A suture related accretionary wedge in the Gondwana assembly: insights from serpentinites in the Hoggar shield, Algeria

Sonia Ouadahi*, Abderrahmane Bendaoud, Jean Louis Bodinier, Jean-Marie Dautria, Alain Vauchez, El-Hocine Fettous, Olivier Alard

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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    The assembly of West Gondwana supercontinent involved several complex processes that led to the formation of the Hoggar shield during the Panafrican-Brasiliano event. We present the first petro-geochemical, geochronological and field data of serpentinite lenses exposed along the In-Tedeini domain, within deformed talc-schist and magmatic-sedimentary formations. The serpentinites preserved the main characteristics of their parent peridotites (Al/Si: 0.004–0.03; Mg/Si: 1.14–1.62; Al2O3: 0.15–1.37 wt%; Mg#: 85.3–94; Ti: 9.34–120 ppm; Nb: 0.007–0.46 ppm), attesting to a highly depleted mantle wedge protolith involved in a subduction zone. This is in agreement with the high Cr# (0.55–0.6), low to moderate Mg# (0.36–0.65) and low TiO2 contents (<0.1 wt%) of their constitutive Cr-spinels. Geochemical modelling suggest that both the North and South In-Tedeini serpentinite units have experienced intense and similar fluid-induced dynamic melting episodes. The evolution of these two units has diverged, with the Southern In-Tedeini unit being refertilized by a small volume of island-arc basaltic melts generated in the mantle wedge. Serpentinization of these rocks probably occurred under static conditions at high temperature corresponding essentially to amphibolite-facies conditions. Field relations suggest that the exhumation of the massive serpentinites occurred along major sinistral shear zones steeply dipping eastward, assisted by talc-schists that highly localized transpressive deformation. First U-Pb zircon ages obtained from a metasomatic chloritite in North In-Tedeini serpentinites; they may have recorded the age (770 ± 5 Ma) of the subduction related Panafrican island arcs and the emplacement (631 ± 10 Ma) of In-Tedeini serpentinites within the crust; or they may rather correspond to the serpentinization events endured by the rocks. All together, the reported results support the presence of a major suture zone, oriented NNW-SSE. This suture is outlined by mantle serpentinite lenses exhumed in a collisional accretionary wedge, which connects the western and the central Hoggar, following a Panafrican east-dipping subduction. This tectonic system would have contributed to the closure of the Goiás-Pharusian ocean.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number106505
    Pages (from-to)1-24
    Number of pages24
    JournalPrecambrian Research
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


    • Serpentinite
    • Mantle wedge
    • Neoproterozoic
    • Panafrican belt
    • West Gondwana orogen
    • Suture


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