3D Structure and Emplacement of the Alnö Alkaline and Carbonatite Complex, Sweden Integrated Geophysical and Physical Property Investigations

University dissertation from Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis


Carbonatites are carbonate-rich magmatic rocks that are rare and of great relevance for our understanding of crustal and mantle processes. Although found on all continents and in settings ranging from Archaean to present-day, their deeper plumbing system is still poorly understood. Therefore, the main goal of this thesis is to broaden the existing knowledge of carbonatite systems, often limited to surface geological observations, by providing depth constraints using a number of geophysical methods and petrophysical measurements. The Alnö alkaline and carbonatite complex in central Sweden was chosen for this purpose. Data from three reflection seismic lines, ground gravity and magnetic measurements are presented. These data are complemented by a series of petrophysical measurements, including ultrasonic velocities, density, magnetic bulk susceptibility, anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS), and magnetic remanence, to aid in the interpretation of the geophysical data. The reflection seismic data indicate a solidified saucer-shaped fossil magma chamber at about 3 km depth. Caldera-style volcanism, constrained by surface geological observations, provides a plausible scenario to explain the emplacement of the complex, suggesting that carbonatite magmas have been stored, transported and erupted in a similar manner to known emplacement mechanisms for silicic calderas, although these are compositionally different. The AMS data from most of the carbonatite sheets in Alnö show a strong degree of anisotropy and oblate-shaped susceptibility ellipsoids. A set of syn- and post-emplacement processes that may control the AMS signature is evaluated based on the dataset. Overprinting of the primary flow patterns by processes related to sheet closure at the terminal stage of magma transport may explain the AMS observations. A complementary study using 3D inversion of ground gravity and aeromagnetic data was then carried out to better delineate the 3D internal architecture of the complex. Resulting models indicate a depth extent of the complex to about 3-4 km, consistent with the interpretation of the reflection seismic data. The modelling results of a ring-shaped magnetic anomaly observed in the Klingefjärden bay adjacent to Alnö Island further suggest that the complex may extend laterally about 3 km towards the north.