The Petrogenesis Of The Station Creek Igneous Complex And Associated Volcanics, Northern New England Orogen

Tang, Eng Hoo Joseph (2004) The Petrogenesis Of The Station Creek Igneous Complex And Associated Volcanics, Northern New England Orogen. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


The Station Creek Igneous Complex (SCIC) is one of the largest Middle-Late Triassic plutonic bodies in the northern New England Orogen of Eastern Australia. The igneous complex comprises of five plutons - the Woonga Granodiorite (237 Ma), Woolooga Granodiorite (234 Ma), Rush Creek Granodiorites (231 Ma) and Gibraltar Quartz Monzodiorite and Mount Mucki Diorite (227 Ma respectively), emplaced as high-level or epizonal bodies within the Devonian-Carboniferous subduction complex that resulted from a westward subduction along the east Australian margin. Composition of the SCIC ranges from monzogabbro to monzogranite, and includes diorite, monzodiorite, quartz monzodiorite and granodiorite.

The SCIC has the typical I-type granitoid mineralogy, geochemistry and isotopic compositions. Its geochemistry is characteristics of continental arc magma, and has a depleted-upper mantle signature with up to 14 wt% supracrustal components (87Sr/86Srinitial = 0.70312 to 0.70391; Nd = +1.35 to +4.9; high CaO, Sr, MgO; and low Ni, Cr, Ba, Rb, Zr, Nb, Ga and Y). The SCIC (SiO2 47%-76%) has similar Nd and Sr isotopic values to island-arc and continentalised island-arc basalts, which suggests major involvement of upper mantle sourced melts in its petrogenesis. SCIC comprises of two geochemical groups - the Woolooga-Rush Greek Granodiorite group (W-RC) and the Mount Mucki Diorite-Gibraltar Quartz Monzodiorite group (MMD-GQM). The W-RC Group is high-potassium, calc-alkalic and metaluminous, whereas the MMD-GQM Group is medium to high potassium, transitional calc-alkalic to tholeiitic and metaluminous. The two geochemical groups of the SCIC magmas are generated from at least two distinct sources - an isotopically evolved Neoproterozoic mantle-derived source with greater supracrustal component (10-14 wt%), and an isotopically primitive mafic source with upper mantle affinity. Petrogenetic modeling using both major and trace elements established that the variations within respective geochemical group resulted from fractional crystallisation of clinopyroxene, amphibole and plagioclase from mafic magma, and late fractionation of alkalic and albitic plagioclase in the more evolved magma. 

Volcanic rocks associated with SCIC are the North Arm Volcanics (232 Ma), and the Neara Volcanics (241-242 Ma) of the Toogoolawah Group. The major and trace element geochemistry of the North Arm Volcanics is similar to the SCIC, suggesting possible co-magmatic relationship between the SCIC and the volcanic rock. The age of the North Arm Volcanics matches the age of the fractionated Rush Creek Granodiorite, and xenoliths of the pluton are found within epiclastic flows of the volcanic unit. The Neara Volcanics (87Sr/86Sr= 0.70152-0.70330, 143Nd/144Nd = 0.51253-0.51259) differs isotopically from the SCIC, indicating a source region within the HIMU mantle reservoir (commonly associated with contaminated upper mantle by altered oceanic crust). The Neara Volcanics is not co-magmatic to the SCIC and is derived from partial melting upper-mantle with additional components from the subducting oceanic plate. 

The high levels emplacement of an isotopically primitive mantle-derived magma of the SCIC suggest periods of extension during the waning stage of convergence associated with the Hunter Bowen Orogeny in the northern New England Orogen. The geochemical change between 237 to 227 Ma from a depleted-mantle source with diminishing crustal components, to depleted-mantle fractionate, reflects a fundamental change in the source region that can be related to the tectonic styles. The decreasing amount of supracrustal component suggests either thinning of the subduction complex due to crustal attenuation, leading to the late Triassic extension that enables mantle melts to reach subcrustal levels.

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ID Code: 15902
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Gust, David & Grenfell, Alwyn
Keywords: Petrogenesis, petrography, geology, Station Creek Igneous Complex, Mount Mucki Diorite, Gibraltar Quartz Monzodiorite, Woolooga Granodiorite, Rush Creek Granodiorite, Woonga Granodiorite, Wratten Igneous Suite, andesitic volcanics, Highbury Volcanics, Neara Volcanics, North Arm Volcanics, evolution of magma, geochemistry, stable isotopes, radiogenic isotopes, trace elements, modelling, fractional crystallisation, differentiation, mineral chemistry, geothermometry, geobarometry, emplacement conditions, mantle and lithospheric mantle sources, mantle melting, mafic underplating, continental margin, calc-alkalic, crustal assimilation, magma evolution, 39Ar/40Ar dating, tectonic classification
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Department: Faculty of Science
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Eng Hoo Joseph Tang
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 03:52
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2017 14:40

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