Cr-spinel Seam Petrogenesis in the Rum Layered Suite, NW Scotland: Cumulate Assimilation and in situ Crystallization in a Deforming Crystal Mush

Brian O'Driscoll, C. H. Emeleus, Colin Henry Donaldson, J. S. Daly

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    Abstract

    Laterally extensive (∼2 mm thick) Cr-spinel seams in the Rum Layered Suite, NW Scotland, occur at the bases of several of the coupled peridotite–troctolite macro-rhythmic units that form the bulk of the eastern part of the intrusion. Detailed petrography, mineral chemical analyses and quantitative textural measurements of the rocks above and below two of these seams suggest that existing models for seam petrogenesis involving early crystallization and gravitational settling of Cr-spinel from a newly emplaced body of magma need to be reassessed. We argue for assimilation of troctolitic cumulate by a new influx of picrite magma at the crystal mush–magma interface, and subsequent in situ crystallization of the Cr-spinel seams. The bases of seams are characterized by Mg- and Al-rich Cr-spinel, with slightly more Fe-rich crystals toward the tops. These seams crystallized from a superheated hybrid magma generated by the initial assimilation and dissolution of the plagioclase-rich cumulate floor by the picrite. Coeval syn-magmatic deformation of the crystal mush at the unit boundary between peridotite and troctolite caused localized expulsion of Cr-spinel seed crystals several centimetres upward into the peridotite mush, resulting in the formation of overlying supra-seams as well as possibly developing a distinctive texture comprising chains of Cr-spinel around cumulus olivine crystals immediately above unit boundaries. The mineral compositional and textural evidence collected from the Rum Cr-spinel seams also indicates that they exhibit varying degrees of postcumulus chemical and textural equilibration.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1171-1201
    JournalJournal of Petrology
    Volume51
    Issue number6
    Early online date16 May 2010
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

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