The Grenville tholeiitic dikes of Late Proterozoic or early Paleozoic age cut marbles and gneisses of the Grenville Province within and adjacent to the Ottawa rift structure. Where traversed the swarm consists of about 40 large dikes (up to 100 m wide) representing a crustal extension of 1 km. The principal minerals are olivine, augite, pigeonite, plagioclase, magnetite, ilmenite, K-feldspar, and quartz. Crystals of pigeonite around olivine and complex augite–pigeonite composite grains suggest that the reactions olivine + melt → pigeonite and pigeonite + melt → augite have taken place. Conspicuous zoning and grain to grain variation in the composition of augite are consistent with fractional crystallization, but crystal – melt equilibrium during crystal growth is indicated by a restricted range in pyroxene paleotemperatures of 1180–1060 °C. Rock textures (subophitic, combined ophitic–subophitic, and equigranular) in dike centres are related to dike width and are determined principally by the influence of cooling rate on the nucleation of augite. The K2O content of the gabbro (centres of 15 dikes, 3–100 mm wide) ranges from 0.2 to 1.2% and is closely correlated with other elements, positively with Ti, Na, P, Rb, Sr, Y, Zr, and Ba, and negatively with Mg, Ca, and Cr. Relatively minor within-dike variation exists in the form of local (centimetre-scale) inhomogeneity, slight enrichment in K and Na, and depletion in Ca and Mg in the centre of one large dike and complex rhythmic variation in K, Na, Ca, and Fe across one small dike. Centre–margin comparisons in several large dikes indicate minor residence con tamination (Ca, Mg) in the margins of some dikes cutting marble. Of the various possible causes for variation in composition, those favoured at present are Fractional crystallization at depth (separation of augite and plagioclase), the partial preservation of compositional heterogeneity during intrusion, and the gravitational sinking of early formed crystals (with the upward displacement of K-enriched melt) in the central regions of large dikes.