University Of Tasmania
Crawford,_Cooke,_Fanning_AJES_2006.pdf (3.67 MB)

Geochemistry and age of magmatic rocks in the unexposed Narromine, Cowal and Fairholme Igneous Complexes in the Ordovician Macquarie Arc, New South Wales

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-23, 10:53 authored by Anthony CrawfordAnthony Crawford, David CookeDavid Cooke, CM Fanning
Much of the northern and southern sections of the Junee-Narromine Volcanic Belt of the Ordovician Macquarie Arc in central-western New South Wales are buried beneath the sediment cover of the Great Artesian Basin. Exploration drilling of these aeromagnetically defined blocks has provided important new material to assess the temporal and magmatic affinities of the rocks in the Narromine Igneous Complex (northern end) and the Cowal and Fairholme Igneous Complexes (southern end). Basement rocks are representative of Phase 1 magmatism in the Macquarie Arc, and consist of Lower Ordovician basalts and andesites and common volcaniclastic rocks, all with high-K calc-alkaline affinities. These are very similar compositionally to the Lower Ordovician Nelungaloo Volcanics that outcrop in the central part of the Junee-Narromine Volcanic Belt west of Parkes. Intruding the basement volcanic-volcaniclastic package are three distinct igneous suites. The oldest of these, dated at ca 466-460Ma (Middle Ordovician) and representative of Phase 2 magmatism in the Macquarie Arc, consists of stocks of monzogabbro, monzodiorite and monzonite with high-K calc-alkaline affinities, and is well represented in the Narromine and Cowal Igneous Complexes. Phase 2 suite rocks were, in turn, intruded in the Bolindian (445 ± 5 Ma) by kilometre-size stocks, narrow sheets and dykes made up of hornblende gabbro, diorite and granodiorite, and including quartz+plagioclase+hornblende-phyric dacitic porphyries in the Narromine Igneous Complex. These medium-K calc-alkaline rocks, assigned to the Phase 3 Copper Hill Suite that also occurs in the Molong and Rockley-Gulgong Volcanic Belts further east, crystallised from andesitic or more evolved magmas, probably derived via partial melting of low-K rocks in the arc basement, or amphibolites in the subducting slab. The youngest rocks in these igneous complexes are believed to be the high-level shoshonitic intrusives in the Cowal and Fairholme Igneous Complexes, which are correlated on petrographic and compositional grounds with the Macquarie Arc Phase 4 (Bolindian and Llandovery) magmatic products best represented by the Northparkes Igneous Complex in the central part of the Junee-Narromine Volcanic Belt.


Publication title

Australian Journal of Earth Sciences





Article number

2 & 3


2 & 3








Taylor & Francis

Publication status

  • Accepted

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

259999 Other mineral resources (excl. energy resources) not elsewhere classified