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40Ar–39Ar ages and isotope geochemistry of Cretaceous basalts in northern Madagascar: refining eruption ages, extent of crustal contamination and parental magmas in a flood basalt province

  • C. CUCCINIELLO (a1), L. MELLUSO (a1), F. JOURDAN (a2), J. J. MAHONEY (a3), T. MEISEL (a4) and V. MORRA (a1)...

Abstract

The Madagascar Cretaceous igneous province exposed in the Mahajanga basin is represented by basalt and basaltic andesite lavas. New 40Ar–39Ar plateau ages (92.3 ± 2.0 Ma and 91.5 ± 1.3 Ma) indicate that the magmatism in the Mahajanga basin started about 92 Ma ago. Four geochemically distinct magma types (Groups A–D) are present. Group A and C rocks have low to moderate TiO2 (1.2–2.6 wt%), Nb (3–9 μg g−1) and Zr (82–200 μg g−1), and show large variations in ɛNdi (+0.1 to −10.8), 206Pb/204Pb (15.28 to 16.33) and γOs (+11.4 to +7378). The large isotopic variations, particularly in Os, Nd and Pb isotopic compositions, are likely due to crustal contamination. The low Pb isotope ratios observed in the Group A and C rocks suggest involvement of continental crust with low μ (238U/204Pb). Group B and D rocks have moderate to high TiO2 (2.2–4.9 wt%), Nb (8–24 μg g−1) and Zr (120–327 μg g−1). Age-corrected isotopes of Group B and D lavas show a small range in ɛNdi (+1.0 to +4.0) and a wide range in γOs (+128 to +1182). Values of 207Pb/204Pb are within the range for Groups A and C, but the Group D 206Pb/204Pb (16.52–17.08) and 208Pb/204Pb (37.51–38.01) values are higher, indicating a different crustal contaminant. Pb isotopic values of the Group B rocks seem to reflect the isotopic features of their mantle source. The magma groups of Mahajanga display a wide range of trace element and isotopic compositions that cannot be explained only by open-system crystallization processes but, rather, by distinct mantle sources.

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      40Ar–39Ar ages and isotope geochemistry of Cretaceous basalts in northern Madagascar: refining eruption ages, extent of crustal contamination and parental magmas in a flood basalt province
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      40Ar–39Ar ages and isotope geochemistry of Cretaceous basalts in northern Madagascar: refining eruption ages, extent of crustal contamination and parental magmas in a flood basalt province
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Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: melluso@unina.it

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