The geochemistry and petrogenesis of the Paleoproterozoic du Chef dyke swarm, Québec, Canada
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
The du Chef dyke swarm in southern Québec, Canada is composed of numerous northeast trending, greenschist-amphibolite facies, gabbronoritic dykes that crop out either side of the Grenville Front. The age of the du Chef swarm (2408 ± 3 Ga) has led previous authors to suggest a genetic link between the du Chef dykes and coeval swarms (including the Ringvassøy, Scourie, Widgemooltha and Sebanga) preserved on other Archean cratons. These now disparate dyke swarms are proposed to have formed in response to mantle plume-induced continental breakup during the early Proterozoic. This work represents the first geochemical study of the du Chef dykes and shows that the swarm evolved through fractional crystallisation of a tholeiitic parent magma that remained largely uncontaminated during its residence in, and ascent through, the crust. We also show that the primary magma for the du Chef swarm was derived through partial melting of an enriched region of the mantle, with a similar trace element composition to the modern-day HIMU reservoir and that the magma produced was significantly hotter than the ambient mantle at the time. We contend that the du Chef dykes are the product of early Proterozoic mantle plume magmatism and may help pinpoint an ancient hotspot centre that initiated continental break up along the margin of the Superior Craton at ∼2.4 Ga. Other dyke swarms proposed to be genetically linked with the du Chef dykes record a distinctly different petrogenetic history to that of the du Chef dykes, as evidenced by their more volcanic arc-like geochemical signature. These contrasting geochemical signatures in supposedly cogenetic continental tholeiitic rocks may be evidence of early Proterozoic mantle heterogeneity sampled by the rising du Chef mantle plume.
This study forms part of a Ph.D. dissertation undertaken by T.J.R.C. at the University of Cardiff, United Kingdom. A. Okrugin's assistance in the field is acknowledged. J. Strongman, J. Fletcher and J. Pett are thanked for their permission of use of the petrographic equipment at Petrolab Ltd. L. Badham, A. Oldroyd, L. Woolley and P. Fisher are thanked for their help in preparation and analysis of samples. This is publication number 38 of the Large Igneous Provinces, Supercontinent Reconstruction, Resource Exploration Project (www.supercontinent.org).
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Elsevier via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 250, pp. 151 - 166