Mesoproterozoic high Fe–Ti mafic magmatism in western Shandong, North China Craton: Petrogenesis and implications for the final breakup of the Columbia supercontinent
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High Fe–Ti basic rocks (FeOt > 12 wt% and TiO2 > 2 wt%) are rare in the geological record and display a different evolutionary trend (the ‘Fenner’ trend) from the normal ‘Bowen’ trend of SiO2 enrichment. In this paper, we present geochronological, geochemical and Sr–Nd isotopic data for the Fe–Ti-rich gabbros from western Shandong within the Eastern Block of the North China Craton. Zircon U–Pb dating indicates that they were emplaced at ∼1.21 Ga. All high Fe–Ti gabbros are characterized by low MgO (<7 wt%) and Mg numbers (<50), and high FeOt (>12 wt%), TiO2 (>2 wt%) and P2O5 (mostly >0.4 wt%). Geochemically, they can be divided into two different series (the alkaline series for the Yishui gabbros and the sub-alkaline series for the Feixian gabbros). Both series of Fe–Ti-rich gabbros show similar depletion in Th, U, Nb and Ta, and have positive Eu anomalies. The main difference is that the alkaline series displays slightly more fractionated REE patterns and more depleted Sr–Nd isotopic compositions than the sub-alkaline series; it also lacks positive P anomalies. Elemental geochemistry indicates that both series were likely generated by the partial melting of lherzolitic mantle, with different proportions of garnet in their sources. The mantle sources were re-enriched through varying degrees of hybridization of lower crustal materials prior to partial melting.The results of modeling based on the Sr–Nd isotopic compositions show that their mantle sources could have formed from the hybridization of N-MORB-like depleted mantle through involvement of around 1% lower crustal components for the alkaline series and 2% for the sub-alkaline series: this accounts for their geochemical signatures, especially for the marked depletion in Th and U, and weak negative Nb and Ta anomalies. A combination of Fe-rich mantle source and subsequent fractional crystallization, coupled with low fO2 during magmatic evolution, likely resulted in the Fe–Ti enrichment trend in both series of gabbros. In combination with regional and global studies, their generation could be related to a prolonged superplume that led to the final breakup of the Columbia supercontinent during Mesoproterozoic
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