Coarse-grained inclusions in Upper Palaeozoic alkali basalts, occurring in over 60 localities in the British Isles, include samples of the underlying mantle and lower crust. The ultramafic assemblages imply an extremely heterogeneous upper mantle involving a tectonized spinel lherzolite and harzburgite matrix transected by younger bodies of wehrlite, websterite, clinopyroxenite, orthopyroxenite, garnet-pyroxenite and assorted kaersutite- and biotite-rich ultramafites. Associated megacrysts include anorthoclase, sanidine, clinopyroxene, kaersutite, Ti-biotite, garnet, Ti-magnetite, Mg-ilmenite, apatite, zircon and corundum. These originated in part from disaggregation of pegmatoidal bodies of alkaline felsic rocks, pyroxenites, lherzites and glimmerites. Plagioclase-pyroxene rocks (basic granulites) are probably samples of the lower crust, with quartzo-feldspathic gneisses possibly derived from shallower levels in a chemically-zoned crust. Other inclusions described include apatite-magnetite rocks, biotite- and hornblende-albite rocks and unfoliated tonalites, diorites, trondhjemites and granites.

A high-grade (granulite-facies) feldspathic basement is inferred to underlie all the major N British structural provinces, including the Midland Valley and Southern Uplands. Anorthosite xenoliths imply that anorthositic rocks compose some part of the 'basement' in S and central Scotland.

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