A compositionally expanded array of granitic (s.l.) magmas intruded the > 2 Ga crust of the Old Woman Mountains area between 160 and 70 Ma. These magmas were emplaced near the eastern (inland) edge of the Jurassic/Cretaceous arcs of western North America, in an area where magma flux, especially during the Jurassic, was considerably lower than to the west. The Jurassic intrusives and over half of the Cretaceous intrusives are predominantly metaluminous and variable in composition; a major Cretaceous suite comprises only peraluminous monzogranite. Only the Jurassic intrusions show clear evidence for the presence of mafic liquids. All units, including the most mafic rocks, reveal isotopic evidence for a significant crustal component. However, none of the Mesozoic intrusives matches in isotopic composition either average pre-intrusion crust or any major unit of the exposed crust. Elemental inconsistencies also preclude closed system derivation from exposed crust. Emplacement of these magmas, which doubled the volume of the mid- to upper crust, did not dramatically change its elemental composition. It did, however, affect its Nd and especially Sr isotopic composition and modify some of the distinctive aspects of the elemental chemistry. We propose that Jurassic magmatism was open-system, with a major influx of mantle-derived mafic magma interacting strongly with the ancient crust. Mesozoic crustal thickening may have led to closed-system crustal melting by the Late Cretaceous, but the deep crust had been profoundly modified by earlier Mesozoic hybridization so that crustal melts did not simply reflect the original crustal composition. The clear evidence for a crustal component in magmas of the Old Woman Mountains area may not indicate any fundamental differences from the processes at work elsewhere in this or other magmatic arcs where the role of pre-existing crust is less certain. Rather, a compositionally distinctive, very old crust may simply have yielded a more readily identifiable crustal fingerprint. The same processes that were involved here-mafic magma influx, hybridization, and remelting of hybridized crust-are likely to be typical of arc settings. ?? 1994.
Additional publication details
Anatexis, hybridization and the modification of ancient crust: Mesozoic plutonism in the Old Woman Mountains area, California