Nephelinitic to tholeiitic magma generation in a transtensional tectonic setting: an integrated model for the Iblean volcanism, Sicily

L. Beccaluva, F. Siena, M. Coltorti, A. Di Grande, A. Lo Giudice, G. Macciotta, R. Tassinari, C. Vaccaro

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92 Citations (Scopus)


The Pliocene-Pleistocene volcanism of the Iblean area developed along a NE-SW lithospheric wrench fault system with a wide range of basic magmas from 1Z tholeiites to nephelinites. Incompatible element patterns, gradually increasing from tholeiites to nephelinites, share geochemical characteristics with within-plate sodic magmas, and show analogies to HIMU and, to a less extent, EM II ocean-island basalts (OIB), in agreement with their isotopic signatures: 87Sr/86Sr 0.70271-0.70302 and 143Nd/144Nd 0.51324-0.51299 for subalkaline and 87Sr/86Sr 0.70287-0.70327 and 143Nd/144Nd 0.51392-).51291 for alkaline lavas. An integrated petrogenetic model based on phase equilibria, major and trace element compositions and geothermobarometry of lavas and included mantle xenoliths leads to the following constraints: (1) mosst of the magmas were generated within spinel peridotite facies lithospheric mantle from progressively deeper sources (30 to ~90 km depth), with concomitant decrease in the degree of melting (from 30 to 3%), which is positively correlated with MgO content from tholeiites to nephelinites; (2) alkalinity and incompatible element contents are controlled by the degree of partial melting and source enrichment related to asthenospheric metasomatizing melts or fluids infiltrating depleted lithospheric mantle; (3) mantle sources have to be iherzolites leaving metasomatic amphibole ± phlogopite for tholeiites (S1), alkali basalts and basanites (S2) , and clinopyroxene-rich lherzolites (or even wehrlites) bearing amphibole + phlogopite + carvbonatic metasomatic components for nephelinites (S3); the Sr-Nd isotopic differences between alkaline and subalkaline lavas are constent with a strong alkali-silicate ± carbonatitic metasomatism of the deepest lithospheric mantle sources, and with a less intensive enrichment, only by alkali-silicate agents, of the upper lithospheric mantle; (4) melting processes appear to be controlled by the igh geothermal gradient in the area (close to the hydrated mantle solidus) and are probably triggered by local decompression effects related to the lithospheric transtensive fault system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1547-1576
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Petrology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1998
Externally publishedYes


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