A textural record of solidification and cooling in the Skaergaard Intrusion, East Greenland

Marian B. Holness, Christian Tegner, Troels F.D. Nielsen, Gemma Stripp, Stearns A. Morse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


The clinopyroxene-plagioclase-plagioclase dihedral angle, Θcpp, in gabbroic cumulates records the time-integrated thermal history in the sub-solidus and provides a measure of textural maturity. Variations in Θcpp through the Layered Series of the Skaergaard intrusion, East Greenland, demonstrate that the onset of crystallization of clinopyroxene (within LZa), Fe-Ti oxides (at the base of LZc) and apatite (at the base of UZb) as liquidus phases in the bulk magma is recorded by a stepwise increase in textural maturity, related to an increase in the contribution of latent heat to the total heat loss to the surroundings and a reduction in the specific cooling rate at the crystallization front of the intrusion. The onset of both liquidus Fe-Ti oxide and apatite crystallization is marked by a transient increase in textural maturity, probably linked to overstepping before nucleation. Textural maturation at pyroxene-plagioclase-plagioclase triple junctions effectively ceases in the uppermost parts of the Layered Series as a result of the entire pluton cooling below the closure temperature for dihedral angle change, which is ≤1075°C. Solidification of the Layered Series of the Skaergaard intrusion occurred via the upwards propagation of a mush zone only a few metres thick.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2359-2377
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Petrology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007


  • Asthenosphere
  • Magma
  • Mantle
  • Olivine
  • Partial melting

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 4: Mineral Resources


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