Constructing a sheeted magmatic complex within the lower arc crust : insights from the Tenpeak pluton, North Cascades, Washington Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/2227ms94h

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  • The sheeted complex of the ~92 Ma Tenpeak pluton, in the Northern Washington Cascades crystalline core, forms a <1.5-km wide zone with a moderate, NE-dip at the SW margin of the pluton. Sheeted magmatic complexes, such as the one in the Tenpeak pluton, are common in plutons and represent examples of incremental growth of plutons. Though it is widely accepted that plutons are constructed incrementally over prolonged timescales of several million years, it is not clear if and to what degree individual batches of magma interact, the timing and size of each magma pulse, and the role, timing, and location of magmatic differentiation. This project uses a combination of field evidence, bulk rock chemistry, and mineral geochemistry to address the (1) role of magma mixing and fractionation, (2) constraints on the relative timing of magma differentiation, (3) diversity of mixing styles preserved, and (4) physical properties that dictate how individual batches of magma interact within this sheeted complex. Rock samples were collected throughout the complex from mafic, felsic, dioritic, thinly-banded, and gradational sheets. Field evidence shows a range of sheet contacts that vary from sharp to diffuse, strong prevalence of mafic enclaves, and localized cases of mechanical mixing in which plagioclase feldspars from a felsic sheet are incorporated into a mafic sheet. In general, sheet thickness increases farther from the contact with the White River shear zone. The bulk rock and mineral chemistry suggests that the felsic magmas in sheets formed independently from the more mafic and hybridized sheets. The composition of the felsic sheets cannot be modeling by binary mixing processes involving mafic and felsic magmas or result from fractionating the most mafic magmas. However, mass-balance calculations using a linear least-squares mass balance calculation and Rayleigh fractionation models indicate that it is possible to explain the range of felsic compositions by internal, crystal fractionation driven mostly by plagioclase crystallization (~40-58%). Negative Eu anomalies in amphiboles from the felsic sheets imply that plagioclase fractionation commenced prior to the onset of amphibole crystallization. With the exception of the most primitive mafic sheet sampled, the mafic and hybridized sheets represent variable proportions of the mafic parental magma and the range of felsic differentiated magmas. Efficient mixing that resulted in these mafic to hybridized magmas must also have occurred prior to mineral growth as the mineral chemistry reflects intermediate, mixed compositions. The bulk rock and mineral chemistry of the most primitive, mafic sheet suggest that it did not mix with any felsic magmas. However there is evidence that the mafic sheet underwent plagioclase fractionation prior to emplacement. This is evident by lower bulk rock Sr/Ba relative to calculated Sr/Bamelt of plagioclase that cannot be reconciled without removing ~40-58% plagioclase. In contrast to the felsic sheets, the amphiboles from this mafic sheet lack Eu anomalies implying that amphibole crystallization occurred prior to major plagioclase fractionation. Chemical evidence reveals that magma mixing played an important role in controlling the chemical composition of individual sheets and field observations suggesting that there was a range of mixing styles. Throughout the sheeted complex, there are localized sites of mechanical mixing where plagioclase phenocrysts from adjacent felsic sheets are mechanically mixed into mafic sheets. Evidence for mechanical mixing is present across both sharp and gradational contacts. This implies varying rheological and viscosity contrasts between different sheets, though in both cases crystallinity and viscosity appears sufficiently low to allow crystals to migrate across sheet contacts. Variability in sheet thickness and contact type suggests that the physical parameters (i.e. temperature, viscosity, rheology, and magma flux) of the system continue to evolve throughout the formation of the sheeted complex. Near the White River, sheets are thin and more heterogeneous but become progressively thicker (>302 m) and more felsic in composition up-section. The composition of plagioclase and amphibole is remarkably uniform in all of the felsic sheets suggesting that each sheet formed from an array of felsic parental magmas. Thicker, felsic sheets most likely reflect hotter conditions where larger magma fluxes could be accommodated or viscosity-temperature contrasts that were low enough to allow for efficient mixing between two adjacent sheets and therefore erase sheet contacts.
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