Abstract

The Kamloops Group is an alkali-rich calc-alkaline volcanic suite of Early to Middle Eocene age, widespread in south-central British Columbia. Rock types in the suite range from high-K basalt through andesite to rhyolite. The suite is characterized by relatively high K2O, Sr, and Ba, but low Zr, Ti, and Ni concentrations, only moderate Ce enrichment, and little or no Fe enrichment. Initial ratios 87Sr/86Sr are about 0.7040 in the western half, and about 0.7060 in the eastern half of the study area. No difference in chemistry or mineralogy marks this sharp transition. Chemically similar suites include the Absaroka–Gallatin suite in Wyoming and the lower San Juan (Summer Coon) suite in Colorado. The content of K2O at 60% SiO2 increases regularly eastward across southern British Columbia. The chemical data support the subduction-related continental arc origin of the Kamloops Group volcanics.The volcanic rocks consist in the main of augite–pigeonite andesites ranging from 52 to 62% silica, with subordinate quantities of olivine–augite–pigeonite basalt and biotite rhyodacite and rhyolite. The andesites and basalts were derived by a combination of low-pressure fractional crystallization, higher pressure fractional crystallization, and variable parental magmas, whereas low-pressure fractional crystallization of plagioclase, biotite, and apatite from parental basalt and andesite produced the rhyolites. The parental magmas were basalts and basaltic andesites with high K, Sr, and Ba. The primary source of these magmas is inferred to have been an alkali-enriched hydrous peridotite with neither plagioclase nor garnet present in the residuum.

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