Contact and fracture ultramafic assemblages from Norway: Rb-Sr evidence for crustal contamination

Hannes K. Brueckner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Strontium isotopes are used as tracers of crustal contamination of alpine-type ultramafic rocks from the Basal Gneiss Complex of the Caledonides of southern Norway. Minerals from anhydrous assemblages that occur in the cores of these ultramafic lenses give Sr87/Sr86 ratios (0.7011 to 0.7047) that reflect the expected ambient Sr87/Sr86 conditions of the ancient upper mantle. Rb-Sr evidence for crustal contamination is found in hydrous assemblages that occur within fractures and around the margins of the ultramafio bodies. Olivine, enstatite, amphibole, and magnesite from these assemblages have present-day Sr87/Sr86 ratios (0.7049 to 0.7085) that are significantly higher than those of compositionally equivalent minerals from the interiors of the ultramafic bodies. The high Sr87/Sr86 values were acquired as a result of the reaction between the ultramafic rock and ion-charged hydrous solutions carrying strontium with the ambient Sr87/Sr86 ratio (around 0.713) of the enclosing country rook during the waning phases of the Caledonian Orogeny. Mineral separates from the interiors of these ultramafic bodies can yield useful information on the ancient upper mantle. Wholerock samples, however, will show some evidence of contamination from the crust as a result of the formation of at least trace amounts of secondary hydrous minerals. Most whole-rook Sr87/Sr86 ratios from alpine-type ultramafic rocks from other orogenic belts show evidence of this contamination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-48
Number of pages10
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1975
Externally publishedYes


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