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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The Renard 65 kimberlites : emplacement-related processes in Kimberley-type pyroclastic kimberlites Gaudet, Matthew A.


The Renard 65 pipe is located in the Otish Mountains, Quebec, Canada. It is one of nine diamondiferous kimberlite pipes in the ~ 640 Ma Renard cluster and is the largest of four pipes in the Renard Mine reserve. Detailed characterizations of the petrographic and compositional features of these pipe-infilling kimberlite rock types supports their classification into three geological units: Kimb65a, Kimb65b, and Kimb65d. These pipe-infilling kimberlites are interpreted to represent the solidified products of two separate magmatic events: Phase A containing Kimb65a, and Phase B containing Kimb65b and Kimb65d. This research demonstrates that the interclast matrix modal mineralogy (diopside + phlogopite + serpentine) in pyroclastic rock types in the Renard 65 kimberlites are inconsistent with origins by hydrothermal alteration involving hydrous meteoric fluids. Detailed investigation of the reactions between granitic and gneissic crustal xenolith lithologies and their host kimberlites, suggests that reactions occur at both magmatic and subsolidus temperatures involving significant volumetric proportions of xenoliths. The assimilation of crustal xenoliths, and contamination of the kimberlite magmas primarily by Si, are demonstrated to result in enhanced degassing of magmatic volatiles during emplacement and stabilization of the hybrid groundmass assemblage diopside + phlogopite + serpentine over the non hybrid groundmass assemblage calcite + phlogopite + serpentine. It is thus interpreted that the spatial distribution of transitional to Kimberley-type pyroclastic kimberlite rock types, which are characterized by diopside-rich and calcite-poor matrix assemblages as observed in the Renard 65 pipe and other similar pipes, is a function of crustal xenolith distribution in the magma during emplacement. This model not only accounts for the features of Kimberley-type pyroclastic kimberlite rock types, but also the spatial distribution of these rock types in numerous pipes which is often not consistent with lateral textural gradations as has been previously proposed. These results further indicate that the different mineralogy and textures of Fort-à-la-Corne-type pyroclastic kimberlites with respect to Kimberley-type pyroclastic kimberlites may be a consequence of not only the structural controls imparted by the host rock lithology with implications for emplacement-related processes, but also the absence of contamination of the magma by silicic crustal xenoliths.

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