Geochemistry and origin of metamorphosed mafic rocks from the Lower Paleozoic Moretown and Cram Hill Formations of North-Central Vermont: Delamination magmatism in the western New England appalachians

American Journal of Science
By: , and 

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Abstract

The Moretown Formation, exposed as a north-trending unit that extends from northern Vermont to Connecticut, is located along a critical Appalachian litho-tectonic zone between the paleomargin of Laurentia and accreted oceanic terranes. Remnants of magmatic activity, in part preserved as metamorphosed mafic rocks in the Moretown Formation and the overlying Cram Hill Formation, are a key to further understanding the tectonic history of the northern Appalachians. Field relationships suggest that the metamorphosed mafic rocks might have formed during and after Taconian deformation, which occurred at ca. 470 to 460 Ma. Geochemistry indicates that the sampled metamorphosed mafic rocks were mostly basalts or basaltic andesites. The rocks have moderate TiO2 contents (1–2.5 wt %), are slightly enriched in the light-rare earth elements relative to the heavy rare earths, and have negative Nb-Ta anomalies in MORB-normalized extended rare earth element diagrams. Their chemistry is similar to compositions of basalts from western Pacific extensional basins near volcanic arcs. The metamorphosed mafic rocks of this study are similar in chemistry to both the pre-Silurian Mount Norris Intrusive Suite of northern Vermont, and also to some of Late Silurian rocks within the Lake Memphremagog Intrusive Suite, particularly the Comerford Intrusive Complex of Vermont and New Hampshire. Both suites may be represented among the samples of this study. The geochemistry of all samples indicates that parental magmas were generated in supra-subduction extensional environments during lithospheric delamination.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Geochemistry and origin of metamorphosed mafic rocks from the Lower Paleozoic Moretown and Cram Hill Formations of North-Central Vermont: Delamination magmatism in the western New England appalachians
Series title American Journal of Science
DOI 10.2475/09.2015.02
Volume 315
Issue 9
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher American Journal of Science
Contributing office(s) Eastern Geology and Paleoclimate Science Center
Description 37 p.
First page 809
Last page 845