Geochronology and geochemistry of exotic blocks of Cadomian crust from the salt diapirs of SE Zagros: the Chah-Banu example

Maryam Asadi Sarshar*, Hadi Shafaii Moghadam, William L. Griffin, Jose F. Santos, Robert J. Stern, Chris J. Ottley, Khalil Sarkarinejad, Fatemeh Sepidbar, Sue Y. O'Reilly

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Cadomian calc-alkaline I-type and within-plate A-type igneous rocks are widespread in the crust of Iran where they are ascribed to a convergent margin associated with the southward subduction of Prototethyan oceanic lithosphere beneath N Gondwana. These rocks are found as unmetamorphosed magmatic rocks and their metamorphic equivalents (mafic to felsic gneisses) could have been generated in both Cadomian arcs and associated rear-arcs. Nearly all these exposures also contain metamorphosed metasediments, whereas Cadomian igneous rocks of central Iran are associated with thick sequences of unmetamorphosed terrigenous rocks. In the Zagros Fold-Thrust belt of S Iran, salt diapirs contain abundant xenoliths of Cadomian igneous and sedimentary rocks in association with evaporites, dolomites, carbonates, and banded iron-salt deposits. This paper presents new zircon U-Pb and geochemical-isotopic data from igneous clasts in the Chah-Banu salt diapir in SE Zagros. Petrographic and geochemical data indicate two different types of rock clasts; calc-alkaline, I-type dacites-rhyolites, and arc-related to E-MORB-OIB-like gabbros, basalts, and dolerites. New zircon U-Pb ages show that dacites formed at 538.2 ± 2.2 Ma, whereas gabbros show ages of 539.0 ± 1.8 Ma. Zircons from dacites have negative εHf(t) values of–1.1 to–8.3. In contrast, zircons from gabbros have higher εHf(t) values of +4.5 to +8.5, indicating crystallization from mantle-derived juvenile magmas. Bulk rock Nd-Sr isotopic data (e.g. ɛNd(t) = +0.3 to +4.0 and 87Sr/86Sr(i) = 0.7059 to 0.70848) for gabbros, dolerites, and basalts confirm that these rocks originated from a mantle source similar to enriched parts of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle, whereas dacites and rhyolites (with εNd(t) = −3.4 to −4.1 and 87Sr/86Sr(i) = 0.70806 to 0.70907) show strong interaction with, and/or re-melting of older continental crust. We suggest that the bimodal calc-alkaline and E-MORB-OIB-like magmatic rocks in salt diapirs as well as associated evaporites and sedimentary rocks formed in a retro-arc rifted basin behind the Cadomian magmatic arc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1409-1430
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Geology Review
Issue number10
Early online date13 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Cadomian crust
  • zircon U-Pb
  • salt diapir
  • Iran


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