Rocks of the northeast portion of the Colorado mineral belt form two petrographically, chemically and geographically distinct rock suites: (1) a silica oversaturated granodiorite suite; and (2) a silica saturated, high alkali monzonite suite. Rocks of the granodiorite suite generally have Sr contents less than 1000 ppm, subparallel REE patterns and initial 87Sr/ 86Sr ratios greater than 0.707. Rocks of the monzonite suite are restricted to the northeast part of the mineral belt, where few rocks of the granodiorite suite occur, and generally have Sr contents greater than 1000 ppm, highly variable REE patterns and 87Sr/86Sr initial ratios less than 0.706. Despite forming simple, smooth trends on major element variation diagrams, trace element data for rocks of the granodiorite suite indicate that they were not derived from a single magma. These rocks were derived from magmas having similar REE patterns, but variable Rb and Sr contents, and Rb/Sr ratios. The preferred explanation for these rocks is that they were derived by partial melting of a mixed source, which yielded pyroxene granulite or pyroxenite residues. The monzonite suite is chemically and petrographically more complex than the granodiorite suite. It is subdivided here into alkalic and mafic monzonites, and quartz syenites, based on the textural relations of their ferromagnesian phases and quartz. The geochemistry of these three rock types require derivation from separate and chemically distinct magma types. The preferred explanation for the alkalic monzonites is derivation from a heterogeneous mafic source, leaving a residue dominated by garnet and clinopyroxene. Early crystallization of sphene from these magmas was responsible for the severe depletion of the REE observed in the residual magmas. The lower Sr content and higher Rb/Sr ratios of the mafic monzonites requires a plagioclase-bearing source. The Sr-isotope systematics of the majority of these rocks are interpreted to be largely primary, and not the result of crustal contamination. The positive correlation of Rb/Sr and 87Sr/86Sr ratios for the least fractionated samples indicate that the sources from which parent magmas of both the granodiorite and monzonite suites were derived are Precambrian in age. ?? 1978 Springer-Verlag.
Additional publication details
Minor-element and Sr-isotope geochemistry of tertiary stocks, Colorado mineral belt