From Jurassic shores to Cretaceous plutons: Geochemical evidence for paleoalteration environments of metavolcanic rocks, eastern California

Sorena S. Sorensen, George C. Dunne, R. Brooks Hanson, Mark D. Barton, Jennifer Becker, Othmar T. Tobisch, Richard S. Fiske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Volcanic and plutonic rocks exposed in east-central California record a long history of metasomatism and/or metamorphism within the Mesozoic Cordilleran continental arc. We use whole-rock and mineral elemental compositions, along with standard and cathodoluminescence petrography to characterize alteration histories of Late Triassic to Middle Jurassic metavolcanic rocks in the Ritter Range, White-Inyo Mountains, and Alabama Hills. Although alkali-metasomatism is wide-spread and pervasive, ratios and abundances of Ce, Th, Tb, and Ta suggest that mafic protoliths from the White-Inyo Mountains were shoshonitic, whereas those from the Ritter Range were calc-alkaline. Alkali exchange apparently modified the compositions of many metavolcanic rocks. Much of this metasomatism may have occurred at low-temperature (T) conditions, and attended or shortly post-dated deposition of the volcanic protoliths. High δ18O values for K-rich metatuffs from the Ritter Range suggest that the K-metaso-matizing fluid was low-T seawater. In contrast, low δ18O values for K-rich metatuffs from the Alabama Hills and Inyo Mountains seem to reflect rock interaction with meteoric water prior to contact metamorphism. Jurassic metatuffs deposited in marine (Ritter Range) and nonmarine (Alabama Hills, Inyo Mountains) settings display similar degrees of K for Na (or Ca) exchange that were affected by isotopically distinct fluids. Some alkali-metasomatism of Jurassic metavolcanic rocks is related to Cretaceous plutonism. In the Ritter Range and Alabama Hills, these effects are localized around pluton contacts, appear to be more vein related than pervasive, and overprint K-metasomatized assemblages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-343
Number of pages18
JournalBulletin of the Geological Society of America
Volume110
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology

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