The geochemistry and petrogenesis of the minor intrusive suite associated with the late Caledonian Criffell-Dalbeattie pluton, SW Scotland

  • Paul J. Henney

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The Criffell-Dalbeattie pluton from SW Scotland is one of a suite of late Caledonian granitoids which are associated with extensive, contemporaneous and compositionally diverse suits of minor intrusions. The minor intrusive suite associated with the Criffell-Dalbeattie pluton is dominantly composed of a series of porphyritic microdiorites, microgranodiorites and microgranites known collectively as the porphyrite-porphyry series. This series can be divided into two groups, the porphyrites and the quartz porphyries, on the basis of petrography and geochemistry although there is some compositional overlap between the two. Compositionally, the porphyrites and quartz porphyries appear to correspond to the granodiorites and granites, respectively, which comprise the Criffell-Dalbeattie pluton, suggesting that the porphyrite-porphyry series of dykes represent magmas which were tapped from the evolving granitic magma chamber. The most mafic component of the minor intrusive suite is represented by calc-alkaline hornblende- and mica bearing lamprophyres. Geochemical studies, including fractional crystallisation, combine assimilation-fractional crystallisation (AFC) show that these are mafic, LILE and LREE enriched melts derived by low degrees of partial melting of a subduction-modified mantle source. It is suggested that the source of the lamprophyres is "Lake District" lithosphere, metasomatised by Lower Palaeozoic subduction, and thrust under the southern part of the Southern Uplands. AFC modelling using chemical and isotopic data further suggest that there is a close genetic link between the lamprophyres and the Criffell-Dalbeattie granitoids and that lamprophyres represent the mantle derived precursors of the Criffell-Dalbeattie granitoids.
Date of Award1991
Original languageEnglish


  • geochemistry
  • petrogenesis
  • minor intrusive suite
  • Caledonian Criffell-Dalbeattie pluton
  • SW Scotland

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