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Isotopic and trace-element constraints on mantle and crustal contributions to Siberian continental flood basalts, Noril'sk area, Siberia

January 1, 1993

We present a tightly controlled and comprehensive set of analytical data for the 250-Ma Siberian flood-basalt province. Consideration of major- and trace-element compositions, along with strontium, lead and neodymium isotopic compositions, strongly supports earlier Russian subdivision of this magmatism into three magmatic cycles, giving rise to three assemblages of eleven basalt suites in the ascending order Ivakinsky-Gudchikhinsky, Khakanchansky-Nadezhdinsky and Morongovsky-Samoedsky. Geochemical and isotopic discontinuities of varying magnitude characterize most of the boundaries between the eleven recognized basalt suites in the Noril'sk area.

Although we conclude that the dominant volume of erupted magma originated from an asthenospheric mantle plume, none of the lavas is interpreted to directly represent asthenospheric melts, which would have been far more magnesian. On the basis of thermal considerations, we consider it unlikely that vast volumes of basaltic melt were produced directly from the continental lithospheric mantle beneath the Siberian craton. Moreover, there is little evidence from mantle xenoliths that the geochemical signatures of such melts would correspond to those of the Siberian flood basalts. Studies of melt migration lead us to conclude that transport of asthenospheric melt through the lithospheric mantle would be rapid, by fracture propagation. Lavas from the Gudchikhinsky suite have negligible Ta-Nb anomalies and positive ϵNd values and their parental magmas presumably interacted little with the continental lithospheric mantle or crust. All other lavas have negative Ta-Nb anomalies and lower ϵNd values that we attribute to interaction with continental crust.

The model that we have developed requires discrete contributions from the plume and complex processing of all erupted magmas in the continental crust. The earliest magmas represent small percentages of melt formed in equilibrium with garnet. Over time, the percentage of melting in the source region and the volume of magma produced increased, and garnet was no longer stable in the plume source. All of the plume-derived melts initially contained more than 20 wt% MgO and became less Mg rich by fractionation of olivine as they traversed the lithospheric mantle. We conclude, however, that the most significant control on the geochemical and isotopic compositions of all the erupted lavas was processing of mantle-derived magma in crustal reservoirs during periodic replenishment, periodic tapping, continuous crystal fractionation and wallrock assimilation. Rapid eruption of an extremely large volume of processed magma that varied little in chemical and isotopic composition produced the sequence of relatively monotonous tholeiitic basalts that constitute the 2,300-m-thick third assemblage of the Siberian flood-basalt province near Noril'sk.

Publication Year 1993
Title Isotopic and trace-element constraints on mantle and crustal contributions to Siberian continental flood basalts, Noril'sk area, Siberia
DOI 10.1016/0016-7037(93)90149-Q
Authors J. L. Wooden, G.K. Czamanske, V.A. Fedorenko, N.T. Arndt, C. Chauvel, R. M. Bouse, B. S. W. King, R. J. Knight, D. F. Siems
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Index ID 70017426
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse