Geochemistry and petrogenesis of the Proterozoic dykes in Tamil nadu, southern India: another example of the Archaean lithospheric mantle source
Approximately 1650-Ma-old NW/SE and NE/SW-trending dolerite dykes in the Tiruvannamalai (TNM) area and approximately 1800-Ma-old NW/SE-trending dolerite dykes in the Dharmapuri (DP) area constitute major Proterozoic dyke swarms in the high-grade granulite region of Tamil nadu, southern India. The NW- and NE-trending TNM dykes are compositionally very similar and can be regarded as having been formed during a single magmatic episode. The DP dykes may relate to an earlier similar magmatic episode. The dolerites are Fe-rich tholeiites and most of the elemental variations can be explained in terms of fractional crystallisation. Clinopyroxene and olivine are the inferred ferromagnesian fractionation phases followed by plagioclase during the late fractionation stages. All the studied dykes have, similar to many continental flood basalts (CFB), large-ion lithophile element (LILE) and light rare-earth element (LREE) enrichment and Nb and Ta depletion. The incompatible element abundance patterns are comparable to the patterns of many other Proterozoic dykes in India and Antarctica, to the late Archaean ( 2.72 Ga) Dominion volcanics in South Africa and to the early Proterozoic ( 2.0 Ga) Scourie dykes of Scotland. The geochemical characteristics of the TNM and DP dykes cannot be explained by crustal contamination alone. Instead, they are consistent with derivation from an enriched lithospheric mantle source which appears to have been developed much earlier than the dyke intrusions during a major crustal building event in the Archaean. The dyke magmas may have been formed by dehydration melting induced by decompression and lithospheric attenuation or plume impingement at the base of the lithosphere. These magmas, compared with CFB, appear to be the minor partial melts from plume heads of smaller diameter and of shallow origin (650 km). Therefore, the Proterozoic thermal events could induce crustal attenuation and dyke intrusions in contrast to the extensive CFB volcanism and continental rifting generally associated with the Phanerozoic plumes of larger head diameter (>1000 km) and of deeper origin (at crust mantle boundary).
International Journal of Earth Sciences
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