In the Klamath Mountains, voluminous tonalite-trondhjemite magmatism was characteristic of a short period of time from about 144 to 136 Ma (Early Cretaceous). It occurred about 5 to l0 m.y. after the ??? 165 to 159 Ma Josephine ophiolite was thrust beneath older parts of the province during the Nevadan orogeny (thrusting from ??? 155 to 148 Ma). The magmatism also corresponds to a period of slow or no subduction. Most of the plutons crop out in the south-central Klamath Mountains in California, but one occurs in Oregon at the northern end of the province. Compositionally extended members of the suite consist of precursor gabbroic to dioritic rocks followed by later, more voluminous tonalitic and trondhjemitic intrusions. Most plutons consist almost entirely of tonalite and trondhjemite. Poorlydefined concentric zoning is common. Tonalitic rocks are typically of the Iow-Al type but trondhjemites are generally of the high-Al type, even those that occur in the same pluton as low-Al tonalite??. The suite is characterized by low abundances of K2O, Rb, Zr, and heavy rare earth elements. Sr contents are generally moderate ( ???450 ppm) by comparison with Sr-rich arc lavas interpreted to be slab melts (up to 2000 ppm). Initial 87Sr/ 86Sr, ??18O, and ??Nd are typical of mantle-derived magmas or of crustally-derived magmas with a metabasic source. Compositional variation within plutons can be modeled by variable degrees of partial melting of a heterogeneous metabasaltic source (transitional mid-ocean ridge to island arc basalt), but not by fractional crystallyzation of a basaltic parent. Melting models require a residual assemblage of clinopyroxene+garnet??plagioclase??amphibole; residual plagioclase suggests a deep crustal origin rather than melting of a subducted slab. Such models are consistent with the metabasic part of the Josephine ophiolite as the source. Because the Josephine ophiolite was at low T during Nevadan thrusting, an external heat source was probably necessary to achieve significant degrees of melting; heat was probably extracted from mantle-derived basaltic melts, which were parental to the mafic precursors of the tonalite-trondhjemite suite. Thus, under appropriate tectonic and thermal conditions, heterogeneous mafic crustal rocks can melt to form both low- and high-Al tonalitic and trondhjemitic magmas; slab melting is not necessary.
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Source and tectonic implications of tonalite-trondhjemite magmatism in the Klamath Mountains