Abstract

The Zippa Mountain intrusion is of Late Triassic age and is situated in the Iskut River area of northwest British Columbia. The pluton is elliptical in shape and 3.5 by 5 km in diameter. The pluton intrudes Palaeozoic and Triassic rocks within Stikinia and is compositionally zoned from clinopyroxenite at the pluton margins to a core of syenite. The Zippa Mountain pluton comprises aegirine-augite, potassium feldspar, and minor biotite, hornblende, nepheline, vishnevite, titanian andradite, titanite, and apatite. Based on new field, petrographic, and chemical data this intrusion is shown to be silica-undersaturated, strongly alkaline, and ultrapotassic. We interpret the pluton as a single pulse of magma, which entered a shallow-level crustal magma chamber. The potassic nature is a characteristic of the parental magma, but is enhanced by fractional crystallization and crystal sorting processes. The parental magma has affinities with arc-type magmas related to subduction (shoshonitic magma series), as is evidenced by high LILE/LREE ratio, and select depletion of HFSE. Upon emplacement, crystallization of clinopyroxene and then K-feldspar, and efficient physical sorting within the magma chamber, resulted in sidewall, marginal pyroxenite and roof-zone syenites, respectively. Continued fractionation in the core of the intrusion increased volatile contents and led to the crystallization of feldspathoids. Potentially, a mass of residual melt, and crystals of K-feldspar and feldspathoid, was buoyant relative to the surrounding pyroxenite, which allowed it it to rise and partly intrude the syenites.

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