Midcrustal emplacement of the Sausfjellet pluton, central Norway: Ductile flow, stoping, and in situ assimilation

Gregory Dumond, Aaron S. Yoshinobu, Calvin G. Barnes

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Midcrustal (25-30 km) emplacement of the dioritic Sausfjellet pluton into rocks of the Helgeland Nappe Complex, central Norway, occurred in two stages. Stage 1 consists of two-pyroxene hornblende gabbro and diorite. Stage 2 is asymmetrically zoned, with a modally layered central zone of diorite and anorthosite and a western/annular zone of quartz-bearing monzodioritic rocks. Igneous layering was locally attenuated, folded, and boudinaged in the hyper-solidus state. The magmatic foliation trajectory pattern in the pluton defines a shallowly southwest-plunging synform that crosscuts compositional zones. Mineral lineations plunge shallowly to moderately to the southwest. The pluton intruded a major lithologic boundary within the nappe; migmatitic pelitic gneisses are the main host rocks to the western part of the pluton, whereas the eastern and central parts are hosted predominantly by metacarbonate rocks. Calc-silicate, marble, quartzo-feldspathic, and dioritic xenoliths (up to 200 m in length) are present throughout the pluton; they are most common in Stage 1 and the central zone of Stage 2. Metapelitic xenoliths are conspicuously absent. Ductile flow during emplacement produced an ∼1-km-wide structural aureole in which host-rock structures were deflected into subparallelism with the steeply inward-dipping margin of the pluton. Tight antiforms developed along the northeastern, southeastern, and southwestern margins. Amphibolite-grade shear zones in the host rocks preserve pluton-side-up kinematic indicators. In addition to the abundance of dioritic, calc-silicate, and quartzo-feldspathic gneiss xenoliths and geochemical evidence for assimilation in the western/annular zone, regional discordance of the pluton-host-rock contacts indicates that stoping was also an important emplacement process at midcrustal depths. Following magma emplacement, foundering of the central portion of the chamber combined with possible ca. 445 Ma regional contraction produced the map-scale synform defined by magmatic foliations and igneous layers. This study demonstrates that stoping and assimilation may occur simultaneously with host-rock ductile flow during magma chamber evolution at midcrustal levels and offers an explanation of why xenolith preservation may be compositionally dependent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-395
Number of pages13
JournalBulletin of the Geological Society of America
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Mar 2005


  • Bindal Batholith
  • Caledonides
  • Layered intrusions
  • Pluton emplacement
  • Stoping


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