Igneous Structures, Magma Transport, and Crystallization in Simple and Complex Plumbing Systems of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, USA
Friday, 19 December 2014
Recent studies showing the importance of sills and sheets in crustal magmatic plumbing at rifted continental margins prompt re-examination of the Mesozoic Central Atlantic Magmatic Province, eastern North America. The Newark-Gettysburg Basins in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, contain Jurassic diabase (dolerite) intrusions and lava flows. Most intrusions are considered a single sheet or saucer sill. However, at the W end of the Newark Basin the Jacksonwald Syncline (JS) includes small plutons, sills, dikes, and a lava flow; and the Morgantown Pluton (MP) is a connected network of sills and inclined sheets with the 250-m-wide Birdsboro Dike forming the E side. After crystallization most intrusions were tilted or folded and dip/plunge toward the NW border faults. In the SE part of the MP, small magmatic pipes (originally vertical) and modal layering were tilted 20 degrees NNW, similar to plunge of the JS. If tilting was due to movement along the border faults then the basins expose cross-sections of a few kms from shallower (N/NW) to deeper (S/SE) crustal levels. There is a difference of 3.5-6 km in paleo-depth between basal S/SE units and upper N/NW units within JS, MP, and York Haven Sheet, consistent with estimated thicknesses of Triassic sedimentary rocks. Basal cumulus and upper Fe-rich and granophyric zones occur in most Newark-Gettysburg Basin intrusions implying similar magma transport and crystallization processes regardless of plumbing geometry. MELTS modeling of early orthopyroxene crystallization at high P suggests that opx-rich diabase marks magma feeder locations; at least 2 feeders at different emplacement levels occur in the MP. Modally-layered opx cumulus in the MP basal sill accumulated from dozens of m-scale magma pulses with lateral migration of most liquid. Distributions of distinctive phenocrysts provide insights into magma transport and crystal sorting. MP and JS chilled margins and lava flows have almost identical REE and other incompatible elements suggesting a common magma source and open system with inter-connected intrusive network and extrusive activity. Chills and lavas are high-Ti qtz-normative tholeiite (York Haven-type, Orange Mtn basalt). More evolved diabase similar to Preakness Basalt may be evidence that the Birdsboro Dike became the primary conduit for younger magmas.