Abstract

Multiple intrusions of gabbros, mafic dikes, and syenites in the Kap Edvard Holm Complex gave rise to prolonged circulation of meteoric hydrothermal solutions and extreme isotope exchange and mineral alteration in the 3600-m-thick Lower Layered Series gabbros. In the Lower Layered Series, δ18O of plagioclase varies from +0.3‰ to -5.8‰, and it decreases with an increase in the volume of secondary talc, chlorite, and actinolite. In the same gabbros, pyroxenes have a more restricted range in δ18O, from 5.0‰ to 3.8‰ and values of δ18Opyroxeneare independent of the abundance of secondary minerals, which ranges from 14% to 30%. These relations indicate that large amounts of water continued to flow through the rocks at temperatures of <500-600°C, altering the gabbros to assemblages of talc + chlorite + actinolite ± epidote ±albite and causing significant oxygen-isotope exchange in plagioclase, but not in pyroxene. The extensive low-temperature secondary mineralization and 18O depletion of plagioclase in the Lower Layered Series are associated with the later emplacement of dikes and gabbros and syenites, which created new fracture systems and provided heat sources for hydrothermal fluid circulation. This produced subsolidus mineral alteration and isotope exchange in the Lower Layered Series that are distinct from those in the Skaergaard and Cuillin gabbros of the North Atlantic Tertiary province, but are similar to those observed in some oceanic gabbros.

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