Assimilation and high-pressure fractional crystallization (AFC) recorded by Paleo-proterozoic mafic dykes, Southeast Greenland

Birgitte Lassen, David Bridgwater, Stefan Bernstein, Minik Rosing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The northern margin of the Nagssugtoqidian mobile belt in Southeast Greenland exposes a suite of moderately fractionated Fe-rich tholeiitic dykes of Paleo-proterozoic age. The dykes were intruded during extension of the crust prior to the development of the Nagssugtoqidian mobile belt. Although the dykes recrystallized under amphibolite facies conditions during Proterozoic orogenesis, they suffered little deformation. Excluding two very evolved samples, the compositions range between: 7.8-4.6 wt.% MgO, 44.5-52.9 wt.% SiO2 and 1.8-6.9 wt.% total alkalis. One group of mafic dykes shows distinct mantle-normalized trace element patterns with high abundance of low field strength elements and light rare earth elements and low abundances of high field strength elements. These characteristics are consistent with a process of fractional crystallization coupled with assimilation of the regional granulitic crust. Relatively high rates of assimilation to fractional crystallization (0.7) are required to generate the level of incompatible trace elements. This points to lower crustal conditions, and the assimilation is believed to have taken place at the base of the continental crust. Trace element variations indicate fractionation at high pressure involving clinopyroxene as the main extracted phase. We evaluate two fractionation models corresponding to a pressure of 0.9 and 1.5 GPa, respectively, and show that the trace element variations require polybaric fractionation at pressures from a maximum of 1.5 GPa to a minimum of 0.9 GPa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • AFC processes
  • High-pressure fractionation
  • Mafic dykes
  • Southeast Greenland

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 4: Mineral Resources


Dive into the research topics of 'Assimilation and high-pressure fractional crystallization (AFC) recorded by Paleo-proterozoic mafic dykes, Southeast Greenland'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this