One to three whole-rock samples from each of more than a dozen discrete plutonic intrusions in the east-central Sierra Nevada batholith have been analyzed for Sr87/Sr86 and Rb/Sr ratios to obtain information on initial Sr87 abundances.
The initial Sr87/Sr86 ratios in the rock magmas forming this province appear to have been in the range 0.7073 ± .0010 in the majority of cases. This range is definitely higher than that found for modern alkali-type and tholeiite-type basalt magmas of oceanic regions, which commonly range between 0.703 and 0.705. However, it is much lower than the average Sr87/Sr86 ratios found in Precambrian sialic regions which range from 0.71 to 0.73. It seems clear therefore that the Sierra Nevada magmas were not derived solely either from the typical source regions of oceanic basalt or from the melting of ancient crustal sial. It is possible that these magmas represent a mixture of oceanic basalt and crustal sial, as would be the case of anatexis in a geosyncline containing much volcanic material of fairly recent origin and some terrigenous sialic detritus. They may instead be of mantle derivation with admixtures of crustal material assimilated during their rise.
The whole-rock Rb-Sr age results derivec from the study indicate that the Lamarck and Mount Givens Granodiorites and the alaskite of Evolution Basin and porphyritic biotite granite of Dinkey Lakes form a younger group of intrusive rocks of 90 ± 10 m.y. Although the sampling was not designed for isochron age studies, it appears that most of the remaining rock units are considerably older.