex, S. Africa. From McBirney and Noyes (1979) J. Petrol., 20,

7 Layering –2. non-uniform vary either along or across the layering s graded = gradual variation in either i mineralogy, sometimes with different densities i Example: Skaergård i grain size - Rare in gabbroic LMIs Example: Duke Island Example: Duke Island

8 Graded Layers Figure Modal and size graded layers. From McBirney and Noyes (1979) J. Petrol., 20, Modal (Minereralogical) layering of olivine at base and plagioclase higher, Skaergaard Size layering Opx and Plag, Duke Island. Larger crystals at the bottom.

9 The regularity of layering Rhythmic: layers systematically repeat Rhythmic: layers systematically repeat –Macrorhythmic: several meters thick –Microrhythmic: only a few cm thick Example: Stillwater Example: Stillwater Intermittent: less regular patterns Intermittent: less regular patterns –A common type consists of rhythmic graded layers punctuated by occasional uniform layers: Skaergård

10 Rythmic and Intermittent Layering Figure Intermittent layering showing graded layers separated by non- graded gabbroic layers. Skaergård Intrusion, E. Greenland. From McBirney (1993) Igneous Petrology (2 nd ed.), Jones and Bartlett. Boston. Figure 12-3a. Vertically tilted cm-scale Microrhythmic layering of plagioclase and pyroxene in the Stillwater Complex, Montana. Plag – pyroxene, Stillwater Intermittent graded and non-graded layers, Skaergård

11 Ex. 1: Bushveld Complex, South Africa The biggest: km x 9 km The Red Granite intruded Ma afterwards Figure Simplified geologic Map and cross section of the Bushveld complex. After Willemse (1964), Wager and Brown (1968), and Irvine et al. (1983).

12 These and other examples show conspicuous development of rhythmic layering of often sharply-defined uniform or graded layers? The repetition requires either some impressively periodic reinjection of fresh magma, or cyclic variation in one or more physical properties if it is to be produced by gravitational crystal settling alone. The pattern of cryptic layering, however, indicates a progressive differentiation that spans the full vertical height of the intrusion, precluding any model based solely on replenishment Bushveld layering with dark chromite

13 The Stillwater Complex, Montana Figure After Wager and Brown (1968) Layered Igneous Rocks. Freeman. San Francisco. Convenient cross section

14 Stillwater Stratigraphy Basal Series Norite is a mafic intrusive igneous rock composed largely of the calcium-rich plagioclase labradorite and hypersthene (enstatite) with olivine Basal Series Norite is a mafic intrusive igneous rock composed largely of the calcium-rich plagioclase labradorite and hypersthene (enstatite) with olivine –a thin ( m) layer of norites and gabbros Ultramafic Series base = first appearance of copious olivine cumulates (phase layering) Ultramafic Series base = first appearance of copious olivine cumulates (phase layering) –Lower Peridotite Zone  20 cycles ( m thick) of macrorhythmic layering with a distinctive sequence of lithologies  The series begins with dunite (plus chromite), followed by harzburgite (both depleted mantle) and then orthopyroxenite –Upper Orthopyroxenite Zone  is a single, thick (up to 1070 m), rather monotonous layer of cumulate orthopyroxenite

15 The crystallization sequence within each rhythmic unit (with rare exception) is:  olivine + chromite FeCr 2 O 4   olivine + orthopyroxene   orthopyroxene   orthopyroxene + plagioclase   orthopyroxene + plagioclase + the Cpx Augite Common basaltic crystallization sequence, which suggests that each sequence is initiated by some major change in the crystallization conditions followed by a period of cooling and crystal accumulation Common basaltic crystallization sequence, which suggests that each sequence is initiated by some major change in the crystallization conditions followed by a period of cooling and crystal accumulation We still must explain the repetition of the cycles We still must explain the repetition of the cycles  Stillwater Stratigraphy (cont.)

16 Stillwater (cont) The Banded Series –Sudden cumulus plagioclase  significant change from ultramafic rock types (phase layering again) –The most common lithologies are anorthosite, norite, gabbro, and troctolite (olivine-rich and pyroxene-poor gabbro) –Winter thinks such a sudden and dramatic change suggests the introduction of a second principal magma type into the Stillwater magma chamber –Let’s take a look

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18 The Skaergård Intrusion E. Greenland Figure After Stewart and DePaolo (1990) Contrib. Mineral. Petrol., 104, The “type locality” for LMIs. It is now perhaps the most intensely studied igneous body in the world Convenient Cross Section

19 –Skaergård is layered BUT –Magma intruded in a single surge. Example of the crystallization of a mafic pluton in a single-stage process –Fine-grained chill margin Skaergård

20 Stratigraphy Skaergård subdivided into three major units: –Layered Series –Upper Border Series –Marginal Border Series Upper Border Series and the Layered Series meet at the Sandwich Horizon (most differentiated liquids) It is generally agreed that the Layered Series crystallized from the floor upward, the Upper Border Series from the roof downward, and the Marginal Border Series from the walls inward

21 Cross section looking down dip, so as to get a better view. Figure After After Hoover (1978) Carnegie Inst. Wash., Yearb., 77,

22 Recall (Mineralogy Lecture 7, Winter Chapter 6) that in the system MgO-FeO- Fe 2 O 3 -SiO 4 (left) Olivines becomes increasingly Fe 2 SiO 4 (Fayalite) as temperatures fall. Recall (Mineralogy Lecture 7, Winter Chapter 6) that in the system MgO-FeO- Fe 2 O 3 -SiO 4 (left) Olivines becomes increasingly Fe 2 SiO 4 (Fayalite) as temperatures fall. Plagioclase becomes increasingly Albite, NaAlSi 3 O 8 the Sodium-rich end member Plagioclase becomes increasingly Albite, NaAlSi 3 O 8 the Sodium-rich end member

23 : Upper Border Series: thinner, but mirrors the 2500 m Layered Series in many respects –Cooled from the top down, so the top of the Upper Border Series crystallized first –Evidence: The most Mg-rich olivines and Ca-rich plagioclases occur at the top, and grade to more Fe-rich and Na-rich compositions downward –Major element trends also reverse in the Upper Border Series as compared to the LBS

24 Sandwich Horizon, where the latest, most differentiated liquids crystallized –Ferrogabbros with sodic plagioclase (An 30 ), plus Fe-rich olivine and Opx –Granophyric segregations of quartz and alkali feldspar  Simultaneous crystallization in the late stages of in the late stages of differentiation? differentiation? –Granophyric Texture: the groundmass minerals, usually quartz and alkali feldspar, penetrate each other as feathery irregular intergrowths.

25 Stratigraphy and Modal Layering Figure After Wager and Brown (1968) Layered Igneous Rocks. Freeman. and Naslund (1983) J. Petrol., 25, Top down Bottom up

26 Compatible (Cr and Ni) and incompatible (Rb and Zr) trace elements for the complete section. Trends are compatible with differentiation of a single surge of magma No evidence for any cyclic variations suggestive of repeated injections of fresh magma Layering must be explained by otheer changes

27 Wager and Deer (1939) “… postulated … convection… down the walls, across the floor, … up the center [and along the roof.]” “Currents stirred the magma.. to keep it … homogeneous … and fractionation uniform.” “… postulated … convection… down the walls, across the floor, … up the center [and along the roof.]” “Currents stirred the magma.. to keep it … homogeneous … and fractionation uniform.” “As the liquid flowed horizontally [across] the floor, … crystals settled through a … small thickness of liquid.” “As the liquid flowed horizontally [across] the floor, … crystals settled through a … small thickness of liquid.” “Currents … fluctuated in velocity,… producing changes in the proportions of [different] minerals reaching the floor….” “Currents … fluctuated in velocity,… producing changes in the proportions of [different] minerals reaching the floor….” Note the analogy to competence (largest/densest particle carried) as a function of stream velocity. Note the analogy to competence (largest/densest particle carried) as a function of stream velocity. Quotes from Young, Davis A. (2003) Mind Over Magma, page 324. Princeton University Press, Princeton and Oxford. Quotes from Young, Davis A. (2003) Mind Over Magma, page 324. Princeton University Press, Princeton and Oxford. Lawrence Richard Wager

28 Figure 12-15b. Cross-bedding in cumulate layers. Skaergård Intrusion, E. Greenland. Layering caused by different proportions of mafics and plagioclase. From McBirney and Noyes (1979) J. Petrol., 20, Figure 12-15a. Cross-bedding in cumulate layers. Duke Island, Alaska. Note also the layering caused by different size and proportion of olivine and pyroxene. From McBirney (1993) Igneous Petrology. Jones and Bartlett

29 Figure After Irvine et al. (1998) Geol. Soc. Amer. Bull., 110, Density currents initiate at cool roof and descend along walls to cross floor Create layering along whole path- roof, walls, floor Periodic slumps and drops of accumulated material (autoliths) -> scour/fill and craters

30 Skaergård magma evolves toward high iron, following the theories of Kennedy, and Fenner. Skaergård magma evolves toward high iron, following the theories of Kennedy, and Fenner. AFM diagram for Skaergård compared to Crater Lake volcanics, Oregon Cascades. AFM diagram for Skaergård compared to Crater Lake volcanics, Oregon Cascades. and contrary to the predictions of Bowen’s early work. Later Bowen and Schairer (1935) studied the system FeO-MgO-SiO 2 to explain high iron fractionates.


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