Transformation from oxidized to reduced alkaline magmas in the northern North China Craton

Kaizhang Yu, Yongsheng Liu*, Stephen F. Foley, Yangtao Zhu, Zhaochu Hu, Keqing Zong, Haihong Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The oxygen fugacity of a magma controlling element distribution and mobility is influenced by multiple factors including source composition and magmatic processes (e.g., assimilation and degassing). Here, whole-rock and in situ mineral analyses of the alkaline complex from the northern North China Craton are reported to investigate the influence of source composition and magmatic processes on the evolution of the melt oxidation state. The alkaline complex comprises orthoclase pyroxenites, pyroxene syenites, and syenites with similar mineral assemblages and trace element patterns. Consistent zircon and titanite U-Pb age of ~234 Ma is presented for the alkaline rocks. Their high large ion lithophile elements content, negative high field strength element anomalies, and high 87Sr/86Sr ratio suggest a metasomatized mantle origin by recycled crustal material. Magnetite and hematite inclusions were found in the early-crystallized minerals including clinopyroxene and apatite. Fluorapatites are characterized by high S (SO3 up to 0.64 wt%) and low Mn contents, with estimated ΔFMQ higher than +3. These features together indicate a primary oxidized magma inherited from the metasomatized mantle. However, inclusion-rich fluorapatites with decreasing S and increasing Mn content from the core to the rim were found in some pyroxene syenites. Moreover, the S content of inclusion-rich fluorapatite from these pyroxene syenites is lower than that of other rock types in the complex, which may correspond to a decrease in oxygen fugacity of ~2.5 log units. These features suggest that the oxidized magma was later transformed into reduced magma. Oriented Cu-rich sulfide in inclusion-rich fluorapatite formed during the reducing event. δ65Cu of the pyroxene syenite with inclusion-rich fluorapatite (−0.06 to −0.24‰) and sulfides in fluorapatite (−0.26‰) are lighter than those of other rock types (+0.30 to +0.43‰), suggesting that the sulfides were derived from extraneous materials via magma assimilation. Variable and high 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.7071–0.7085) in titanites and high-207Pb/206Pb rims of zoned K-feldspar in the pyroxene syenite imply that the reduced extraneous materials were derived from ancient crust. Overall, in situ mineral analyses and Cu isotopes indicate a direct link between the transformation of alkaline magma from an oxidized to a reduced state with source composition and magmatic processes, and improve our understanding of element mobility and distribution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106104
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Alkaline rocks
  • Oxygen fugacity
  • Mantle metasomatism
  • Magma assimilation
  • Fluorapatite
  • Sr–Pb–Cu isotopes


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