The gabbro was intruded during the Middle Tertiary into a Mesozoic granulite-facies metamorphic environment dominated by strike-slip fault movement, compression and possible minor subduction. The asymmetric funnel form of the intrusion is due to subsidence from magmatic loading at high T, coupled with control from pre-existing structures, and not from tectonic compression. The intrusion is 12 X 27 km and has exposed cumulate layering of approx 6000 m. Probe analyses of olivines (24), Ca-poor pyroxenes (28), augites (22) and plagioclases (35) are tabulated. Cumulus mineral compositions in the basal cumulates are: olivine Fo86-71, plagioclase An81-63, bronzite Ca3Mg82Fe15 - Ca4Mg75Fe21, augite Ca45Mg47Fe8 - Ca42Mg48Fe10. The layered gabbro above the basal cumulates consists dominantly of lenticularly interlayered plagioclase-augite-orthopyroxene-olivine, plagioclase-augite- olivine and plagioclase-orthopyroxene-augite cumulates, the composition ranges being olivine Fo75-50, plagioclase An78-42, orthopyroxene and inverted pigeonite Ca2.8Mg76.4Fe20.8 - Ca1.4Mg31.0Fe67.6, augite Ca43.1Mg46.9Fe10.0 - Ca40.5Mg27.1Fe32.4. The most iron-rich pyroxene and albite-rich plagioclase occur in a zone near the margin of the intrusion and are probably related to exchange reactions with the country rock. It is considered that the gabbro did not accumulate by simple fractional crystallization of a single or even several large batches of magma, but by numerous influxes of previously fractionated magma from a deeper reservoir. Conditions of crystallization are interpreted as approx 1055oC, 5.4 kbar and fO2 near the wustite-magnetite buffer.-R.A.H.
Additional publication details
Structure and petrology of the La Perouse gabbro intrusion, Fairweather Range, southeastern Alaska.