Geochemistry and geochronology of proterozoic tholeiite dykes of east antarctica: evidence for mantle metasomatism
Two episodes of tholeiite dyke emplacement have been identified in Archaean high-grade metamorphics of the Napier Complex in Enderby Land. Middle Proterozoic Amundsen dykes are typical continental tholeiites and most of the chemical variation in individual suites can be explained in terms of different degrees of partial melting and low-pressure crystal fractionation. Group I Amundsen tholeiites were derived from a relatively homogeneous source region 1,190±200 m.y. ago, whereas that of the group II Amundsen tholeiites was chemically and isotopically heterogeneous. Group II dykes have various degrees of enrichment in incompatible elements, and commonly show normalised trace element abundance patterns with negative Nb anomalies. These features imply variable metasomatism of the source region by a volatile-rich fluid phase (rather than a melt of any observed igneous composition) enriched in K, Rb, Ba, Th, and possibly La and Ce. Early Proterozoic (2,350±48 m.y.) tholeiites were emplaced at considerable depths in the crust during the waning stages of granulite-facies metamorphism and include a high-Mg suite of possible komatiitic affinity, ranging in composition from hypersthene-rich tholeiite (norite) to quartz-rich tholeiite. They tend to have higher ratios of highly to moderately incompatible elements (e.g., K/Zr, K/Ce), and larger Nb anomalies (i.e., higher K/Nb) compared with middle Proterozoic tholeiites, suggesting derivation from more enriched source regions. Isotopic data are not compatible with significant crustal contamination, but constrain source metasomatism to a time immediately before emplacement. Metasomatism of the source region of the much younger group I tholeiites may have been contemporaneous with that of the high-Mg suite.