Zircon Hf isotopic evidence for mixing of crustal and silicic mantle-derived magmas in a zoned granite pluton, Eastern Australia

S. E. Shaw, R. H. Flood*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    100 Citations (Scopus)


    Zircon Hf isotopic data from a zoned pluton of the Moonbi supersuite, New England batholith, eastern Australia, are consistent with magma mixing between two silicic melts, each derived from isotopically distinct sources. Although zircons from three zones within the Walcha Road pluton give a U-Pb crystallization age of 249 ± 3 Ma, zircon populations from each zone have a range in εHf. Zircons from the mafic hornblende-biotite monzogranite pluton margin and intermediate zones have εHf ∼ +5 to +11, whereas those from the more felsic centre of the pluton have εHf ∼ +7 to +16, representing a total variation of 11 εHf units. The Lu-Hf depleted mantle model ages range from ∼650 to 250 Ma, with the younger zircons present only in the felsic pluton centre. The variation in εHf indicates the involvement of silicic melts from at least two sources, one a crustal component with a Neoproterozoic model age and the other a primitive mantle-derived component with model ages similar to the U-Pb crystallization age of the pluton. The zircons reflect the isotopic compositions of the different proportions of crustal-derived silicic melt, relative to mantle-derived silicic melt, between melt generation and final pluton construction. The Walcha Road pluton is considered to have formed by incremental assembly of progressively more felsic melt batches resulting from mixing, replenishment and crystal-melt separation, with final pluton construction involving mechanical concentration as zones of crystal mush. The zoned pluton and, more broadly, the Moonbi supersuite provide examples of magma mixing by which the more silicic units have more juvenile isotopic compositions as a result of increasing proportions of residual melt from basalt fractionation, relative to crustal partial melt.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)147-168
    Number of pages22
    JournalJournal of Petrology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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