Cretaceous magmatic evolution in the Deylaman igneous complex, Alborz zone, Iran: change from extensional to compressional regime

Sheida Akmali, Abbas Asiabanha, Shahrooz Haghnazar


The Deylaman igneous complex, as a part of the Late Cretaceous rock unit that lies behind the Paleogene Alborz magmatic arc, in the northern Alborz zone, is composed of basaltic sheet lavas alternating with the pelagic calcareous sediments, basaltic pillow lavas, felsic lavas and gabbroic-monzodioritic intrusions. The pelagic calcareous deposits contain microfossils representing the Santonian–Maastrichtian ages. Furthermore, petrographic textures such as the hyalomicrolitic texture and swallow-tail plagioclase crystals in the pillow lavas, and also segregation vesicles in the basaltic sheet lavas, imply high external (hydrostatic) pressures as the magma was extruded in a deep-water environment. The rock samples show both compositional bimodality and characteristic trends in the variation diagrams. Also, some geochemical characteristics imply that the basaltic lavas originated from the partial melting of an undepleted deep mantle source containing spinel lherzolite: the enrichment patterns of LREE/HREE ratios of the samples [(La/Yb)n = 3.93–4.16 for basaltic lavas and 10.92 for felsic lavas] lying between those characteristic of OIBs [(La/Yb)n = 12.92] and EMORBs [(La/Yb)n = 1.91]; similarities between the patterns of multi-element spider-diagrams; LILE bulges in the basaltic samples compared with those of OIBs. Moreover, the samples show influence from two geotectonic environments: supra-subduction zone (SSZ) settings and plume-type within-plate magmas. Therefore, because of the deep submarine environment inferred for the effusive volcanic eruptions in Santonian–Maastrichtian time, it seems that the Deylaman igneous complex evolved through two stages: first, a tensional regime in a supra-subduction zone (farther from the Mesozoic magmatic arc) and formation of an embryonic rift-related oceanic basin in the Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous; secondly, a compressive regime in the Late Cretaceous–Early Paleocene and inland migration of the magmatic arc. Consequently, the Cretaceous magmatism can be interpreted as a prelude to the Eocene magmatic flare-up in the magmatic arcs of Iran.


back-arc magmatism; Cretaceous; Neotethys; Alborz; Iran

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