Abstract

The Cuttingsville composite stock has feldspathoid-bearing and quartz–bearing alkaline rocks emplaced in Precambrian schists of the Green Mountains. The main intrusions are, from oldest to youngest: (1) hastingsite foyaite and biotite foyaite, (2) diorite, (3) essexite, porphyritic essexite, plagifoyaite, and sodalite foyaite, (4) alkaline quartz syenite, (5) dikes of tephritic phonolite porphyry, phonolite porphyry, and microplagifoyaite. The K–Ar ages of 100 m.y. on the hastingsite foyaite and of 96.4 m.y. on the essexite indicate that this intrusion is perhaps the youngest manifestation of magmatic activity in New England.In the Shelburne peninsula, the alkaline rocks are intrusive into the Paleozoic sedimentary sequences of the Champlain Valley; they crop out on opposite sides of Lake Champlain. Intrusions consist of small stocks of alkaline syenite grading from a coarse-grained core to a fine-grained quartzose margin, which is cut by dikes of alkaline granite aplite, and of sills of trachyte porphyry. The alkaline rocks of the Shelburne peninsula are analogous to the alkaline syenites of unit 4 in Cuttingsville.We conclude that the rocks described did not originate through differentiation of an alkaline olivine basalt magma. Instead, partial and progressive melting of gabbroic phases in the uppermost mantle is proposed to account for the chemical relationships suggesting a source within the mantle. The absence of large amounts of mafic rocks, the order of emplacement which does not correlate with fractionation trends, and the presence of two syenitic melts of contrasted composition are evidences to support the proposal. Partial melting could have been caused by passage of the lithosphere over thermal "plumes" in the lower mantle.

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