Multiphase emplacement of impact melt sheet into the footwall: Offset dykes of the Sudbury Igneous Complex, Canada

1S. A. Prevec,1S. H. Büttner
Meteoritics & Planetary Science (in Press) Link to Article []
1Department of Geology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa
Published by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons

The offset dykes of the Sudbury Igneous Complex comprise two distinct main magmatic facies, a high‐temperature inclusion‐free quartz diorite (QD), and a subsequently intruded lower temperature, mineralized, and inclusion‐rich quartz diorite (MIQD). The MIQD facies was emplaced after QD dykes had solidified. Key controlling factors of the two injection phases were (1) the development of a coherent roof, which confined the melt sheet; and (2) the periodic increase of melt and fluid pressure within the melt sheet. For the injection of QD melt, the melt pressure exceeded the normal stress acting on fracture surfaces. For the later refracturing of QD dykes and the injection of MIQD melt, the melt pressure increased further, exceeding the tensile strength of, and the normal stress acting on, QD dykes. We associate the melt pressure increase required for both injection episodes with degassing and devolatilization of cooling melt close to the roof. Within the hydraulically connected melt column, the related pressure increase was transmitted to the base of the melt sheet where QD and MIQD melt was extracted into dykes. Residual core to rim thermal gradients in the QD dykes produced tensile strength gradients, accounting for the typically central location of MIQD dykes within QD dykes.


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