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Fractionation of palladium and platinum in a Mesozoic diabase sheet, Gettysburg basin, Pennsyvania: implications for mineral exploration

Journal of Geochemical Exploration

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Abstract

The York Haven diabase sheet displays clear-cut evidence of fractionation of Pd and Pt during differentiation of a high-Ti (about 1.1%) quartz-normative tholeiitic magma (York Haven type). At York Haven the sheet is about 750 m thick. It is characterized by abundant cumulus MgO-rich orthopyroxene (bronzite), and is markedly depleted in incompatible elements relative to the chilled margins. In contrast, at Reesers Summit, 16 km to the northwest, the sheet is about 500 m thick and consists of evolved rocks that have contents of incompatible elements two to three times greater than in the enclosing chilled margins. These evolved rocks represent complementary fractions to the cumulate rocks at York Haven. Mineralogic, petrologic and geochemical variations suggest considerable lateral migration and fractionation of the initial magma. Chilled margins of both sections have essentially the same Pd and Pt contents (10 ppb each) and similar Pd to Pt ratios (1.2). During differentiation, the cumulate rocks at York Haven were enriched in Pt and depleted in Pd, whereas at Reesers Summit, the low-MgO diabase and ferrogabbro zone were enriched in Pd relative to Pt. Anomalously high contents of Pd (to 165 ppb), Au (to 54 ppb), and Te (to 26 ppb) were found in an iron- (to 18%) and chlorine- (to 0.44%) rich ferrogabbro at Reesers Summit, suggesting possible late or post-magmatic enrichment of precious metals. Field relations, geochemical and petrographic data provide guides for further exploration for Pd and Pt in differentiated high-Ti quartz-normative diabase sheets. Based on present information, the most favorable sites for economic deposits are late-stage differentiates enriched in Fe and Cl. ?? 1990.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Fractionation of palladium and platinum in a Mesozoic diabase sheet, Gettysburg basin, Pennsyvania: implications for mineral exploration
Series title:
Journal of Geochemical Exploration
Volume
37
Issue:
1
Year Published:
1990
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Geochemical Exploration
First page:
75
Last page:
89
Number of Pages:
15