Neoproterozoic magmatic flare-up along the N. margin of Gondwana: the Taknar complex, NE Iran

Hadi Shafaii Moghadam*, Xian-Hua Li, Jose F. Santos, Robert J. Stern, William L. Griffin, Ghasem Ghorbani, Nazila Sarebani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


Magmatic "flare-ups" are common in continental arcs. The best-studied examples of such flare-ups are from Cretaceous and younger continental arcs, but a more ancient example is preserved in Late Ediacaran–Cambrian or Cadomian arcs that formed along the northern margin of Gondwana. In this paper, we report new trace-element, isotopic and geochronological data on ∼550 Ma magmatic rocks from the Taknar complex, NE Iran, and use this information to better understand episodes of flare-up, crustal thickening and magmatic periodicity in the Cadomian arcs of Iran and Anatolia. Igneous rocks in the Taknar complex include gabbros, diorites, and granitoids, which grade upward into a sequence of metamorphosed volcano-sedimentary rocks with interlayered rhyolites. Granodioritic dikes crosscut the Taknar gabbros and diorites. Gabbros are the oldest units and have zircon U–Pb ages of ca 556 Ma. Granites are younger and have U–Pb zircon ages of ca 552–547 Ma. Rhyolites are coeval with the granites, with U–Pb zircon ages of ∼551 Ma. Granodioritic dikes show two U–Pb zircon ages; ca 531 and 548 Ma. Geochemically, the Taknar igneous rocks have calc-alkaline signatures typical of continental arcs. Whole-rock Nd and zircon O–Hf isotopic data show that from Taknar igneous rocks were generated via mixing of juvenile magmas with older continental crust components at an active continental margin. Compiled geochronological and geochemical data from Iran and Anatolia allow identification of a Cadomian flare-up along northern Gondwana. The compiled U–Pb results from both magmatic and detrital zircons indicate the flare-up started ∼572 Ma and ended ∼528 Ma. The Cadomian flare-up was linked to strong crustal extension above a S-dipping subduction zone beneath northern Gondwana. The Iran–Anatolian Cadomian arc represents a site of crustal differentiation and stratification and involved older (Archean?) continental lower–middle crust, which has yet to be identified in situ, to form the continental nuclei of Anatolia and Iran. The Cadomian crust of Anatolia and Iran formed a single block "Cimmeria" that rifted away from northern Gondwana and was accreted to southern Eurasia in late Paleozoic time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-96
Number of pages14
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2017


  • Cadomian magmatism
  • U–Pb zircon geochronology
  • magmatic flare-up
  • active continental magmatism
  • Gondwana


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