Early mafic magmatism and crustal anatexis on the Isle of Rum: evidence from the Am Mam intrusion breccia

Graeme Nicoll, Marian Holness, Valentin Troll, Colin Henry Donaldson, Eoghan Holohan, C. H. Emeleus, David Chew

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    The Rum Igneous Centre comprises two early marginal felsic complexes (the Northern Marginal Zone and the Southern Mountains Zone), along with the later central ultrabasic–basic layered intrusions. These marginal complexes represent the remnants of near-surface to eruptive felsic magmatism associated with caldera collapse, examples of which are rare in the North Atlantic Igneous Province. Rock units include intra-caldera collapse breccias, rhyolitic ignimbrite deposits and shallow-level felsic intrusions, as well the enigmatic ‘Am Màm intrusion breccia’. The latter comprises a dacitic matrix enclosing lobate basaltic inclusions (~1–15 cm) and a variety of clasts, ranging from millimetres to tens of metres in diameter. These clasts comprise Lewisian gneiss, Torridonian sandstone and coarse gabbro. Detailed re-mapping of the Am Màm intrusion breccia has shown its timing of emplacement as syn-caldera, rather than pre-caldera as previously thought. Textural analysis of entrained clasts and adjacent, uplifted country rocks has revealed their thermal metamorphism by early mafic intrusions at greater depth than their present structural position. These findings provide a window into the evolution of the early mafic magmas responsible for driving felsic magmatism on Rum. Our data help constrain some of the physical parameters of this early magma–crust interaction and place it within the geochemical evolution of the Rum Centre.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)368-381
    JournalGeological Magazine
    Issue number3
    Early online date25 Mar 2009
    Publication statusPublished - May 2009


    • North Atlantic Igneous Province
    • Isle of Rum
    • elsic magmas
    • intrusion breccia
    • geochemistry
    • magma–crust interaction


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