A radiometric survey of the zoned 21 Ma, A-type Sheeprock granite, western Utah, combined with measurements of magnetic susceptibility and field observations were analyzed using a geographic information system. The intrusion spans 25 square km and is roughly eliptical in shape with its long axis trending northwest. Concentration maps (composed of more than 500 survey stations) of eU, eTh, texture, magnetic susceptibility, color, and joint density help to constrain magmatic and post-magmatic processes related to its chemical and physical zonation. Uranium ranges from 3.9 to 26.9 ppm (mean 12.7) and thorium from 1.7 to 125.7 ppm (mean 45.5). Similarities in spatial patterns and near normal distributions of U and Th imply minimal remobilization and secondary equilibrium of U.
Relatively high magnetic susceptibility (6 to 12*10^-3 SI units), low eU and eTh, and limited whole rock chemical anayses show the southeastern part of the pluton is more mafic and most likely formed as an early cumulate. Dominant textures are porphyritic with a fine-grained matrix along the northeastern margin, coarsening to a medium-grained matrix along the southwestern margin. This transition from fine to medium-grained matrix textures is believed to be a preserved solidification front that had migrated from the roof and walls inward during cooling. Late stage magma mixing is evidenced by a string of mafic enclaves along the axis of the pluton near this solidification front. eU and eTh generally increase toward the finer-grained northeastern margin of the pluton. This has been interpreted to be the primary result of fractionation of U and Th into monazite and thorite. As mafic cumulates formed along the northeastern margin residual liquids were displaced inward. This depleted the more evolved parts of the pluton in U and Th. Beryl, a distinquishing characteristic of the most evolved portions of the pluton, is concentrated in two areas along the central axis of the intrusion. The intrusion is a cumulative of three magmatic phases, the second of which crystallized from the margins inward.
Joint spacing is a major factor in controlling post-magmatic processes. The pluton has a higher density of joints (10 cm apart) near the upper margins, and fewer joints (> 1 meter apart) at lower elevations. Differential cooling and magma pressures are believed to have controlled the varying joint densities. Increased alteration, oxidation, and red-staining are more prevalent in areas of higher joint density. Magnetic susceptibility is bimodal. The high mode (5.4*10^-3 SI) is on the low end of magnetite-series granites and occurs most often in the white granite. The low mode (0.07*10^-3 SI) implies significant post-magmatic oxidation and the destruction of magnetite and correlates to the red granite. Truncated chemical and textural patterns along the pluton's northwestern margin support evidence for range front normal faulting.
College and Department
Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Geological Sciences
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Richardson, Paul D., "Pluton Zonation Unveiled by Gamma-ray Spectrometry and Magnetic Susceptibility; A Case Study of the Sheeprock Granite, Western, Utah" (2004). Theses and Dissertations. 209.
radiometric survey, Brigham Young, Paul Richardson, uranium, thorium, jointing, chemical zonation, magmatic, post-magmatic, geology, sheeprock, granite, magnetic susceptibility, GIS