Abstract

Bulk-rock and mineral chemical and isotopic analyses of Rossland volcanic rocks are used to infer the nature of the magma extruded in the Nelson–Rossland area of southern British Columbia during the Early Jurassic. Metamorphism of the volcanic rocks to subgreenschist and greenschist facies precludes use of mobile major and trace elements (e.g., Na, K, and Rb) as petrogenetic indicators. Data on immobile elements (Ti, Zr, and Y) and pyroxene compositions indicate that the volcanic rocks formed in a destructive-margin plate tectonic environment. Present-day 87Sr/86Sr ratios range from 0.70372 to 0.70480 but do not define an isochron. Corrected to Jurassic time, the initial ratios range from 0.70328 to 0.70404. Whole-rock δO18 values range from 7.9 to 11.6%, correlating inversely with metamorphic grade. Clinopyroxene δO18 of 4.8–6.5 is comparable with fresh clinopyroxenes from mafic rocks of mantle origin. In view of the preponderance of basaltic rather than andesitic rock types, and because of the nature of the lithologies within the volcanic rocks and associated sediments, an island-arc setting is indicated. The appearance of primary amphibole in basaltic members of the Rossland suite, and the occurrence of ankaramitic rocks, are thought to indicate a mildly alkalic rather than a subalkalic parent magma. Comparison of the Rossland volcanic rocks with those of recent island arcs, and consideration of the Upper Triassic – Lower Jurassic paleogeography in the Cordillera, suggest the rocks may be related to a localized oceanic basin, their extrusion being associated with faults bounding its western edge.

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