Genesis of zircon megacrysts in Cenozoic alkali basalts and the heterogeneity of subcontinental lithospheric mantle, Eastern China

Yao Yu, Xisheng Xu*, Xiaoming Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Zircon megacrysts are found in alluvial deposits associated with Cenozoic basalts from Changle in Shandong Province, Mingxi in Fujian Province and Penglai in Hainan Province within the coastal area of eastern China. They are colourless, transparent to light brown-maroon, and some of them are up to 16mm long. U-Pb ages of zircon megacrysts from Changle, Mingxi and Penglai are 19.2±0.7 Ma, 1.2± 0.1 Ma and 4.1±0.2 Ma respectively, slightly older than the eruption ages of their corresponding host rocks (16.05-18.87 Ma, 0.9-2.2 Ma, 3 Ma). εHf(t) values of zircon megacrysts are 9.02±0.49, 6.83±0.47, 4.46±0.48 for Changle, Mingxi and Penglai, respectively, which indicates their mantle origin. We suggest that the zircon megacrysts originated from metasomatised lithospheric mantle and were later brought up quickly by the host basaltic magma. The euhedral forms, uniform internal structure and chemical homogeneity within a single grain suggest crystallization under stable conditions. Pronounced positive Ce anomalies and negligible Eu anomalies suggest oxidizing conditions and little or no fractional crystallization of plagioclase. The differences in Hf-isotope compositions among the zircon megacrysts from different localities are consistent with the Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic compositions of their respective host basalts. This indicates that the host basalts acquired their isotopic signatures from the lithospheric mantle from which the zircon megacrysts derived. These data document the lateral compositional heterogeneity in the upper mantle beneath eastern China. Like mantle xenoliths, zircon megacrysts also have the potential to fingerprint the composition and evolution of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-94
Number of pages20
JournalMineralogy and Petrology
Volume100
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

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