Geochemistry of the Neoarchean mafic volcanic and intrusive rocks in the Kalgoorlie Terrane, eastern Yilgarn, Western Australia: implications for geodynamic setting

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    Abstract

    [Truncated abstract] The Neoarchean (2800 to 2600 Ma) Eastern Goldfields Superterrane (EGST) comprises elongated belts of deformed and metamorphosed volcanic and sedimentary rocks intruded by granitoids. The Superterrane is made up of five distinct tectonostratigraphic terranes. From west to east these are the Kalgoorlie, Gindalbie, Kurnalpi, Laverton and Duketon Terranes. The Kalgoorlie Terrane is characterised by 2720 to 2680 Ma marine mafic-ultramafic volcanic successions interlayered with, and overlain by, 2710 to 2660 Ma dominantly trondhjemite-tonalite-dacite (TTD) dacititic volcaniclastic rocks (Black Flag Group). The adjacent Gindalbie and Kurnalpi terranes are characterised by 2720 to 2680 Ma calc-alkaline volcanic successions representing oceanic island arcs. To the west of the EGST, the Youanmi Terrane is characterised by older, dominantly 3000 to 2900 Ma greenstone rocks and complex granitoid batholiths derived from older crustal sources. The southern Kalgoorlie Terrane comprises five elongate NNW-trending tectono-stratigraphic domains. Three principal marine komatiitic to basaltic suites, collectively referred to as the Kambalda Sequence, are present, including the wellpreserved massive to pillowed Lower and Upper Basalt Sequences, separated by the Komatiite Unit, as well as numerous dyke suites. The Lower Basalt Sequence comprises the Woolyeenyer Formation, Lunnon, Wongi, Scotia, Missouri Basalts and Burbanks and Penneshaw Formations, whereas the Upper Basalt Sequence contains the Paringa, Coolgardie, Big Dick, Devon Consols, Bent Tree, and Victorious basalts. ... Instead, the data suggest that discrete PGE-bearing phase (s) fractionated from the basaltic magmas. Such phases could be platinum group minerals (PGM; e.g. laurite) and/or alloys, or discrete PGE-rich nuggets. In summary, data on the three magmatic sequences record decompression melting of three distinct mantle sources: (1) long-term depleted asthenosphere for prevalent depleted tholeiitic and komatiitic basalts, and komatiites; (2) long-term enriched asthenosphere for Paringa Basalts and similarly enriched rocks; and (3) shortterm enriched continental lithospheric mantle (CLM) for HREE and Al-depleted dykes. Some of these rocks were contaminated by TTD-type melts. Taken with the existing geophysical and xenocrystic zircon data, the most straightforward interpretation is eruption of a zoned mantle plume at the margin of rifted continental lithosphere. The Kalgoorlie Terrane extensional basin was subsequently tectonically juxtaposed with the adjacent arc-like Gindalbie and Kurnalpi Terranes at approximately 2660 Ma at the start of orogeny in a Cordilleran-style orogen to form the EGST. Collectively, uncontaminated basalts have Nb/Th of 8-16, compared to 8-12 reported for the Lunnon basalts in a previous study. To a first approximation these asthenosphere melts are complementary to average Archean upper continental crust with Nb/Th =2, consistent with early growth of large volumes of continental crust rather than models of steady progressive growth.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2009

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