Hepworth, LN, Kaufmann, FED, Hecht, L, Gertisser, R and O’Driscoll, B (2020) Braided peridotite sills and metasomatism in the Rum Layered Suite, Scotland. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 175 (2). ISSN 0010-7999

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The Rum Eastern Layered Intrusion (ELI; Scotland) is an open-system layered intrusion constructed of 16 macro-rhythmic units. Each of the macro-rhythmic units consists of a peridotite base and a troctolite (+/- gabbro) top, previously attributed to the fractional crystallisation of a single magma batch. This classic paradigm has been challenged, however, with evidence presented for the emplacement of peridotite sills in Units 9, 10, and 14, such as cross-cutting relationships, upward-oriented apophyses, and lateral discontinuities. To test whether the other major peridotites within the ELI represent sills, we have carried out new field, petrographic, and mineral chemical analyses of the peridotites in Units 7, 8 and 9. The peridotites display large- and small-scale cross-cutting relationships with the overlying troctolite, indicative of an intrusive relationship. The peridotites also show large-scale coalescence and lateral spatial discontinuities such that the ELI unit divisions become arbitrary. Harrisite layers and Cr-spinel seams found throughout Units 7, 8, and 9 suggest the peridotites were constructed incrementally via repeated injections of picritic magma. Our observations allow for distinct subtypes of peridotite to be defined, separated by intrusive contacts, allowing for their relative chronology to be determined. Older, poikilitic peridotite, rich in clinopyroxene, is truncated by younger, well-layered peridotite, containing abundant harrisite layers. In addition to the new peridotite subtypes defined in this study, we find strong evidence for laterally oriented metasomatism within clinopyroxene-rich wehrlites at the top of the Unit 8 peridotite. The wehrlites and surrounding peridotites record a complex series of metasomatic reactions that transformed thin picrite sills into clinopyroxene-rich wehrlites without any evidence for the sort of vertical melt movement typically posited in layered intrusions. The observations presented in this study from the ELI cannot be reconciled with the classic magma chamber paradigm and are better explained by the emplacement of composite sills into pre-existing feldspathic cumulate (gabbro or troctolite). The evidence for sill emplacement presented here suggests that the layered complex was constructed by a combination of sill emplacement and metasomatism, forming many of the unusual (often clinopyroxene-rich) lithologies that surround the sills. The broad-scale formation of the layered peridotites via incremental sill emplacement, suggested by the occurrence of upward-oriented apophyses, coalescence, and lateral discontinuity, could be applied to much larger ultramafic intrusions, which might have formed by similar mechanisms.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Uncontrolled Keywords: peridotite, metasomatism, rum layered suite.
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Geography, Geology and the Environment
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2020 16:03
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2020 13:25
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/7607

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