Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

The Devonian batholiths of western Tasmania represent a diverse assemblage of highly fractionated intrusions (70 to 77 percent SiO2) that are the products of different source materials. The Housetop batholith exhibits compositional affinities to a fluorine-rich I-type magma. The Meredith batholith also has characteristics indicative of I-type source materials. The Heemskirk batholith is composite, and consists of a volatile (F, B, H2O)–rich S-type granite underlying an I-type granite. The Three Hummock Island, Interview River, Sandy Cape, and Conical Rocks plutons probably have an S-type source and are grouped together as the Sandy Cape Suite. Rapakivi texture is common in the Housetop, Meredith, and Heemkirk batholiths. Quartz-tourmaline nodules are found in the Conical Rocks pluton and the S-type portion of the Heemskirk batholith.

The Conical Rocks and Interview River plutons yield high initial Sr isotopic ratios of 0.74242 and 0.76009, respectively. The Housetop and Meredith batholiths yield the lowest initial Sr isotopic ratios of 0.71041 and 0.71445, respectively. The S-type portion of the Heemskirk batholith has an initial Sr isotopic ratio of 0.76387. The 40Ar/39Ar release spectrum and Rb/Sr mineral isochron analyses corroborate previously reported Devonian to Carboniferous age estimates for these batholiths. A relatively low-temperature thermal event (<200°C) caused argon loss from the K-feldspars at about 105 Ma. This heating event is probably related to the continental breakup of Australia from Antarctica.

Major-element compositions of the western Tasmanian granites are very similar. The highly fractionated Sandy Cape Suite leucogranites exhibit high Ga/Al ratios typical of A-type granites, but not their extreme Zr, Y, or Ce enrichments. A distinctive feature of the Sandy Cape Suite is the increase in P2O5 concentration with fractionation. The increase in P2O5 with fractionation is apparently due to extremely low Ca activity, which precludes the formation of apatite, thus allowing P2O5 to behave incompatibly in the melt. All of the granitoids have LREE–enriched chondrite-normalized rare earth element patterns. REE fractionation within the individual granitoids can be summarized by two trends: those with LREE >> HREE depletion (Housetop, Meredith, and Heemskirk batholiths), and those with LREE = HREE depletion (Sandy Cape Suite). The first trend is caused by the initial undersaturation of accessory mineral assemblage that resulted from high concentrations of volatiles and/or alkali complexes. The second trend is caused by early saturation of accessory phases and/or refractory accessory phases.

You do not have access to this content, please speak to your institutional administrator if you feel you should have access.
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal