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Type: Thesis
Title: The geology, petrology and geochemistry of the volcanics in the Kokatha Region, Gawler Ranges, South Australia
Author: Robertson, B. D.
Issue Date: 1989
School/Discipline: School of Physical Sciences
Abstract: Volcanics in the Kokatha region present a wider range of rock types than in other areas of the Gawler Ranges. High temperature Mg rich basalt flows through to rhyolite ignimbrites and air fall tuffs outcrop. Two magmatic cycles are observed with a cycle consisting of initial basalts, followed by voluminous dacites and rhyodacites. The final phase of the cycle following the rhydacites represents a period of more explosive activity resulting in the deposition of rhyolitic ignimbrites, air fall tuffs rhyolitic flows and pyroclastics. Geochemical data indicate both fractionation and mixing of fractionated components were active igneous processes resulting in the formation of layered magma chambers. The layering of the magma chambers being well illustrated in the stratigraphy of the volcanic pile. Further evidence for cyclic fractionation trends exists, with a relative depletion of incompatible elements in the second cycle when compared to the first cycle. Discrimination diagrams plot the rocks from Kokatha in the calc-alkaline field. Calc-alkaline series usually indicate subduction processes however volcanism at Kokatha is intracratonic. Rb-Sr data give an isochron age of 1588.4 ± 14 Ma suggesting the rocks from Kokatha are a part of the lower sequence of the Gawler Range Volcanics. Samples from both cycles produce the isochron indicating a melt from a homogeneous source. Neodymium data suggest a basaltic input from the mantle assimilating with lower crust is a likely source. A possible tectonic model for volcanism is presented. Initially a flux of mantle-derived basalt enters the lower crust. This provides heat for large scale melting. Assimilation of lower crustal melts and mantle-derived basalts may or may not occur however a homogeneous source is formed. Diapirism resulting in upper crustal magma chambers allows the formation of a layered magma chamber. Eruption of the magma results in the stratigraphic sequence of volcanic rock units.
Dissertation Note: Thesis (B.Sc.(Hons)) -- University of Adelaide, School of Physical Sciences, 1989
Where: Gawler Craton, northern Eyre Peninsula, South Australia
Keywords: Honours; Geology; Gawler Ranges Volcanics; geology; petrology; geochemistry; geochronology; volcanism; tectonics
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