Geochemical and tectonic significance of the Arbat alkali gabbro-monzonite-syenite intrusions, Urumieh–Dokhtar Magmatic Arc, Iran

Abdolnaser Fazlnia


The Oligocene Arbat alkali intrusions of the Eastern Miandoab are located in the northwestern part of Iran and belong to the Urumieh–Dokhtar Magmatic Arc (UDMA). The intrusions show a ring structure with gabbro-monzogabbro-monzodiorite (mafic units) on the edges, with monzonite-monzosyenite-syenite (felsic units) gradually going towards the central parts. The textures in different rock types are cumulate, granular and laminated. The high values of (La/Sm)n and (La/Yb)n, contents of K, Rb and Cs (positive anomalies normalized on the basis of the primitive mantle), low concentrations of Hf, Nb, Zr and Ta (negative anomalies), and the changes in Th/Nb, Th/Ta, La/Nb and Ce/Pb ratios along with the geochemical and tectonic setting evidence exhibit a subduction-modified mantle origin for the formation of these rocks. Accordingly, the intrusions were formed between the Central Iran and the Arabian plates as a result of the partial melting of a mantle wedge at a syn-collision or post-collision arc-related environment. Our data suggested that, after the end of the oblique Neotethys subduction and during/after the continental collision, the break-off or rollback of the Neotethys slab beneath western Iran, in the Oligocene, might have occurred. Such a process led to the change in the geothermal gradient of the mantle wedge because of the subduction fluids, transtension, pressure reduction along the SE-trending lateral depth strike-slip fault zones in the upper part of the mantle wedge, decompression partial melting at the mantle, and the resulting formation of a mafic potassium-rich melt. The mafic magma was injected into crustal magma chambers; probably, the fractional crystallization and partial contamination occurred with crustal components, forming the intermediate and felsic rocks in the intrusions. Geochemical evidence related to the variations in the ratios of Th/Yb, Ta/Yb, Rb/Y, and Nb/Y and Harker variation diagrams along with the spider diagrams confirmed fractional crystallization and partial FC (fractional crystallization) and AFC (assimilation and fractional crystallization) in the intrusions.


gabbro-monzonite-syenite complex; geochemistry; collisional zone; Neotethys subduction

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