Abstract

The West Barneys River Plutonic Suite consists of gabbro, syenite-monzonite, alkali-feldspar syenite to quartz alkali-feldspar syenite, and alkali-feldspar granite outcropping in an area of ∼100 km2 in the southern Antigonish Highlands. Magma mixing and mingling textures indicate a comagmatic relationship between some of the mafic and intermediate–felsic lithologies. However, nine U–Pb (zircon) ages, three by thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS) and six by laser-ablation – inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometry (LA–ICP–MS), from the West Barneys River suite and the lithologically similar Cape Porcupine Complex located 60 km to the east range from ca. 495 to 460 Ma, indicating that emplacement occurred over a significant span of time. Intermediate to felsic rocks consist mainly of perthitic K-feldspar and variable amounts of quartz; interstitial granophyre is present in some samples, consistent with shallow emplacement. Mafic phases are Fe-rich amphibole and clinopyroxene, and in some units, fayalite. Intermediate and felsic samples have chemical characteristics of within-plate ferroan A-type granitoid rocks. Gabbroic rocks consist of plagioclase (oligoclase–labradorite) and augite/diopside with less abundant orthopyroxene, olivine, biotite, and ilmenite/magnetite. Their chemical compositions are transitional from tholeiitic to alkalic and characteristic of continental within-plate mafic rocks. The εNd values are similar in gabbroic, syenitic, and granitic samples, ranging between 0.9 and 4.9, consistent with a co-genetic origin for the mafic and intermediate/felsic components of the suite, and derivation from Avalonian subcontinental lithospheric mantle in an extensional environment.

You do not currently have access to this article.