Layering, Compaction and Post-Magmatic Processes in the Klokken Intrusion

  • Ian Parsons
  • Susanne M. Becker
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (ASIC, volume 196)


The Klokken complex in South Greenland (age 1166+3Ma) is a stock of layered syenite with an outer zone of gabbro. These rocks show sub-vertical layering and probably developed on the walls of an originally gabbroic magma chamber, which fed alkali-basaltic volcanism. This chamber was finally filled by a syenitic liquid which fractionated in situ. Although bulk chemical change throughout the syenites is slight, because of the predominance of alkali feldspar close to Ab60Or40, the mafic silicates (clinopyroxene, olivine, biotite and amphibole) show remarkably regular variation (largely in Fe/(Fe+Mg)) and can be used to elucidate the complex internal variation. On initial chamber-filling the magma congealed first against the walls, forming an inward-evolving zone of unlaminated syenite. Tese rocks enclosed a chamber 3×2km in which the inward-dipping (30–50°) layered series developed. A change in magma properties (perhaps decreasing viscosity as a result of build-up of dissolved water) caused a change to bottom accumulation and a cumulate pile of laminated syenite built up. A complementary roof zone of granular syenite with inverted cryptic variation developed. The variation of perthite lamellar periodicity in cryptoperthites with height shows that the roof of the complex was near to the present uppermost exposures, and from trace elements in feldspars it can be shown that the magma chamber was 2000m thick at the onset of the form-ation of the layered series. When the residual magma chamber was ~800m thick, sheets of granular syenite began to spall off the roof and descend onto the advancing cumulate mush, producing textural layering. In the laminated syenites macrorhythmic layering developed; it is inversely graded with an upward transition from feldspathic ‘normal’ rock to pyroxenite and, in some cases, fayalite-roçk. This style of layering is believed to be a result of variation in the crystal supply in a eutectic liquid, with negligible equilibrium crystallization interval, brought about by changes in relative growth and nucleation rates as magma undercooling varied in response to changing PH2O. Crystals grew in a stagnant boundary layer within a few m of the surface of the cumulate pile, and moved to their final resting place once they had grown to a critical dimension, overcoming the yield-strength of the enclosing magma. At the boundaries between granular and laminated syenites spectacular load structures are universally developed. Consideration of viscosity-density relationships suggest that the pore-liquid in the laminated syenites had very low density and viscosity; <5 wt % of supercritical water would provide mixtures of the required density. Evidence for retention and circulation of a deuteric fluid at immediately subsolidus temperatures is provided by discordant cryptic variation along the strike of mafic layers in the laminated syenites, and its persistence to low temperatures is shown by feldspar exsolution textures. The layered series was cut by a body of syenodiorite which perturbed the convective flow of the deuteric fluid and caused basic metasamatism in its vicinity. The gabbros were affected by a hydrothermal fluid from the envelope rocks, but the syenites interacted with a relatively fluorine-rich deuteric fluid.


Magma Chamber Granular Layer Flame Structure Alkali Feldspar Load Structure 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian Parsons
    • 1
  • Susanne M. Becker
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geology and Mineralogy Marischal CollegeUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenScotland

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