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Geochemistry and petrogenesis of Late Permian basalts from the Sichuan Basin, SW China: Implications for the geodynamics of the Emeishan mantle plume

Meng, Fanchao, Tian, Yulu, Kerr, Andrew C. ORCID:, Wang, Wei, Wu, Zhiping, Xu, Qiang, Du, Qing, Zhou, Yaoqi and Liu, Jiaqi 2023. Geochemistry and petrogenesis of Late Permian basalts from the Sichuan Basin, SW China: Implications for the geodynamics of the Emeishan mantle plume. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 241 , 105477. 10.1016/j.jseaes.2022.105477

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Plume-lithosphere interactions are significant in the formation of Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs). The Permian Emeishan Large Igneous Province (ELIP) is considered to be the result of a mantle plume. The Emeishan flood basalts comprise a major part of the ELIP and they define three zones: the inner, intermediate and outer zones. Both high-Ti and low-Ti basalts are present in the inner zone, whereas only high-Ti basalts are found in the intermediate zone and outer zone. However, there are only sparse outcrops in the outer zone, and so geochemical data on basalts from the outer zone are rare and the role of plume-lithosphere interaction in the petrogenesis of volcanic rocks in the outer zone remains poorly understood. In the Sichuan basin, the Basalt Formation is found between the Permian Maokou Formation limestone and the Longtan Formation marl in some drill cores as well as in outcrops in the basin. This relationship demonstrates that the basaltic layer in the basin is part of the Emeishan flood basalts. These basalts have TiO2 contents of 3.7-4.2 wt.% and Ti/Y ratios of 604-720, being high-Ti sub-alkaline basalts. They display chondrite-normalized rare earth elements (REE) patterns enriched in light rare earth elements (LREE) relative to heavy rare earth elements (HREE) and have elevated large ion lithophile elements (LILE) and high field strength elements (HFSE). Lead isotope ratios are high (206Pb/204Pb(t)= 18.102-18.392, 207Pb/204Pb(t)= 15.578-15.606, 208Pb/204Pb(t)= 38.410-38.850), and εNd(t) values are -0.38∼1.17. Detailed petrology and geochemistry suggest that the high-Ti basalts from the Sichuan Basin did not experience significant contamination of crustal and lithospheric mantle material during the ascent of magma. We infer that these basalts resulted from low-degree melting of the plume mantle source and underwent fractional crystallization of clinopyroxene. The distribution and petrogenesis of the Sichuan Basin basalts in the outer zone are different from those of the basalts in the inner zone and there are clearly different plume-lithosphere interactions in different parts of the ELIP. In the inner zone, the temperature of the lithosphere mantle was markedly elevated due to underplating of the mantle plume, causing a substantial quantity of lithosphere mantle melting and the initial formation of low-Ti basalts. This was followed by melting of the mantle plume and the formation of high-Ti basalts. In the outer zone, lower temperatures further from the plume centre were insufficient to generate extensive melting of the lithospheric mantle. Consequently, only the mantle plume melted in the outer zone, resulting in the formation of high-Ti basalts with minimal lithospheric input.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1367-9120
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 17 November 2022
Date of Acceptance: 3 November 2022
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2023 17:13

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