Late Caledonian magmagenesis in Southern Scotland

  • Paul Shand

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The Priestlaw and Cockburn Law intrusions are zoned granitoid plutons intruded into Lower Palaeozoic sediments at the margin of, and prior to closure of, the Iapetus Ocean. They vary from marginal basic rocks to more acid rocks towards their centres. The parental magmas to the plutons were derived from an isotopically depleted mantle modified by melts/fluids during subduction. Zonation in the plutons was caused by combined assimilation and fractional crystallisation (AFC), and rates of assimilation were low relative to rates of fractionation. A series of pyroxene-mica diorites in Priestlaw are however hybrids formed by simple mixing. Porphyrite-acid porphyrite dykes, associated with the plutons, represent chilled portions of the pluton magmas; more evolved quartz porphyry dykes represent crustal melts. Lamprophyre dykes have high LILE and LREE abundances and relative depletions of HFS elements, typical of subduction related ultra-potassic magmas. High Mg numbers, Ni and Cr contents and experimental constraints, imply near primary status for the least evolved lamprophyres. Their enrichments in incompatible elements, high La/Nb, La/Yb, Sr and low Nd indicate derivation from a previously metasomatised mantle source. Granitoid plutons and lavas in the northern Southern Uplands have high Nd and low Sr, whereas the younger plutons of the southern Southern Uplands have higher Sr, La/Yb and lower Nd, consistent with derivation from a more enriched source. No plutons however have remained as closed systems. Three magmatic suites are present in southern Scotland: (1) Midland Valley Suite (2) Northern Southern Uplands Suite and (3) Southern Southern Uplands Suite, consistent with previous models indicating northward underthrusting of English lithosphere below the southern Southern Uplands. Further underthrusting of decoupled lithospheric mantle is indicated by the presence of lamorophyres in the eastern Southern Uplands, and took place between 410 Ma and 400 Ma.
Date of Award1989
Original languageEnglish


  • Late Caledonian
  • magmagenesis
  • Southern Scotland

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