The Snake Creek-Williams Canyon pluton of the southern Snake Range crops out over an area of about 30 km2, about 60 km southeast of Ely, Nev. This Jurassic intrusion displays large and systematic chemical and mineralogical zonation over a horizontal distance of 5 km. Major-element variations compare closely with Dalyls average andesite-dacite-rhyolite over an SiO2 range of 63 to 76 percent.
For various reasons it was originally thought that assimilation played a dominant role in development of the Snake Creek-Williams Canyon pluton. However, based on modeling of more recently obtained trace element and isotopic data, we have concluded that the zonation is the result of in-situ fractional crystallization, with little assimilation at the level of crystallization.
This report summarizes data available for each of the mineral species present in the zoned intrusion. Special attention has been paid to trends We present oxygen and strontium isotopic data for olivine tholeiites, evolved (that is, differentiated and (or) contaminated) lavas, rhyolites, and crustal- derived xenoliths from the Snake River Plain. These data show that the olivine tholeiites are fairly uniform in d80 (5.1 to 6.2) and 87Sr/86Sr (0.7056 to 0.7076) and reveal no correlation between these ratios. The tholeiites are considered representative of mantle-derived magmas that have not interacted significantly with crustal material or meteoric water. The evolved lavas display a wider range in d 80 (5.6 to 7.6) and 87Sr/86Sr (0.708 to 0.717) with positive correlations between these ratios in some suites but not in others. Crustal xenoliths have high and variable 8?Sr/86Sr (0.715 to 0.830) and d80 values that vary widely (6.7 to 9.2) and are a few permil greater than d80 values of the Snake River basalts. Thus, isotopic data for the evolved lavas are permissive of small degrees of contamination by crustal rocks similar to the most d80-depleted xenoliths. The d80 enrichments in some evolved lavas also are consistent with crystal fractionation processes and do not necessarily require bulk interaction with crustal rocks. Enrichment in d80 but not in 87Sr/86Sr in one suite of evolved lavas suggests that crustal contamination may not be essential to the petrogenesis of those lavas. Other suites of evolved lavas display large variations in 87Sr/86Sr that reflect at least some selective contamination with 87St.
Bulk solid/liquid oxygen-isotope fractionation factors (a's) calculated for the evolved lavas from Craters of the Moon National Monument are comparatively large. These a's are dependent upon the nature and proportions of phases removed by crystal fractionation; basaltic lava a's differ from latitic lava a?s in accordance with different phenocryst assemblages in these rocks.
Snake River Plain rhyolites are isotopically distinct from both the analyzed crustal xenoliths and olivine tholeiites. Their origin remains poorly understood, but crustal or sub-crustal sources may be viable. In the first case, they must be derived by anatexis of material distinct from the analyzed crustal xenoliths. In the second case, they must be derived from material unlike the source for tholeiites. No cogenetic relation with the tholeiites seems likely on the basis of available data. that might relate to the variation in the chemical petrology of the pluton.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Oxygen and strontium isotopic studies of basaltic lavas from the Snake River plain, Idaho