Precambrian quartz dolerites and metadolerites of the central Bighorn Mountains form dikes that intrude a Precambrian metamorphic and igneous terrane typical of the Laramide uplifts of the middle Rocky Mountains. They have a restricted range of major- and trace-element compositions and are typical of basalts in the middle stages of tholeiitic fractionation. Fractionation in the direction of iron enrichment occurred by removal of plagioclase. Average element concentrations of the two groups are nearly identical to one another, are comparable to those in Archean metabasalts from numerous shield areas, and are intermediate between those of modern oceanic tholeiites and continental tholeiites. These average concentrations suggest a depth of magma generation and thickness of crust intermediate between those for the oceanic and continental environments. ?? 1977.
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Geochemistry of Precambrian mafic dikes, central Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming, U.S.A.