Geochemical characteristics of collision zone magmatism

Harris, Nigel B. W.; Pearce, Julian A. and Tindle, Andrew G. (1986). Geochemical characteristics of collision zone magmatism. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 19 pp. 67–81.



This paper reports the results of a systematic geochemical study of intermediate and acid intrusive rocks from a number of continent-continent collision zones of Phanerozoic age. Four groups of intrusions can be recognized, each associated with a particular stage in the tectonic evolution of a collision zone.

Pre-collision calc-alkaline (volcanic-arc) intrusions which are mostly derived from mantle modified by a subduction component and which are characterized by selective enrichments in LIL elements.

Syn-collision peraluminous intrusions (leucogranites) which may be derived from the hydrated bases of continental thrust sheets and which are characterized by high Rb/Zr and Ta/Nb and low K/Rb ratios.

Late or post-collision calc-alkaline intrusions which may be derived from a mantle sourcebut undergo extensive crustal contamination and can only be distinguished from volcanic-arcintrusions by their higher ratios of Ta/Hf and Ta/Zr.

Post-collision alkaline intrusions which may be derived from mantle lithosphere beneaththe collision zones and which carry high concentrations of both LIL and HFS elements.

The geochemical evolution of crustal melts within groups (ii) and (iii) can be viewed in terms of the dehydration reactions, volatile transfer and transient geothermal gradients that result from thrust tectonics in the zone of collision.

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