Within a swarm of late middle Eocene subsilicic-alkalic diatremes, one diatreme 270 by 370 m and an associated dike contain common xenoliths of granulite and rare xenoliths of spinel peridotite and garnet peridotite. Six garnet lherzolite xenoliths have been found and these show a range of textures. Four are granular, and two are intensely sheared. Phlogopite is absent from the intensely sheared xenoliths and is thought to be primary in part in the granular xenoliths. Estimated temperatures and depths of equilibration of xenolith pyroxenes range from 920??C, 106 km (32 kbar) to 1315??C, 148 km (47 kbar). The xenoliths show increasing amounts of deformation with greater inferred depths of origin. The temperature-depth points suggest a segment of an Eocene geotherm for Montana which is similar in slope to the steep portion of the pyroxene-determined Lesotho geotherm (Boyd and Nixon, this volume) and is considerably steeper than typical calculated shield and continental geotherms at present. The steep trend could be a result of plate-tectonic shearing and magma ascension within an Eocene low-velocity zone. Preservation of intensely sheared textures requires rapid transport of material from about 150 km depth during active deformation of relatively dry rock. The occurrence of monticellite peridotite in this kimberlite diatreme suggests that magmas which crystallized to monticellite peridotite at relatively shallow depth could be one of the primitive types of kimberlite magma. ?? 1975.
Additional publication details
Garnet peridotite xenoliths in a Montana, U.S.A., kimberlite