The In-Ezzane volcanic district (EZD), located at the triple junction of Algeria, Niger and Libya belongs to the Eastern Hoggar, covers 350km2 and includes 9 volcanic edifices that are probably aligned along NW-SE faults, parallel to the Tafassasset valley. The low volume (0.7 and 1km3) of emitted lavas, the similar morphology of the monogenic cones and the lack of differentiated rocks indicate that the volcanic activity of the EZD was restricted in time and volume. The new K-Ar age (i.e. 2.86±0.07Ma) indicates that the EZD is contemporaneous with the last alkali volcanism paroxysm in Hoggar and with the nearby Libyan volcanics. The EZD alkali basalts (mainly basanite) show a remarkable homogeneous compositions both in major elements (44.8≤SiO2≤45.8wt.%; 5.2≤(Na2O+K2O)≤6.2wt.%), trace elements (4.3≤Th≤5.5ppm; 34.7≤La≤44.7ppm; 16.1<La/Yb(N)<21.6) and radiogenic isotopes (0.70285<87Sr/86Sr<0.70303; 0.51298<143Nd/144Nd<0.51301; (19.212<206Pb/204Pb<19.340, 15.589<207Pb/204Pb<15.602 and 38.834<208Pb/204Pb<38.903). Relative to the Hoggar alkaly basalts the EZD basalts appear systematically impoverished in incompatible elements and show a depleted signature both in Sr and Nd isotopes (almost MORB-like). The Pb isotopes are relatively enriched and intermediate between tholeiites and alkali basalts of the Hoggar. This unusual geochemical signature, is uneasy to reconcile with the known characteristics of the Hoggar swell, and would rather fingerprint a circum cratonic mantle lying beneath the west border of the Murzuq craton (Libya).
- tuareg shield