Rare earth element distributions in a proto-stratiform ultramafic intrusion

Mark J. Potts*, Kent C. Condie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Rare earth element (REE) abundances are reported for ten whole rock and eight mineral samples from the Preacher Creek ultramafic intrusion of southeastern Wyoming. Chondrite-normalized distribution patterns for the whole rocks exhibit a broad maximum between Sm and Gd and reflect the REE pattern of clinopyroxene, the major REE-bearing phase. Alteration of the primary mineral assemblages to actinolite and chlorite, which is generally minor, does not appear to have significantly affected the REE distributions. Absolute abundances of the REE in the rocks and constituent minerals increase as a function of differentiation, and relative abundances suggest an accompanying light REE enrichment. Trapped-liquid phases, which may be relatively enriched in REE, possibly account for some or all of the observed REE trends. The REE data, interpreted in terms of crystal-melt fractionation, suggest derivation of the intrusion by crystallization from a gabbroic magma having a REE distribution pattern similar to the parent magma of the Skaergaard stratiform complex. The results of this study are in accord with and complement a previous proposal that the Preacher Creek body formed in a manner analogous to major stratiform intrusions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-258
Number of pages14
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1971
Externally publishedYes


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