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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Origin of rutile-bearing ilmenite Fe-Ti deposits in Proterozoic anorthosite massifs of the Grenville Province Morisset, Caroline-Emmanuelle


The Saint-Urbain and Big Island rutile-bearing ilmenite Fe-Ti oxide deposits are located in the composite 450 km² Saint-Urbain anorthosite (1055-1046 Ma, U-Pb zircon) and in the Lac Allard intrusion (1057-1062 Ma, U-Pb zircon) of the 11,000 km² Havre-Saint Pierre anorthosite suite, respectively, in the Grenville Province of Eastern Canada. Slow cooling rates of 3-4°C/m.y. are estimated for both anorthosites, based on combined U-Pb zircon/rutile/apatite and ⁴⁰Ar/³⁹ Ar biotite/plagioclase geochronology, and resulted from emplacement during the active Ottawan Orogeny. Slow cooling facilitated (1) diffusion of Zr from ilmenite and rutile, producing thin (10-100 microns) zircon rims on these minerals, and (2) formation of sapphirine via sub-so lidus reactions of the type: spinel + orthopyroxene + rutile ± corundum → sapphirine + ilmenite. New chemical and analytical methods were developed to determine the trace element concentrations and Hf isotopic compositions of Ti-based oxides. Rutile is a magmatic phase in the deposits with minimum crystallization temperatures of 781°C to 1016°C, calculated by Zr-in rutile thermometry. Ilmenite present in rutile-free samples has higher Xhem (hematite proportion in ilmenite), higher high field strength element concentrations (Xhem = 30-17; Nb = 16.1-30.5 ppm; Ta 1.28-1.70 ppm), and crystallized at higher temperatures than ilmenite with more fractionated compositions (Xhem = 21-11; Nb = 1.36-3.11 ppm; Ta = <0.18 ppm) from rutile-bearing rocks. The oxide deposits formed by density segregation and accumulation at the bottom of magma reservoirs, in conditions closed to oxygen, from magmas enriched in Fe and Ti. The initial ¹⁷⁶Hf/¹⁷⁷ Hf of rutile and ilmenite (Saint Urbain [SU] = 0.28219-0.28227, Big Island [BI] = 0.28218-0.28222), and the initial Pb isotopic ratios (e.g.²⁰⁶Pb/²⁰⁴ Pb: SU = 17.134-17.164, BI = 17.012-17.036) and ⁸⁷Sr/⁸⁶ Sr (SU = 0.70399-0.70532, BI = 0.70412-0.70427) of plagioclase from the deposits overlap with the initial isotopic ratios of ilmenite and plagioclase from each host anorthosite, which indicates that they have common parent magmas and sources. The parent magmas were derived from a relatively depleted mantle reservoir that appears to be the primary source of all Grenvillian anorthosite massifs and existed for --600 m.y. along the margin of Laurentia during the Proterozoic.

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