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Plutonism at the interior margin of the Jurassic magmatic arc, Mojave Desert, California

By
Miquette E. Gerber
Miquette E. Gerber
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Calvin F. Miller
Calvin F. Miller
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Joseph L. Wooden
Joseph L. Wooden
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Published:
January 01, 1995

The inland edge of the Jurassic magmatic belt passes through the eastern Mojave Desert, where it was emplaced in ancient continental crust. Three intrusive units exposed there—the Ship and Clipper Mountains plutons and a dike swarm in the Old Woman and Piute Mountains and Kilbeck Hills—are broadly similar to each other and to other intrusions of Jurassic age, but they differ from one another in detail and all show very clear evidence for interaction with the ancient crust.

All three intrusive units are primarily metaluminous and range from mafic to moderately felsic in composition. The Ship Mountains pluton and dikes included both mafic and felsic magmas that mingled locally. The Clipper Mountains pluton comprises a compositional continuum from hornblende gabbro through granodiorite, at least partly a result of crystal accumulation processes. The ca. 160-Ma Clipper Mountains pluton was emplaced syntectonically with thrusting at a depth of approximately 15 km. The ca. 145-Ma dike swarm intruded at approximately 12 km, and the Ship Mountains pluton at <5 km. The Ship Mountains pluton, which is not well dated, initially overlay the dike swarm prior to Late Cretaceous and Tertiary extension and may have a similar age.

The intrusions are all enriched in incompatible elements and have isotopic compositions that are more evolved than any plausible mantle source (high 87Sr/86Sr, low εNd, high 207Pb/204Pb and 208Pb/204Pb compared with 206Pb/204Pb). Ship Mountains and most dike samples are less evolved in Nd and Sr than the Mojave crust, but the Clipper Mountains Nd-Sr array is coincident with the less evolved portion of the field of ancient Mojave crust. Extremely strong U-Pb inheritance in Clipper zircons and moderate inheritance in dike zircons verifies the crustal component. We interpret Ship and dike rocks to be hybrids of ancient enriched mantle-derived mafic magmas and the ancient crust; the Clipper Mountains pluton could represent a restite-rich magma entirely derived from the Mojave crust, although a modest mantle contribution is likely.

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GSA Special Papers

Jurassic Magmatism and Tectonics of the North American Cordillera

David M. Miller
David M. Miller
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Cathy Busby
Cathy Busby
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Geological Society of America
Volume
299
ISBN print:
9780813722993
Publication date:
January 01, 1995

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