Abstract

In the ∼20-m-thick Maiden Creek sill of the Henry Mountains (Utah, USA) intrusive complex, 2 magma sheets are locally separated by a 1.5-m-thick lens of sandstone. We studied the boundary between these sheets at the termination of this sandstone lens, where the upper sheet directly overlies the lower sheet, in order to test the reliability of using magnetic susceptibility in delineating internal magmatic contacts. The contact between these two sheets is along a cliff face and defined by a thin (<1 cm) brittle-ductile shear zone. Measurements of magnetic susceptibility (K) were collected within a grid every 20 cm across this contact. Drill cores (72) were also collected along four traverses across the shear zone. Mapping K across the cliff face reveals an abrupt decrease immediately below the shear zone contact. 1 m below the contact, K unexpectedly increases again to the same levels observed above the contact. This lower boundary coincides with a 1–2-mm-thick minor fracture zone. The 1-m-thick low-K zone (LKZ) is characterized by more intense microfracturing and is bleached compared to the surrounding igneous rock. Plotting the magnetic foliation from the drill cores reveals abrupt changes to the orientation across both the shear zone and fracture zone. We hypothesize that the LKZ was the original magma sheet that intruded the sandstone. The high-K zones above and below the LKZ represent later sheets that intruded above and below the original sheet, fracturing the partially or wholly crystallized original intrusion. These later sheets exsolved fluids that were injected into the original sheet, resulting in more advanced oxidation of magnetite and thus lowering the K. Alternatively, it is possible that the LKZ is simply the altered zone at the top of a thicker older sheet that was modified by the intrusion of a younger overlying sheet.

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