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Major element variation of the Skaergaard pyroxene and its petrologic implications

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Abstract

Pyroxenes from the Layered Series (LS), Upper Border Series (UBS), and Marginal Border Series (MBS) of the Skaergaard intrusion were analyzed using electron microprobe and mineral separation techniques to examine geochemical variations. In general, pyroxenes from all three series show similar trends in major elements vs % crystallization: SiO2, MgO, Al2O3, and TiO2 progressively decrease, FeO and MnO progressively increase, and CaO, Fe2O3, and P2O5 do not change systematically with differentiation. Pyroxenes in the LS and MBS follow a trend similar to that reported by Wager and Brown. The estimated crystallization temperatures closely follow the general trends of published temperature estimates. Major element variation in Skaergaard pyroxenes shows smooth variations with increasing differentiation, indicating that there was no volumetrically significant injection of new magma into the chamber after the initial emplacement. These results strongly support the idea that the Skaergaard intrusion represents in situ crystallization under a closed system magma chamber.

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Ancillary