Genesis of the Permian Ophiolites and Ultramafics in the Dun Mountain Terrane, New Zealand

Sivell W,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
We discuss the origin of the Patuki ophiolite complex and the Dun Mountain ultramafics of Middle Permian age in Nelson, New Zealand. It is shown that the Patuki volcanics have strong affinities with tholeiites of mid ocean spreading ridges transitional to alkaline basalts similar to those from fracture zones and ocean islands. At D'Urville Island, typically pillowed alkaline basalts enriched in rare light rare earth elements (LREE) - ophitic spilites - are associated with LREE-depleted (N-MORB-like) tholeiitic spilites with intergranular textures. The metabasalts are associated with a wide variety of sediments, and with sediments are intruded by conformable sheets of serpentinite. Coarsely crystalline mafic and plagiogranitic rocks signify vents and magma chambers, and we propose that the group developed as ocean crust from a slowly spreading mid-ocean ridge, transform association, overwhelmed at intervals by volcaniclastic sediment. Detailed mapping at a scale of 1:5000, and stratigraphic and geochemical development and structural coherence, show that the group is not melange in the Franciscan sense. The Dun Mountain Group, of serpentinites, peridotites, dunites, gabbros and other rocks, intruded the upper Patuki Group as a linear series of aligned pods and sheets. They carried up with them tectonic inclusions of older rock, which were metasomatised, and altered wall-rock, and one low angle dike passed several hundred metres into overl~ing sediment, at moderate temperatures (500 C). The rocks did not act as a floor (and alleged source) for the Patuki, but partly post-dated and were emplaced into Patuki.
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