Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

A paleomagnetic and stable isotope study of the pluton at Rio Hondo near Questa, New Mexico: Implications for CRM related to hydrothermal alteration

January 1, 1986

Paleomagnetic and rock magnetic data combined with stable isotope data from the middle Tertiary pluton along the Rio Hondo in northern New Mexico suggest that its magnetic remanence has both thermal (TRM) and high-temperature chemical (CRM) components. Oxygen isotope temperatures indicate that magnetite associated with the more rapidly cooled higher levels of the pluton, and with mafic inclusions and cogenetic rhyolitic dikes sampled at lower levels of exposure, ceased subsolidus recrystallization and isotopic exchange above its Curie temperature (580°C) in the presence of a magmatic fluid. Continued cooling imparted a TRM to these portions of the pluton. The more slowly cooled granodiorite at lower levels has quartz-magnetite isotopic temperatures that are below the Curie temperature of magnetite implying that its magnetization is high-temperature CRM. Sub-Curie isotopic temperatures for other granitic plutons in the western U.S.A. suggest that CRM may be commonly derived from subsolidus interactions between magnetite and magmatic fluids in plutonic rocks. A meteoric-hydrothermal system generated by the cooling Rio Hondo pluton, and not by younger adjacent intrusions, resulted in limited alteration along zones of high permeability near the southern margin of the Rio Hondo pluton, and in more prevasive alteration of the pluton to the north. The meteoric-hydrothermal alteration occurred at relatively high temperatures (> 350°C) and, with the exception of local chloritization, caused little visible alteration of the rocks. The isotopic ratios indicate that little of the magnetite could have grown from or exchanged with a meteoric-hydrothermal fluid.

Publication Year 1986
Title A paleomagnetic and stable isotope study of the pluton at Rio Hondo near Questa, New Mexico: Implications for CRM related to hydrothermal alteration
DOI 10.1016/0012-821X(86)90069-5
Authors J. T. Hagstrum, C.M. Johnson
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Index ID 70015676
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse