Isotopic data for Late Cretaceous intrusions and associated altered and mineralized rocks in the Big Belt Mountains, Montana
The quartz monzodiorite of Mount Edith and the concentrically zoned intrusive suite of Boulder Baldy constitute the principal Late Cretaceous igneous intrusions hosted by Mesoproterozoic sedimentary rocks of the Newland Formation in the Big Belt Mountains, Montana. These calc-alkaline plutonic masses are manifestations of subduction-related magmatism that prevailed along the western edge of North America during the Cretaceous. Radiogenic isotope data for neodymium, strontium, and lead indicate that the petrogenesis of the associated magmas involved a combination of (1) sources that were compositionally heterogeneous at the scale of the geographically restricted intrusive rocks in the Big Belt Mountains and (2) variable contamination by crustal assimilants also having diverse isotopic compositions. Altered and mineralized rocks temporally, spatially, and genetically related to these intrusions manifest at least two isotopically distinct mineralizing events, both of which involve major inputs from spatially associated Late Cretaceous igneous rocks. Alteration and mineralization of rock associated with the intrusive suite of Boulder Baldy requires a component characterized by significantly more radiogenic strontium than that characteristic of the associated igneous rocks. However, the source of such a component was not identified in the Big Belt Mountains. Similarly, altered and mineralized rocks associated with the quartz monzodiorite of Mount Edith include a component characterized by significantly more radiogenic strontium and lead, particularly as defined by 207Pb/204Pb values. The source of this component appears to be fluids that equilibrated with proximal Newland Formation rocks. Oxygen isotope data for rocks of the intrusive suite of Boulder Baldy are similar to those of subduction-related magmatism that include mantle-derived components; oxygen isotope data for altered and mineralized equivalents are slightly lighter.
|Isotopic data for Late Cretaceous intrusions and associated altered and mineralized rocks in the Big Belt Mountains, Montana
|Edward A. du Bray, Daniel M. Unruh, Albert H. Hofstra
|USGS Numbered Series
|USGS Publications Warehouse
|Central Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center