Preservation of magmatic signals in metavolcanics from Wedel Jarlsberg Land, SW Svalbard


The purpose of this study is to determine the role of metamorphism and thereby identify the preserved magmatic signature in metavolcanics from Wedel Jarlsberg Land in southwestern Svalbard. Samples have been collected from late Precambrian metavolcanics occurring within metasedimentary rocks of the Sofiebogen Group, as well as dikes cutting older metasedimentary rocks of the Deilegga Group. The volcanic rocks were metamorphosed under greenschist facies conditions during the Caledonian Orogeny. To investigate the role of metamorphism, we present petrography, major and trace element geochemistry, and use factor analysis as a tool to identify correlations that correspond to primary magmatic signals.

The metavolcanics are classified as subalkaline basalt to basaltic andesite and they contain relicts of primary clinopyroxene and plagioclase. The metamorphic minerals are actinolite, secondary plagioclase, chlorite and minerals belonging to the epidote group. Major element variations are highly scattered with no obvious trends observed. The HFSE and REE show strong trends attributed to fractional crystallization. The LILE, Th and La show elevated contents in some samples.

Factor analysis shows that the HFSE and REE are well correlated. The LILE form a separate well correlated group, while the major elements are not correlated, except for Na2O, Fe2O3 and CaO. The lack of correlation for major elements, as well as the lack of observed fractional crystallization trends between these elements suggests that they were modified by metamorphism. The strong correlation of HFSE and REE reflects the original geochemical signal generated by magmatic processes. The correlation of the LILE is consistent with their elevated composition implying the influence of crustal contamination processes, and though some variability is likely superimposed due to metamorphism, the primary magmatic record is not completely destroyed. We conclude that the HFSE and REE are not influenced by metamorphic processes and therefore provide robust records of magmatic processes.

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