Mesozoic–Cenozoic mafic magmatism in Sanandaj–Sirjan Zone, Zagros Orogen (Western Iran): Geochemical and isotopic inferences from Middle Jurassic and Late Eocene gabbros

R. Deevsalar*, R. Shinjo, M. Ghaderi, M. Murata, P. W.O. Hoskin, S. Oshiro, K. L. Wang, H. Y. Lee, I. Neill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


One of the consequences of Neo-Tethys ocean subduction beneath the Central Iranian Micro-continent (CIMC) is the development of rare gabbroic intrusions in the Malayer–Boroujerd Plutonic Complex (MBPC) located in the Sanandaj–Sirjan Zone (SaSZ) of the Zagros Orogenic belt. The MBPC is a suite of extensive felsic and lesser mafic magmatic products in the northern SaSZ with geochemical signatures of arc-like magmatism during the Middle Jurassic (Ghorveh–Aligudarz arc) and intraplate type in the Late Eocene. Middle Jurassic gabbros (non-cumulate and cumulate) have low-Ti concentrations (<1 wt.%) and quite uniform isotopic compositions (initial 87Sr/86Sr: 0.7035–0.70593 and εNd(t): − 6.18 to − 0.7), enriched LILE relative to HFSE, variable fractionation between the LREE and HREE ((La/Yb)cn: 2.27–7.45) and both negative to positive Eu anomalies. These distinctive features of arc-type magmatism are consistent with a subduction-modified mantle source for these rocks. Trace element and REE models indicate ~ 15% melting of a metasomatized amphibole-bearing garnet-spinel lherzolite (garnet:spinel ~ 7:3) in the sub-arc mantle wedge. The cumulate gabbros and non-cumulates belong to common liquid line of descent, with complementary trace element patterns. Much of the variation between samples can be modeled by fractional crystallization (FC) of a common parent; only one cumulate gabbro from this suite exhibits isotopic evidence of contamination, probably by Rb-depleted crustal materials. The Late Eocene gabbros have relatively high-Ti (>1 wt.%) and display isotopically depleted Sr–Nd values (initial 87Sr/86Sr: 0.7044–0.7087, εNd(t): 1.9 –+3.2, barring one crustally-contaminated sample). OIB-like trace element characteristics such as enriched HFSE, and only minor enrichment of LILE and LREE, reflect a within-plate character and asthenospheric source. Trace element modeling indicates small degree melting (fmelting: 0.05) of upper mantle lherzolite (garnet:spinel ~ 3:1) followed by higher degree melting (fmelting: 0.15) at shallower depths (garnet:spinel ~ 4.5:2). The Eocene parental magma underwent FC of olivine and clinopyroxene. We propose that Eocene asthenospheric upwelling was triggered by slab tearing in response to slab-rollback, which is elsewhere reported to have triggered a ‘flare-up’ of extension-related magmatism across Iran. Three stages of tectono-magmatic evolution in the Ghorveh–Aligudarz arc segment of the N-SaSZ are represented by: 1) arc-like magmatism during active subduction of the Neo-Tethys seaway at Middle Jurassic, 2) magmatic quiescence during an interval of shallow-angle or highly oblique subduction during the Cretaceous–Paleocene, and 3) asthenosphere melting during slab tearing shortly before the onset of the Arabia–Eurasia collision.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)588-607
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Zagros Orogen
  • Neo-Tethys Ocean
  • gabbro
  • trace element modeling
  • convecting enriched asthenosphere
  • mantle wedge


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