Tholeiitic Aleutian arc plutonism: The Finger Bay pluton, Adak, Alaska

Suzanne Mahlburg Kay*, Robert W. Kay, Hannes K. Brueckner, James L. Rubenstone

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


The earliest representatives in the sequence of Tertiary to Recent magmatic rocks on Adak island in the central Aleutians, are the Finger Bay Volcanics and associated small shallow-level gabbroic intrusives. The tholeiitic Finger Bay pluton (gabbro to quartz monzodiorite) is among the least altered representatives of this earliest period. The field relations, mineralogy, and geochemistry of the Finger Bay pluton contrast with the more recent calcalkaline plutons in the arc (e.g. on Adak, Hidden Bay pluton: 33 m.y. and on Kagalaska, Kagalaska pluton: 15 m.y.). Compared with the Hidden Bay pluton, the Finger Bay pluton is smaller (8 km2 versus 100 km2), has a greater proportion of gabbro (84% versus 5%), has a somewhat different mineralogy, and has higher whole rock and mafic mineral FeO/MgO ratios, higher K2O, and higher concentrations of incompatable elements in rocks of equivalent SiO2 (particularly for the more siliceous units). Magmatic amphibole occurs only in the most siliceous units in the Finger Bay pluton, whereas it is common in the calc-alkaline plutons. Except for the size, these differences parallel those between tholeiitic and calc-alkaline volcanic rocks from the active Aleutian volcanic centers. Textural, miner-alogical, and trace element analyses indicate that mixing of magmas and gabbros generated some of the rocks of intermediate (monzodiorite) composition in the Finger Bay pluton. Most of the differences in magmatic trends between the calc-alkaline and tholeiitic plutons are attributed to the physical conditions of magmatic evolution in the crust, rather than to differences in initial magmatic types. This conclusion rests on the similarity of fractionation-independent isotope ratios and trace element ratios in Aleutian magmas of all ages. In particular, compared to magmas of the north Pacific ocean basin (MORB, oceanic islands), Aleutian magmas show excess enrichment of Ba, K, Rb, and U relative to REE and high 207Pb/204Pb ratios for a given 206Pb/204Pb ratio. Recognition of tholeiitic series plutons in the arc provides direct evidence for magmatic conditions accompanying fractionation, and serves to emphasize the diversity of magmatic trends that are found over time and space at convergent plate margins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-116
Number of pages18
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1983
Externally publishedYes


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