Abstract

Petrographic, geochemical, and strontium isotopic studies have been conducted on samples of the Stone Mountain Granite (leucocratic quartz monzonite) from the Lithonia district, within the Inner Piedmont province of Georgia. A Rb-Sr isochron obtained from 10 whole-rock and 3 mineral samples yielded an age of 291 ± 7 m.y. and an initial Sr87Sr86 ratio of 0.7250 ± 0.0005. Petrologic and geochemical data, combined with the high initial strontium isotopic ratio, suggest that the origin of this peraluminous quartz monzonite can best be explained by the anatexis of an older peraluminous, granitic crustal material during Late Pennsylvanian time. The depth of intrusion was probably around 12 km, with initial magma temperatures of 700°C or less. Magma generation could have occurred at depths of 22 to 28 km, depending on the regional geothermal gradient at the time. The most likely source material is the Lithonia Gneiss, which has a peraluminous, granitic composition and underlies the area.

The Stone Mountain pluton extends the 300-m.y.-old intrusive belt in the southern Appalachians across the Piedmont province to just south of the Brevard lineament. Its implied depth of intrusion fits well with certain models for the development of the Inner Piedmont and Blue Ridge provinces in the Carolinas because it requires rapid removal of considerable overburden. The origin and magmatic history of this intrusive unit may find use as a model for other peraluminous granitic plutons having similar petrologic, geochemical, and isotopic characteristics.

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