Granodiorites of the South Mountain Batholith (Nova Scotia, Canada) derived by partial melting of Avalonia granulite rocks beneath the Meguma terrane: Implications for the heat source of the Late Devonian granites of the Northern Appalachians

J. Gregory Shellnutt, Jaroslav Dostal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


The Late Devonian South Mountain Batholith (SMB) of Nova Scotia is the largest batholith of the northern Appalachians. The peraluminous granitic rocks range from biotite granodiorite to leucogranite. Samples collected from a drill core of the Scrag Lake granodioritic pluton of the western SMB are chemically homogeneous from the surface to a depth of ~1425 m. The homogeneous composition implies that the granodiorite was derived from a relatively homogeneous source and that country rock assimilation was not an important source for the parental magma. Equilibrium partial melt modeling of underlying sub-Meguma granulite rocks indicates that they are the primary source rocks of the granodiorites. We suggest that mantle-derived magmas intruded the lower crust and induce large-scale melting of the granulite basement rocks to produce the granodiorites. Fractional crystallization of the granodiorites plus assimilation of Meguma Supergroup metasediments likely produces the silica-rich rocks of the SMB. The cause of mantle melting is uncertain however it may be related to the transitioning of the northern Appalachians from a position above the deep mantle Pacific large low shear velocity province (LLSVP) to a higher shear velocity region of the mantle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-212
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Aug 1



  • Avalonia
  • Granulites
  • Late Devonian
  • Meguma terrane
  • Nova Scotia
  • South Mountain Batholith

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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