A diverse suite of tholeiitic to alkaline basalt and gabbroic intrusions located in the Coldwell Complex on the northern margin of the Midcontinent Rift exhibit unusual trace element signatures that show enriched large ion lithophile elements and light rare earth elements with negative Nb and Zr anomalies. These features are not typical of magmas derived by partial melting within or above a rising mantle plume, as might be expected in an early Midcontinent Rift magmatic event. In this paper, we provide a detailed geochemical study of a 500 m thick sequence of metabasalt that represents the earliest stage of magmatism in the Coldwell Complex. We show that contamination or crystallization processes or subsequent metasomatism cannot explain the trace element variations. Instead, we propose partial melting in a metasomatized Subcontinental Lithospheric Mantle source to explain the decoupled behavior of large ion lithophile elements from light rare earth elements and heavy rare earth elements and rare earth elements from high field strength elements and the enriched Nd isotope signature of metabasalt. Similar features occur in unit 5b of the Mamainse Point Volcanic Group located at the northern margin of the Rift. An objective of this paper is to relate Two Duck Lake gabbro, host rock for low-sulfur, high precious metal sulfide mineralization at the Marathon deposit, to the metabasalt sequence. The excellent match of trace element abundances in Two Duck Lake gabbro to metabasalt unit 3 confirms an early Coldwell Complex age for metabasalt and a Subcontinental Lithospheric Mantle source for Cu – platinum group element mineralized gabbros.
Significance of the metasomatized lithospheric mantle in the formation of early basalts and Cu – platinum group element sulfide mineralization in the Coldwell Complex, Midcontinent Rift, Canada1
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David J. Good, Peter C. Lightfoot; Significance of the metasomatized lithospheric mantle in the formation of early basalts and Cu – platinum group element sulfide mineralization in the Coldwell Complex, Midcontinent Rift, Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences ; 56 (7): 693–714. doi: https://doi.org/10.1139/cjes-2018-0042
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