High-Mg adakitic rocks and their complementary cumulates formed by crystal fractionation of hydrous mafic magmas in a continental crustal magma chamber

Qiang Ma*, Yi Gang Xu, Jian Ping Zheng, Min Sun, William L. Griffin, Ying Wei, Liang Ma, Xiaolu Yu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Understanding how adakitic magmas form is important for understanding the formation of the continental crust. Generating such high-Sr/Y rocks by crystal fractionation of basalts/basaltic andesites in magma chambers has been proposed in a wide range of tectonic settings. However, the complementary cumulates predicted by this scenario have rarely been observed. The late Triassic (~227 Ma) Ningcheng complex from the North China Craton is composed of a websterite - (Ol-/Hbl-) pyroxenite - gabbro unit and a quartz-diorite unit. They are interpreted as the products (cumulates and derivative melts, respectively) of fractionation from hydrous mafic magmas at mid- to lower-crustal pressures (4.9 ~ 8.3 kbar). The quartz diorites are high-Mg intermediate rocks with moderate SiO2 (57.0 ~ 62.9 wt%), high Mg# (>49) and adakitic trace element signatures, such as high Sr (≥636 ppm) and light rare earth elements (REEs), low Y (≤17 ppm) and heavy REEs (Yb ≤ 1.8 ppm), lack of obvious Eu anomalies, and high Sr/Y (≥31) and La/Yb (≥24)). These adakitic signatures reflect differentiation of hydrous mantle-derived magmas in the deep crust, leaving behind a plagioclase-free residual solid assemblage in the early stages, which is represented by the coeval websterite-pyroxenite complex. This study therefore not only demonstrates that hydrous crystal fractionation is an important mechanism to form adakitic rocks, but also presents an example of a preserved fractionating system, i.e. high-Sr/Y rocks and their complementary cumulates. A geochemical comparison is made between representative adakitic rocks formed by fractionation of hydrous magmas and Archean TTGs. It is suggested that crystal fractionation is an efficient process for making Phanerozoic high Sr/Y rocks but was not responsible for the formation of Archean granitoids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-224
Number of pages14
JournalLithos
Volume260
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016

Keywords

  • Adaldtic rocks
  • Complementary cumulates
  • Crystal fractionation
  • Hydrous magma
  • Deep-seated crust

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