Growth and zoning of the hortavær intrusive complex, a layered alkaline pluton in the norwegian caledonides

Calvin G. Barnes, Tore Prestvik, Yujia Li, Lindy McCulloch, Aaron S. Yoshinobu, Carol D. Frost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The Hortavær intrusive complex, Norway, is a layered igneous complex that was assembled by multiple injections of magmas that ranged from gabbroic through granitic in composition. Layering is defined by intrusive sheets that range from 10 cm to 2 m in thickness. Geopetal structures associated with these sheets indicate that the complex underwent 90o-120o of postsolidification tilting, and subsequent exhumation and erosion have exposed an oblique, 6-km-thick section through the complex. The complex is heterogeneous: at the outcrop scale a range of igneous rock types is exposed and host-rock xenoliths and screens are common. The overall zonation is, from the base upward (west to east), syenite zone (sheets of fine- to coarse-grained syenite), sheeted zone (inter-layered syenitic and dioritic sheets), diorite zone (dioritic sheets with thin syenitic intercalations, massive to banded, clinopyroxene-rich cumulate rocks, scant olivine gabbro), eastern zone (dioritic sheets in predominant quartz-bearing monzonite and syenite), and the stratigraphically highest Kvingra alkaline granite. Although magmatic evolution was in batches, individual domains of the pluton and the overall magma evolution of the system display the pervasive influence of assimilation of carbonate-rich rocks, which resulted in the alkaline nature of the evolved magmas. Assimilative reaction between dioritic magmas and calc-silicate rocks resulted in partial melting of the calc-silicates and mixing of the Ca-rich melt into the host magma. Addition of Ca stabilized clinopyroxene (+ plagioclase) at the expense of olivine, which led to precipitation of clinopyroxene-rich cumulates and formation of syenitic residual magmas. Invasion of the calc-silicate rocks by silicate melts resulted in melanocratic garnet + clinopyroxene monzonitic and syenitic endoskarn and magmatic skarn. Because magmatic evolution involved assimilation of calc-silicate rocks and because melt-bearing skarns and clinopyroxene-rich cumulates formed within the complex, magmatic processes responsible for forming the range of rock types in the complex are interpreted to have operated in situ. This interpretation implies that the core of the complex is a zone in which intense reaction of mafic magmas with calc-silicate rocks occurred. Successive emplacement and loading of additional mafic magma onto these zones squeezed the syenitic magmas laterally into tabular intrusions, one zone of which crops out at the exposed base of the complex. Magma loading is also demonstrated by the presence of magmatic foliation parallel to sheet margins in some sheets but the absence of foliation in adjacent sheets. Waning stages of magma evolution were less influenced by assimilation of carbonate-rich rocks. Thus, late-stage magmas displayed silica enrichment and the presence of quartz in the uppermost syenites and monzonites. Ultimately, evolved magmas reached granitic compositions and accumulated in the highest level of the complex. Some granitic (feeder?) dikes extend into the center of the pluton, which indicates that formation of the granitic magmas was piecemeal and occurred in numerous parts of the complex, just as evolution of the less evolved part of the system occurred in batches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-301
Number of pages16
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2009


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