Most phases in this thin section are subhedral to anhedral in shape. The k-feldspar have patchy exsolution textures. Most other phases are sparsely distributed and generally subhedral to anhedral.
Phenocrystic phases in this thin section are subhedral plagioclase, clinopyroxene, and orthopyroxene, found both as isolated crystals and as glomeroporphyroclasts. Some plagioclase phenocrysts have inclusions of equant pyroxenes and blebs of glass. Glass and plagioclase comprise the vesicular groundmass.
This cryptocrystalline basalt consists of a groundmass of plagioclase microlites, equant opaques, glass, and interstitial, anhedral phlogopite. Microphenocrysts of subhedral clinopyroxene comprise the remainder of the sample.
Based on grain size, two populations of pyroxenes and plagioclase exist in this sample; the first are the fine-grained, equant crystals of the glassy groundmass, and the second, the subhedral to anhedral phenocrysts visible in handsample. The inconsistently-shaped plagioclase grains are sometimes zoned and frequently contain inclusions of glass.
Allotriomorphic plagioclase and highly-fractured olivine are the dominant minerals in this thin section. Clinopyroxene, when present, is found adjacent to olivine. Fractured zones in this rock follow olivine clusters and frequently cross-cut plagioclase crystals in swarms between nodes of granular olivine.
Unoriented plagioclase laths and interstitial glass and clinopyroxene make up the groundmass of this vesicular basalt. Olivine and orthopyroxene microphenocrysts are scattered throughout.
The olivine that is so conspicuous in the JPN-3 handsample is conspicuously absent in thin section and represented by a mere 1 or 2 grains. Rather, phenocrysts of plagioclase and pyroxenes dominate the phaneritic phases. Both phases are subhedral and the plagioclase in particular indicates several different generations of growth. Some plagioclase is concentrically zoned, though most grains contain alternating inclusion-rich and poor zones. Inclusions are of pyroxenes and glass blebs. The groundmass contains glass, plagioclase microlites, and tiny pyroxenes.
Although labeled an andesite on the sample record sheet, the presence of olivine and absence of hydrous mafic phases in this thin section indicate it is more basaltic in composition. Texturally, it is characteristic of a basalt as well, with a glassy and plagioclase-rich groundmass and phenocrysts of plagioclase, both pyroxenes and olivine. All phenocrysts are subhedral and plagioclase contains inclusions of glass.
The minerals in this sample all appear to intergrow with one another. Most grain boundaries are lobate, especially between feldspar phases and flame lamellae and perthitic intergrowths abound. Although a few hornblende crystals are euhdral in shape, the majority are found as rims around possible clinopyroxene or olivine grains and they tend to group with the other mafic phases. Euhedral apatite appear throughout.
In thin section, this flow-banded aphanitic rock displays a few fractured and embayed plagioclase and clinopyroxene phenocrysts in a groundmass dominated by aligned microlites of the same two phases. One or two phenocrysts of orthoclase are also present. The microlites define a trachytic texture, which is observable in handsample as flow bands.
This medium-grained phaneritic rock contains an equal ratio of plagioclase to clinopyroxene grains. Much of the plagioclase is strongly sericitized and several grains are concentrically-zoned. The clinopyroxenes are frequently twinned, heavily-fractured, riddled with inclusions, and show low degrees of alteration to chlorite and serpentine. The pyroxene cleavage is prominent in this sample. Chlorite, serpentine, iddingsite, biotite, and opaques tend to cluster in randomly oriented mats, where chlorite and serpentine growth are often at the expense of biotite.
Plagioclase and clinopyroxene abundances are lower in this gabbro compared to others of Birds River. Radiating splays of zeolites with serpentinized margins, as well as iddingsite and chlorite replacement of an equant mineral phase contributes nearly half the bulk of the thin section.
As is characteristic of a harzburgite, this sample is greater than 90% olivine, with a few large clinopyroxene grains, fracture-infilled serpentine, and occasional, moderately-sized rutile grains making up the remaining constituents of the rock. Serpentinization is minimal.
The clinopyroxene abundance in this thin section is lower than other gabbros from Birds River, lending more of a subophitic texture to the rock. Plagioclase is the most dominant mineral. Iddingsite is less abundant.
This coarse-grained sample consists of large, euhedral, often twinned clinopyroxene crystals. Alteration along cracks contains minor chlorite.
Plagioclase laths in this thin section have a continuous gradation in size from groundmass to phenocrysts. Most are euhedral in shape and this phase makes up roughly 70-80% of the minerals in this sample. Subhedral clinopyroxene makes up the remaining 20-30% of the minerals. The larger, blocky plagioclase is locally zoned and a sieve texture is observable in some grains.
The dominant texture in this gabbro is an ophitic intergrowth of equant plagioclase laths within larger, subhedral, clinopyroxene grains. Alteration of some phases to chlorite, talc and iddingsite is localized and occurs more in non-ophitic sections of the rock.
The dominant texture in this gabbro is an ophitic intergrowth of equant plagioclase laths within larger, subhedral, clinopyroxene grains. Alteration of some phases to chlorite, talc and clays is localized and occurs more in non-ophitic sections of the rock.
The glassy groundmass contains small plagiocase and clinopyroxene crystals, both of which are found as microphenocrysts. Plagioclase grains are variable in size and subhedral in shape. Clinopyroxene phenocrysts are substaniatlly larger, often due to the formation of glomeroporphyroclasts.
The groundmass of this microporphyritic basalt consists of glass and plagioclase microlites. Subhedral plagioclase phenocrysts are roughly aligned and some are concentrically zoned. Subhedral, plucked, clinopyroxene phenocrysts of variable size are less abundant than those of plagioclase.
Grain shapes in this thin section tend to be subhedral to anhedral with a great variety in grain size. Lath-shaped plagioclase grains have both albite and Carlsbad twins, while larger, more equant grains show concentric zoning. Other phases in this sample include strongly pleochroic biotite, clinopyroxene, nephaline, orthoclase, and opaques. The clinopyroxene, biotite, and opaques tend to cluster together. Fairly large, euhedral apatite crystals are found throughout.
Large, euhedral to subhedral plagioclase blocks are in far greater abundance than either k-feldspar or quartz, both of which are anhedral in shape. All the ferromagnesian phases are anhedral in shape and tend to cluster together. Hornblende growth is at the expense of clinopyroxene. Opaques cluster with the ferromagnesian phases. Quartz displays first-order yellows in this slightly thickened sample.
Sieve textured plagioclase blocks and laths dominate the phenocrystic population in this microporphyritic vesicular basalt. Clinopyroxene phenocrysts are less abundant. Both phases are found with glass as constituents of the groundmass.
Plagioclase and clinopyroxene form subhedral and anhedral grains, respectively, though unlike the other ferrotholeiites in this suite, both are cross-cut by or being pseudomorphed by iddingsite, a very dominant mineral in this thin section. Interstitial, undeformed quartz is found in the groundmass and inclusions of apatite crystals lend an almost graphic texture to this phase. Described by Western Minerals Inc. as an 'interstitial ferrotholeiite, very highly fractionatedâ€¦textures are similar to those associated with rapidly frozen or highly viscous melts.'
Described by Western Minerals Inc. as 'porphyroblastic metasediments/hybrid rocks, interpreted by Eales and his coworkers as metamorphosed 'Red Beds' Formation sediments but conceivably magmatic in origin. The specimens illustrate the range in textures and compositions.' A common characteristic of all minerals in this thin section is that despite their natural habit, most minerals are elongate and frequently form cross-cutting, disparate but optically continuous, bladed crystals. It appears to be an almost dendritic intergrowth of all phases.