Abstract

This study presents geochemical data for several of the numerous small to large dikes and sills, including the 47th Avenue sill, exposed along the shore of Lake Superior in and north of Duluth, Minnesota. These intrusions are late magmatic features of the Proterozoic Midcontinent Rift System and together form the North Shore Hypabyssal Group. The dikes are geochemically distinct from the sills, and, when the two are exposed together, the younger dike intrudes the older sill. Dikes are primitive with Mg# up to 68, have positive εNd values, and are oriented approximately north–south with steep westerly or near vertical dips. The older sills are more evolved, usually have εNd values near or below 0, and have the same gentle easterly dip as the thick sequence of North Shore Volcanic Group flows they intrude. Dike compositions correlate best with a mixture of widespread basalt compositions types 4 and 5, with primitive geochemistry and positive εNd values, whereas sill compositions are similar to widespread basalt composition type 4 typical of most North Shore Volcanic Group flows. The 47th Avenue sill in Duluth is an evolved single intrusion North Shore Hypabyssal Group diabase sill with trough banding, sharp lower and upper contacts, and a spectacular fractured and undulating roof zone containing blocks of the overlying ferroandesite flow.

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