121 research outputs found

    Tertiary-Quaternary intra-plate magmatism in Europe and its relationship to mantle dynamics

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    Anorogenic intra-plate magmatism was widespread in Europe from early Tertiary to Recent times, extending west to east from Spain to Bulgaria, and south to north from Sicily to northern Germany. Magmatism is spatially and temporally associated with Alpine-Pyrenean collisional tectonics, the development of an extensive lithospheric rift system in the northern foreland of the Alps, and, locally, with uplift of Variscan basement massifs (Massif Central, Rhenish Massif, Bohemian Massif). The volcanic regions vary in volume from large central volcanoes (e.g. Cantal, Massif Central;Vogelsberg, northern Germany), to small isolated plugs (e.g. Urach and Hegau provinces in southern Germany). Within the Mediterranean region, the Dinarides, the Pannonian Basin and Bulgaria, anorogenic volcanism locally post-dates an earlier phase of subduction-related magmatism. The major and trace element and Sr-Nd-Pb isotope characteristics of the most primitive mafic magmatic rocks (MgO > 6 wt %) provide important constraints on the nature of the mantle source and the conditions of partial melting.. These are predominantly sodic (melilitites, nephelinites, basanites and alkali olivine basalts); however, locally, potassic magma types (olivine leucitites, leucite nephelinites) also occur. In several localities (e.g., Sicily; Vogelsberg and the Rhine Graben, Germany; Calatrava, central Spain) olivine- and quartz-tholeiites form a significant component of the magmatism. The sodic magmas were derived by variable degrees of partial melting (~ 0.5 - 5 %) within a transitional zone between garnet-peridotite and spinel-peridotite mantle facies, close to the base of the lithosphere; the potassic magma types are interpreted as partial melts of enriched domains within the lithospheric mantle. Mantle partial melting was induced by adiabatic decompression of the asthenosphere, locally in small-scale, plume-like, diapirs which appear to upwell from ~ 400 km depth

    Tertiary-Quaternary subduction processes and related magmatism in the Alpine-Mediterranean region

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    During Tertiary to Quaternary times, convergence between Eurasia and Africa resulted in a variety of collisional orogens and different styles of subduction in the Alpine-Mediterranean region. Characteristic features of this area include arcuate orogenic belts and extensional basins, both of which can be explained by roll-back of subducted slabs and retreating subduction zones. After cessation of active subduction, slab detachment and post-collisional gravitational collapse of the overthickened lithosphere took place. This complex tectonic history was accompanied by the generation of a wide variety of magmas. Most of these magmas (e.g. low-K tholeiitic, calc-alkaline, shoshonitic and ultrapotassic types) have trace element and isotopic fingerprints that are commonly interpreted to reflect enrichment of their source regions by subduction-related fluids. Thus, they can be considered as ‘subduction-related’ magmas irrespective of their geodynamic relationships. Intraplate alkali basalts are also found in the region generally postdated the ‘subduction-related’ volcanism. These mantle-derived magmas have not been, or only slightly, influenced by subduction-related enrichment. This paper summarises the geodynamic setting of the Tertiary-Quaternary “subduction-related” magmatism in the different segments of the Alpine-Mediterranean region (Betic-Alboran-Rif province, Central Mediterranean, the Alps, Carpathian-Pannonian region, Dinarides and Hellenides, Aegean and Western Anatolia), and discusses the main characteristics and compositional variation of the magmatic rocks. Radiogenic and stable isotope data indicate the importance of continental crustal material in the genesis of these magmas. Interaction with crustal material probably occurred both in the upper mantle during subduction (‘source contamination’) and in the continental crust during ascent of mantle-derived magmas (either by mixing with crustal melts or by crustal contamination). The 87Sr/86Sr and 206Pb/204Pb isotope ratios indicate that an enriched mantle component, akin to the source of intraplate alkali mafic magmas along the Alpine foreland, played a key role in the petrogenesis of the ‘subduction-related’ magmas of the Alpine-Mediterranean region. This enriched mantle component could be related to mantle plumes or to long-term pollution (deflection of the central Atlantic plume and recycling of crustal material during subduction) of the shallow mantle beneath Europe since the late Mesozoic. In the first case, subduction processes could have had an influence in generating asthenospheric flow by deflecting nearby mantle plumes due to slab roll-back or slab break-off. In the second case, the variation in the chemical composition of the volcanic rocks in the Mediterranean region can be explained by “statistical sampling” of the strongly inhomogeneous mantle followed by variable degrees of crustal contamination

    Petrogenetic processes in the ultramafic, alkaline and carbonatitic magmatism in the Kola Alkaline Province: a review

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    Igneous rocks of the Devonian Kola Alkaline Carbonatite Province (KACP) in NW Russia and eastern Finland can be classified into four groups: (a) primitive mantle-derived silica-undersaturated silicate magmas; (b) evolved alkaline and nepheline syenites; (c) cumulate rocks; (d) carbonatites and phoscorites, some of which may also be cumulates. There is no obvious age difference between these various groups, so all of the magma-types were formed at the same time in a relatively restricted area and must therefore be petrogenetically related. Both sodic and potassic varieties of primitive silicate magmas are present. On major element variation diagrams, the cumulate rocks plot as simple mixtures of their constituent minerals (olivine, clinopyroxene, calcite etc). There are complete compositional trends between carbonatites, phoscorites and silicate cumulates, which suggests that many carbonatites and phoscorites are also cumulates. CaO/Al2O3 ratios for ultramafic and mafic silicate rocks in dykes and pipes range up to 5, indicating a very small degree of melting of a carbonated mantle at depth. Damkjernites appear to be transitional to carbonatites. Trace element modelling indicates that all the mafic silicate magmas are related to small degrees of melting of a metasomatised garnet peridotite source. Similarities of the REE patterns and initial Sr and Nd isotope compositions for ultramafic alkaline silicate rocks and carbonatites indicate that there is a strong relationship between the two magma-types. There is also a strong petrogenetic link between carbonatites, kimberlites and alkaline ultramafic lamprophyres. Fractional crystallisation of olivine, diopside, melilite and nepheline gave rise to the evolved nepheline syenites, and formed the ultramafic cumulates. All magmas in the KACP appear to have originated in a single event, possibly triggered by the arrival of hot material (mantle plume?) beneath the Archaean/Proterozoic lithosphere of the northern Baltic Shield that had been recently metasomatised. Melting of the carbonated garnet peridotite mantle formed a spectrum of magmas including carbonatite, damkjernite, melilitite, melanephelinite and ultramafic lamprophyre. Pockets of phlogopite metasomatised lithospheric mantle also melted to form potassic magmas including kimberlite. Depth of melting, degree of melting and presence of metasomatic phases are probably the major factors controlling the precise composition of the primary melts formed

    Mafic alkaline metasomatism in the lithosphere underneath East Serbia: evidence from the study of xenoliths and the host alkali basalts

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    Effects of mafic alkaline metasomatism have been investigated by a combined study of the East Serbian mantle xenoliths and their host alkaline rocks. Fertile xenoliths and tiny mineral assemblages found in depleted xenoliths have been investigated. Fertile lithologies are represented by clinopyroxene (cpx)-rich lherzolite and spinel (sp)-rich olivine websterite containing Ti–Al-rich Cr-augite, Fe-rich olivine, Fe–Al-rich orthopyroxene and Al-rich spinel. Depleted xenoliths, which are the predominant lithology in the suite of East Serbian xenoliths, are harzburgite, cpx-poor lherzolite and rare Mg-rich dunite. They contain small-scale assemblages occurring as pocket-like, symplectitic or irregular, deformation-assisted accumulations of metasomatic phases, generally composed of Ti–Al- and incompatible element-rich Cr-diopside, Cr–Fe–Ti-rich spinel, altered glass, olivine, apatite, ilmenite, carbonate, feldspar, and a high-TiO2 (c. 11 wt%) phlogopite. The fertile xenoliths are too rich in Al, Ca and Fe to simply represent undepleted mantle. By contrast, their composition can be reproduced by the addition of 5–20 wt% of a basanitic melt to refractory mantle. However, textural relationships found in tiny mineral assemblages inside depleted xenoliths imply the following reaction: opx+sp1 (primary mantle Cr-spinel) ±phlogopite+Si-poor alkaline melt=Ti–Al-cpx+sp2 (metasomatic Ti-rich spinel)±ol±other minor phases. Inversion modelling, performed on the least contaminated and most isotopically uniform host basanites (87Sr/86Sr=c. 0.7031; 143Nd/144Nd=c. 0.5129), implies a source that was enriched in highly and moderately incompatible elements (c. 35–40× chondrite for U–Th–Nb–Ta, 2× chondrite for heavy rare earth elements (HREE), made up of clinopyroxene, carbonate (c. 5%), and traces of ilmenite (c. 1%) and apatite (c. 0.05%). A schematic model involves: first, percolation of CO2- and H2O-rich fluids and precipitation of metasomatic hydrous minerals; and, second, the subsequent breakdown of these hydrous minerals due to the further uplift of hot asthenospheric mantle. This model links intraplate alkaline magmatism to lithospheric mantle sources enriched by sublithospheric melts at some time in the past

    Evidence for a Single Ureilite Parent Asteroid from a Petrologic Study of Polymict Ureilites

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    Ureilites are ultramafic achondrites composed of olivine and pyroxene, with minor elemental C, mostly as graphite [1]. The silicate composition indicates loss of a basaltic component through igneous processing, yet the suite is very heterogeneous in O isotopic composition inherited from nebular processes [2]. Because of this, it has not yet been established whether ureilites were derived from a single parent asteroid or from multiple parents. Most researchers tacitly assume a single parent asteroid, but the wide variation in mineral and oxygen isotope compositions could be readily explained by an origin in multiple parent asteroids that had experienced a similar evolution. Numerous ureilite meteorites have been found in Antarctica, among them several that are clearly paired (Fig. 1) and two that are strongly brecciated (EET 83309, EET 87720). We have begun a detailed petrologic study of these latter two samples in order to characterize the range of materials in them. One goal is to attempt to determine whether ureilites were derived from a single parent asteroid

    Pb and Hf isotope evidence for mantle enrichment processes and melt interactions in the lower crust and lithospheric mantle in Miocene orogenic volcanic rocks from Monte Arcuentu (Sardinia, Italy)

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    Miocene (ca. 18 Ma) subduction-related basalts and basaltic andesites from Monte Arcuentu, southern Sardinia, Italy, show a remarkable correlation between 87Sr/86Sr (from ~0.705 to ~0.711) over a small range of SiO2 (~51–58 wt%) that contrasts with most other orogenic volcanic suites worldwide. New high-precision Pb and Hf isotope data help to constrain the petrogenesis of these rocks. The most primitive Monte Arcuentu rocks (MgO >8.5 wt%) were sourced from a mantle wedge metasomatized by melts derived from terrigenous sedi­ment, likely derived from Archean terranes of northern Africa. This gave rise to magmas with high 87Sr/86Sr (0.705–0.709) and 207Pb/204Pb (15.65–15.67) with moderate ΔHf (–1 to +8) and ΔNd (–6 to +1), but it does not account for the full range of compositions observed. More evolved rocks (MgO <8.5 wt%) have higher 87Sr/86Sr (up to 0.711) and 207Pb/204Pb (up to 15.68), with ΔHf and ΔNd as low as –8 and –9, respectively. Mixing calculations suggest that evolved rocks with low Rb/Ba and low 206Pb/204Pb interacted with lower crust similar compositionally to that exposed today in Calabria, Italy, which was formerly in crustal continuity with Sardinia. High Rb/Ba and high 206Pb/204Pb magmas interacted with lithospheric mantle similar to that sampled by Italian lamproites. Partial melting of lower crustal and upper mantle lithologies was facilitated by the rapid extension, and subsequent passive mantle upwelling, that occurred as Sardinia drifted away from the European plate during the Oligo-Miocene (ca. 32–15 Ma). Fractional crystallization under these PT conditions involved ­olivine + clinopyroxene with little or no plagioclase, such that differentiation proceeded without significant increase in SiO2. The Monte Arcuentu rocks provide insights into assimilation process in the lower crust and lithospheric mantle that may be obscured by upper crustal assimilation–fractional crystallization (AFC) processes in other orogenic suites

    Textures of mantle peridotite rocks revisited

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    Characterisation of textures in mantle peridotites has long been a subjective method, lacking precise definition or quantification. In a continuing effort to quantify textures found in mantle peridotites, we have analysed thin-sections of a wide variety of spinel and garnet peridotite xenoliths from a range of locations, using a grain-section skeleton outline method. Peridotites from ultramafic massifs have also been analysed using the same methodology. The results for all these samples lie on the same linear trend in a plot of grain-section area vs standard deviation as seen in our previous study. This confirms the utility of the quantitative method, which provides observer-independent objective numerical descriptions of textures in peridotites. In addition, two spinel peridotite xenoliths have been disaggregated using an Electric discharge disaggregation technique and were sieved to produce a grain size distribution. SEM imaging has also been used to show that the 3-D shapes of grains of the constituent minerals have concave features. Computed Tomography (CT)-scanning of separated grains and peridotite rock cores has confirmed the concave features of the constituent minerals and their consequent interlocking structures. A ‘perimeter-area’ relation technique has been used to show that the two-dimensional grain-section skeleton outlines clearly display self-similarity (i.e. fractal characteristics). Images of thin-sections were compared with known Euclidian and fractal images; both the thin-section images and the known fractal images yielded fractal dimensions, whereas the Euclidian images did not. The self-similar or fractal nature of textures of mantle peridotite rocks has also been demonstrated by using Box counting, an alternative method for fractal assessment

    An analysis of Apollo lunar soil samples 12070,889, 12030,187 and 12070,891: basaltic diversity at the Apollo 12 landing site and implications for classification of small-sized lunar samples.

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    Lunar mare basalts provide insights into the compositional diversity of the Moon’s interior. Basalt fragments from the lunar regolith can potentially sample lava flows from regions of the Moon not previously visited, thus, increasing our understanding of lunar geological evolution. As part of a study of basaltic diversity at the Apollo 12 landing site, detailed petrological and geochemical data are provided here for 13 basaltic chips. In addition to bulk chemistry, we have analysed the major, minor and trace element chemistry of mineral phases which highlight differences between basalt groups. Where samples contain olivine, the equilibrium parent melt magnesium number (Mg#; atomic Mg/(Mg + Fe)) can be calculated to estimate parent melt composition. Ilmenite and plagioclase chemistry can also determine differences between basalt groups. We conclude that samples of ~1-2 mm in size can be categorized provided that appropriate mineral phases (olivine, plagioclase and ilmenite) are present. Where samples are fine-grained (grain size <0.3 mm), a “paired samples t-test” can provide a statistical comparison between a particular sample and known lunar basalts. Of the fragments analysed here, three are found to belong to each of the previously identified olivine and ilmenite basalt suites, four to the pigeonite basalt suite, one is an olivine cumulate, and two could not be categorized because of their coarse grain sizes and lack of appropriate mineral phases. Our approach introduces methods that can be used to investigate small sample sizes (i.e., fines) from future sample return missions to investigate lava flow diversity and petrological significance

    Ultramafic xenoliths from the Bearpaw Mountains, Montana, USA: evidence for multiple metasomatic events in the lithospheric mantle beneath the Wyoming craton

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    Ultramafic xenoliths in Eocene minettes of the Bearpaw Mountains volcanic field (Montana, USA), derived from the lower lithosphere of the Wyoming craton, can be divided based on textural criteria into tectonite and cumulate groups. The tectonites consist of strongly depleted spinel lherzolites, harzburgites and dunites. Although their mineralogical compositions are generally similar to those of spinel peridotites in off-craton settings, some contain pyroxenes and spinels that have unusually low Al2O3 contents more akin to those found in cratonic spinel peridotites. Furthermore, the tectonite peridotites have whole-rock major element compositions that tend to be significantly more depleted than non-cratonic mantle spinel peridotites (high MgO, low CaO, Al2O3 and TiO2) and resemble those of cratonic mantle. These compositions could have been generated by up to 30% partial melting of an undepleted mantle source. Petrographic evidence suggests that the mantle beneath the Wyoming craton was re-enriched in three ways: (1) by silicate melts that formed mica websterite and clinopyroxenite veins; (2) by growth of phlogopite from K-rich hydrous fluids; (3) by interaction with aqueous fluids to form orthopyroxene porphyroblasts and orthopyroxenite veins. In contrast to their depleted major element compositions, the tectonite peridotites are mostly light rare earth element (LREE)-enriched and show enrichment in fluid-mobile elements such as Cs, Rb, U and Pb on mantle-normalized diagrams. Lack of enrichment in high field strength elements (HFSE; e.g. Nb, Ta, Zr and Hf) suggests that the tectonite peridotites have been metasomatized by a subduction-related fluid. Clinopyroxenes from the tectonite peridotites have distinct U-shaped REE patterns with strong LREE enrichment. They have 143Nd/144Nd values that range from 0·5121 (close to the host minette values) to 0·5107, similar to those of xenoliths from the nearby Highwood Mountains. Foliated mica websterites also have low 143Nd/144Nd values (0·5113) and extremely high 87Sr/86Sr ratios in their constituent phlogopite, indicating an ancient (probably mid-Proterozoic) enrichment. This enriched mantle lithosphere later contributed to the formation of the high-K Eocene host magmas. The cumulate group ranges from clinopyroxene-rich mica peridotites (including abundant mica wehrlites) to mica clinopyroxenites. Most contain >30% phlogopite. Their mineral compositions are similar to those of phenocrysts in the host minettes. Their whole-rock compositions are generally poorer in MgO but richer in incompatible trace elements than those of the tectonite peridotites. Whole-rock trace element patterns are enriched in large ion lithophile elements (LILE; Rb, Cs, U and Pb) and depleted in HFSE (Nb, Ta Zr and Hf) as in the host minettes, and their Sr–Nd isotopic compositions are also identical to those of the minettes. Their clinopyroxenes are LREE-enriched and formed in equilibrium with a LREE-enriched melt closely resembling the minettes. The cumulates therefore represent a much younger magmatic event, related to crystallization at mantle depths of minette magmas in Eocene times, that caused further metasomatic enrichment of the lithosphere

    Accretion, Differentiation, and Impact Processes on the Ureilite Parent Body

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    Ureilites are primitive ultramafic achondrites composed largely of olivine and pigeonite, with minor augite, orthopyroxene, carbon, sulphide and metal. They represent very early material in the history of the Solar System and (in common with lodranites and acapulcoites) form a bridge between undifferentiated chondrites and fully differentiated asteroidal bodies. They show an intriguing mixture of chemical characteristics, some of which are considered to be nebula-derived (e.g. variations in Delta(sup 17)O and mg#) whereas others have been imposed by asteroidal differentiation (e.g. core formation, silicate partial melting, removal of basalt)
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