Surface and subsurface geologic data have led to the recognition of granitic ring complexes in the 1.5-b.y.-old St. Francois terrane of southeastern Missouri. The distinctive rock association of the ring complexes comprises alkaline silicic rocks with minor quartz monzonite, trachyte, and basalt. Three periods of granite emplacement are recognized: sub-volcanic granite massifs were emplaced below comagmatic rhyolites and ash-flow tuffs, quartz monzonite and associated hypabyssal rocks were intruded along ring fractures in cauldron-subsidence structures, and central plutons were emplaced in resurgent cauldrons. Similar magmatic complexes in the buried Precambrian basement of the Midcontinent indicate a period of widespread anorogenic magmatism that may have been induced by intraplate hot-spot activity. The post-Precambrian geologic record of the region suggests that recurrent, but localized and less intense, hot-spot activity was responsible for emplacements of alkaline ultramafic rocks, for tectonic adjustments, and for increased geothermal gradients that created favorable ore-concentrating environments in the sedimentary rocks.

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