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The Jurassic gabbroic intrusions of Utpostane and Muren: insights into Karoo-related plutonism in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica

  • SAKU K. VUORI (a1) and ARTO V. LUTTINEN (a1)

Middle Jurassic continental flood basalts of Vestfjella, western Dronning Maud Land are cut by gabbroic intrusions that represent rare exposures of Karoo-related mafic plutons in Antarctica. The gabbros and numerous associated dolerites indicate high magmatic activity along the continental margin of Dronning Maud Land during the break-up of Gondwana. The scattered nunataks of Utpostane (∼25 km2) are dominated by olivine gabbronorite and olivine mela-gabbronorite, which can be grouped into four zones. The Utpostane intrusion exhibits inclined sheet-like geometry, is at least ∼3 km thick and shows moderate enrichment of incompatible element contents from its base towards the exposed roof contact (e.g. Zr from ∼15 to ∼60 ppm). High MgO contents (∼8–36 wt%) indicate that the parental magma of Utpostane was more primitive than a typical Karoo tholeiite (MgO ∼6 wt%). At Muren, gabbroic outcrops record a cross section of a ∼1.3 km thick inclined sheet-like intrusion. The intrusion can be divided to two main units, the upper and lower zones, which are dominated by olivine gabbro and gabbronorite, respectively. Parental melts of the geochemically differentiated upper zone and the homogeneous lower zone of Muren were typical low-MgO Karoo tholeiites, but they were chemically distinct and were emplaced as separate magma pulses.

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Antarctic Science
  • ISSN: 0954-1020
  • EISSN: 1365-2079
  • URL: /core/journals/antarctic-science
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