The Homestead kimberlite, central Montana, USA: Mineralogy, xenocrysts, and upper-mantle xenoliths




The Homestead kimberlite was emplaced in lower Cretaceous marine shale and siltstone in the Grassrange area of central Montana. The Grassrange area includes aillikite, alnoite, carbonatite, kimberlite, and monchiquite and is situated within the Archean Wyoming craton. The kimberlite contains 25-30 modal% olivine as xenocrysts and phenocrysts in a matrix of phlogopite, monticellite, diopside, serpentine, chlorite, hydrous Ca-Al-Na silicates, perovskite, and spinel. The rock is kimberlite based on mineralogy, the presence of atoll-textured groundmass spinels, and kimberlitic core-rim zoning of groundmass spinels and groundmass phlogopites. Garnet xenocrysts are mainly Cr-pyropes, of which 2-12% are G10 compositions, crustal almandines are rare and eclogitic garnets are absent. Spinel xenocrysts have MgO and Cr2O3 contents ranging into the diamond inclusion field. Mg-ilmenite xenocrysts contain 7-11 wt.% MgO and 0.8-1.9 wt.% Cr2O3, with (Fe+3/Fetot) from 0.17-0.31. Olivine is the only obvious megacryst mineral present. One microdiamond was recovered from caustic fusion of a 45-kg sample. Upper-mantle xenoliths up to 70 cm size are abundant and are some of the largest known garnet peridotite xenoliths in North America. The xenolith suite is dominated by dunites, and harzburgites containing garnet and/or spinel. Granulites are rare and eclogites are absent. Among 153 xenoliths, 7% are lherzolites, 61% are harzburgites, 31% are dunites, and 1% are orthopyroxenites. Three of 30 peridotite xenoliths that were analysed are low-Ca garnet-spinel harzburgites containing G10 garnets. Xenolith textures are mainly coarse granular, and only 5% are porphyroclastic. Xenolith modal mineralogy and mineral compositions indicate ancient major-element depletion as observed in other Wyoming craton xenolith assemblages, followed by younger enrichment events evidenced by tectonized or undeformed veins of orthopyroxenite, clinopyroxenite, websterite, and the presence of phlogopite-bearing veins and disseminated phlogopite. Phlogopite-bearing veins may represent kimberlite-related addition and/or earlier K-metasomatism. Xenolith thermobarometry using published two-pyroxene and Al-in-opx methods suggest that garnet-spinel peridotites are derived from 1180 to 1390 ??C and 3.6 to 4.7 GPa, close to the diamond-graphite boundary and above a 38 mW/m2 shield geotherm. Low-Ca garnet-spinel harzburgites with G10 garnets fall in about the same T and P range. Most spinel peridotites with assumed 2.0 GPa pressure are in the same T range, possibly indicating heating of the shallow mantle. Four of 79 Cr diopside xenocrysts have P-T estimates in the diamond stability field using published single-pyroxene P-T calculation methods.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The Homestead kimberlite, central Montana, USA: Mineralogy, xenocrysts, and upper-mantle xenoliths
Series title LITHOS
DOI 10.1016/j.lithos.2004.04.030
Volume 77
Issue 1-4 SPEC. ISS.
Year Published 2004
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Eastern Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title LITHOS
First page 473
Last page 491
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