Spanning 2500 km along the western margin of North America are 780 Ma dykes, sills, and minor volcanic packages of the Gunbarrel Large Igneous Province. This study focuses on southern (northwestern United States) and central (northern British Columbia) Gunbarrel intrusions and metavolcanics rocks of the Irene and Huckleberry formation (Washington State). Southern Gunbarrel U–Pb ages range from 780 to 769 Ma and new U–Pb zircon dates for the Turah and Rogers Pass sills are 778.6 ± 0.7 and 778.7 ± 0.9 Ma, respectively. Southern Gunbarrel intrusions are medium-to coarse-grained diabases that are moderately evolved basaltic, continental tholeiites. Intrusions display negative Nb–Ta and positive Pb anomalies in normalized multiele-ment plots, and εNd 780 values vary from +3.6 to +1.5. The Irene and Huckleberry volcanic rocks are E-MORB in composition with higher εNd 780 (+5 to +6) and likely represent partial melts of a mantle plume responsible for the Gunbarrel event. Assuming an Irene and Huckleberry parental magma, mixing models indicate that the southern Gunbarrel magmas were crustally contam-inated, but local host rocks are not appropriate crustal contaminants. The modeling points to average upper crust as the crustal contaminant, with an εNd780 of approximately –2. This crustal contaminant likely resides on the craton impinged upon by the mantle plume. The remarkable geochemical homogeneity of Gunbarrel intrusions from the Yukon to Wyoming is best explained if primary, plume-derived E-MORB magmas were contaminated in large magma reservoirs near the plume centre and were then injected laterally into the crust 100s to 1000s of kilometres from the reservoir.

, , , , ,
Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences
Department of Earth Sciences

Mackinder, A. (Alana), Cousens, B, Ernst, R.E, & Chamberlain, K.R. (Kevin R.). (2019). Geochemical, isotopic, and U–Pb zircon study of the central and southern portions of the 780 Ma Gunbarrel large Igneous province in western Laurentia. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 56(7), 738–755. doi:10.1139/cjes-2018-0083