Rapid determination of initial 87 Sr/ 86 Sr and estimation of the Rb-Sr age of plutonic rocks by LA-ICPMS of variably altered feldspars: An example from the 1.14 Ga Great Abitibi Dyke, Ontario, Canada

G. F. Zellmer, J. I. Kimura, Q. Chang, J. G. Shellnutt, M. Sas, P. Shane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Sr isotope analysis of plutonic rocks is an important method for deriving the provenance and age of ancient magmatic episodes, and the petrogenetic processes operating during intrusive activity. We determined the 87 Sr/ 86 Sr isotopic compositions of fresh and variably altered feldspars from the 1.14 Ga gabbroic Great Abitibi Dyke, Ontario, Canada, through the use of Laser Ablation Inductively-Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICPMS). The data show an alteration trend between fresh, low-Rb plagioclase with 87 Sr/ 86 Sr ratios of 0.7045 and high-Rb alkali feldspar with 87 Sr/ 86 Sr ratios of 0.7059, which may be used to constrain the 87 Sr/ 86 Sr ratio of the mantle source. This trend is incompatible with simple mixing and instead has age significance. As post-intrusive alteration through hydrothermal circulation starts immediately following emplacement, LA-ICPMS analysis allows rapid estimation of initial 87 Sr/ 86 Sr ratios and intrusive age, suitable for sample screening and selection for more precise dating. For the Great Abitibi Dyke, the Rb-Sr age estimate of emplacement of 1.10 ± 0.23 Ga (2σ) is concordant with the precise U-Pb emplacement age of the dyke (1140.6 ± 2.0 Ma). The most altered high-Rb alkali feldspars return younger ages, suggesting that post-intrusive alteration lasted several hundred million years. This study highlights the need for microanalysis to differentiate between alteration and magmatic processes on basis of Sr isotopic signatures, and outlines a rapid method to determine initial 87 Sr/ 86 Sr ratios and to estimate Rb-Sr ages of plutonic rocks in terranes with long histories of multiple intrusive magmatic episodes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-58
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Aug 1



  • Albitization
  • Dyke swarms
  • Gabbros
  • Laser ablation ICPMS
  • Sr-isotope analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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