Isotopic and trace element variations in the Ruby Batholith, Alaska, and the nature of the deep crust beneath the Ruby and Angayucham Terranes

Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth
By: , and 



Thirty-six samples from plutons of the Ruby batholith of central Alaska were collected and analyzed for 22 trace elements, and many were analyzed for the isotopic compositions of Sr, Nd, O, and Pb in order to delimit the processes that produced the diversity of granodioritic to granitic compositions, to deduce the nature of the source of magmas at about 110 Ma, and to characterize the deep crust beneath the Ruby and Angayucham terranes. Plutons of the batholith show a substantial range in initial 87Sr/86Sr (SIR) of 0.7055–0.7235 and a general decrease from southwest to northeast. Initial 143Nd/144Nd (NIR) have a range of 0.51150–0.51232 and generally increase from southwest to northeast. The δ18O values for most whole rocks have a range of +8.4 to +11.8 and an average of +10.3‰. Rb, Cs, U, and Th show large ranges of concentration, generally increase as SiO2 increases, and are higher in southwest than in northeast plutons. Sr, Ba, Zr, Hf, Ta, Sc, Cr, Co, and Zr show large ranges of concentration and generally decrease as SiO2 increases. Rare earth elements (REE) show fractionated patterns and negative Eu anomalies. REE concentrations and anomalies are larger in the southwest than in the northeast plutons. Uniformity of SIR and NIR in Sithylemenkat and Jim River plutons suggests a strong role for fractional crystallization or melting of uniform magma sources at depth. Isotopic variability in Melozitna, Ray Mountains, Hot Springs, and Kanuti plutons suggests complex magmatic processes such as magma mixing and assimilation, probably combined with fractional crystallization, or melting of a complex source at depth. The large variations in SIR and NIR in the batholith require a variation in source materials at depth. The southwestern plutons probably had dominantly siliceous sources composed of metamorphosed Proterozoic and Paleozoic upper crustal rocks. The northeastern plutons probably had Paleozoic sources that were mixtures of siliceous and intermediate to mafic crustal rocks. The inferred sources could well have been the higher-metamorphic-grade lithologic equivalents of the exposed Proterozoic(?) to Paleozoic schists, orthogneisses, and metavolcanic rocks of Ruby terrane, the silicic portions of which are quite radiogenic. The deeper crustal sources that gave rise to most of the batholithic magmas are inferred to be similar under both the Ruby metamorphic terrane and the Angayucham ophiolitic terrane.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Isotopic and trace element variations in the Ruby Batholith, Alaska, and the nature of the deep crust beneath the Ruby and Angayucham Terranes
Series title Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth
DOI 10.1029/JB094iB11p15941
Volume 94
Issue B11
Year Published 1989
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) Eastern Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center
Description 15 p.
First page 15941
Last page 15955
Country United States
State Alaska
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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