The Older Giant Dyke Complex is a differentiated alkaline intrusion of Proterozoic age (1154±16 Ma) and is the earliest of the late Gardar intrusions in the Tugtutôq-Ilímaussaq region. The dyke is approximately 20 km long by 0·5 km broad and comprises (i) marginal ‘border group’ rocks of alkali olivine gabbro, grading inwards to ferro-syenogabbro and (ii) an axial ‘central group’ of salic rocks ranging from augite syenite in the WSW to sodalite foyaite in the ENE.
Chilled margins contain plagioclase (An53), olivine (Fo53), magnetite, ilmenite, and apatite as liquidus phases and later-crystallized augite (Di69Hd27Ac4) and biotite (Annite32). The coexisting Fe-Ti oxides indicate f
and T values just below the synthetic QFM buffer curve. In the border group, plagioclase cores zone into anorthoclase and soda-sanidine rims, olivines reach Fo16, pyroxenes Di32Hd59Ac9, and biotites Annite86. Interstitial pargasitic amphibole appears close to the innermost margins. In the central group, feldspars are all perthitic alkali feldspars and nepheline becomes a major, early crystallizing phase. Olivines range from Fo10-Fo4, in the augite-syenites where they coexist with ferro-salites Di50Hd47Ac3, but olivine is absent from foyaitic assemblages in which the pyroxenes range through aegirine-augite to pure aegirine. Interstitial amphiboles range from ferro-pargasite or hastingsite to katophorite and thence towards arfvedsonite, but are absent from the most differentiated rocks, whereas biotite occurs throughout the entire group in the range Annite71-Annite100.
The parental magma, represented by the chilled margins, was a relatively anhydrous alkali olivine-basalt with an initial 87Sr/86Sr ratio of 0.70326. Its high Ti, P, Ba, and F contents are inferred to be features inherited from a primary magma, derived from the mantle as a small partial melt fraction which involved significant amounts of fluor-apatite and phlogopite. While all lithologies are considered as differentiates from this parental magma, there is both a well-defined field junction and a compositional hiatus between the border group and the central group rocks. Mineralogical considerations and REE patterns suggest that the later, more salic (?benmoreitic) magma from which the central group crystallized, related to the parental magma by ol-fsp-ap-FeTi oxide fractionation. Congelation in both border group and central group occurred by side-wall crystallization, but the salic magma became compositionally stratified, with upward concentration of alkalis and volatiles to produce a phonolitic upper facies which is preserved at the ENE end of the intrusion owing to subsequent axial tilting.