Rubidium-strontium age studies and geochemistry of acid veins in the Freetown complex, Sierra Leone

The stratigraphical limits on the age of the Freetown intrusion, Sierra Leone, are very wide, yet the intrusion has not previously been accurately dated by isotopic methods, despite a number of attempts. Rubidium-strontium dating of acid veins contemporaneous with the early stages of the prolonged cooling history of the intrusion provides an age of 193 ± 3 Ma. The veins consist of quartz and orthoclase with relict minerals, principally plagioclase, from thehost gabbro. Electron-microprobe analysis of the altered minerals of the veins, and the petrography of the vein and adjacent host gabbro clearly demonstrate that the veins were formed from a granitic fraction, differentiated in situ from the surrounding solid gabbro with the assistance of a hydrous fluid phase within the incipient vein. This assertion is supported by the identical, low value of the initial 87Sr/86Sr ratio (0·70389) obtained from both the acid and basic rocks, and the technique described here may be useful in dating other, similar, intrusions.


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Authors: Beckinsale, R.D., Bowles, J.F.W., Pankhurst, R.J., Wells, M.K.

1 January, 1977
Mineralogical Magazine / 41
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