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Open Access Thesis

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Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

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Month Degree Awarded



The Belchertown Intrusive Complex is a ~164 km2 Devonian pluton that intruded Paleozoic metasedimentary and metavolcanic rocks in west-central Massachusetts. Intrusion of the pluton was synchronous with Acadian deformation (Ashwal, 1974). The complex is concentrically zoned, with a core of orthopyroxene-biotite monzodiorite, a middle zone of clinopyroxene-hornblende-biotite granodiorite, and an outermost zone of hornblende-biotite granodiorite. Zoning from a more to less hydrous mineral suite from the outside to the inside of the pluton led Ashwal (1974) to suggest that metamorphic hydration most strongly affected the outermost zones of the complex. Basaltic inclusions occur most commonly near the edges of the pluton. Many of these inclusions preserve textures suggestive of mafic-felsic magma interaction. The abundance of basaltic enclaves on the edges of the complex may suggest a bowl-shaped structure, with lower more mafic-dominated rocks exposed on

the edges of the complex. Bulk rock major element analyses of granitoids, basalts and gabbros, and diorites from all zones of the complex show that intermediate samples, regardless of zone, plot on a mixing line between mafic and felsic end members, supporting a model in which mafic and felsic magmas may have mingled and mixed. Trace element analyses of intermediate-composition samples are similar across the entire complex, with enrichment in large ion lithophile elements and a pronounced Nb trough. In contrast, trace element concentrations in both the mafic rocks (basaltic enclaves and gabbroic inclusions), and in the granitoids, show considerable variation. The diversity of composition within both the mafic and felsic end-members suggests that either fractionation or differing degrees of partial melting of source rocks may account for these compositional ranges. Sanukitoids comprise a majority of the inner zone, and point to the mixing of parental melts at depth in a subduction tectonic regime as a likely model of petrogenesis for the complex.


First Advisor

Sheila J Seaman

Second Advisor

Stearns A Morse

Third Advisor

Donald U Wise