Archaean Ultramafic Flows in Canada and Their Relevance to the Geology of Nickel Sulfide Deposits

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 2
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1973
A sequence of ultramafic units, very well exposed in Munro township in the Abitibi areal, of the Cahadian Shield, exhibit features which indicate that they are sub-aqueous extrusions. They occur within a sequence of tholeiitic pillow lavas, thin graphitic sediments. and large differentiated sills. The units range from a few metres to more than 250 m in length and less than 1 m to over 30 m in thickness. Over 60 individual units, occurring as flat pancakes on top of one another, make up a total exposed thickness of 150 m. The units have formed from a magma composed of a very olivine-rich picritic liquid carrying up,to 40 per cent olivine phenocrysts in suspension. Different units display a variety,of cross-sectional profiles. As an example of the most extreme type of profile, a typical unit 2 m thick consists of a cap of highly jointed fine-grained quenched rock, 10-30 cm thick, which becomes coarser downwards, grading into a zone composed of radiating and criss- crossing skeletal olivine crystals forming the well-known spinifex texture. This becomes even coarser-grained downwards, with "books" of parallel platey olivine crystals developing sub-perpendicular to the plane of the units. Beneath this zone, which may be up to 1 m thick, there is an abrupt transition to a cumulus-textured rock composed of rounded
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