On the basis of whole-rock and mineral chemistry two main magmatic groups can be established for the Paleozoic Volcanism of the Carnian Alps. High-Ti Volcanics (HTV) and Low-Ti Volcanics (LTV). Spilitization processes have not masked the primary magmatic character. The two groups are characterized by very different trace element patterns and cannot be correlated by a fractionation process. The HTV require an enriched mantle source whereas the geochemistry of the LTV indicates strong crustal contamination. Both magmatic groups are consistent with a major rifting episode. The contamination via assimilation of crustal rocks of the LTV group implies that rifting developed in a continental area.