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Publication Detail
Tertiary-Quaternary intra-plate magmatism in Europe and its relationship to mantle dynamics
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Journal Article
  • Authors:
    Wilson M, Downes H
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    147, 166
  • Journal:
    Geological Society Memoir
  • Volume:
  • Status:
  • Print ISSN:
Anorogenic intra-plate magmatism was widespread in Europe from early Tertiary to Recent times, extending west to east from Spain to Bulgaria, and south to north from Sicily to central Germany. Magmatism is spatially and temporally associated with Alpine-Pyrenean collisional tectonics, the development of an extensive lithospheric rift system in the northern foreland of the Alps, and, locally, with uplift of Variscan basement massifs (Massif Central, Rhenish Massif, Bohemian Massif). The volcanic regions vary in volume from large central volcanoes (e.g. Cantal, Massif Central;Vogelsberg, central Germany), to small isolated plugs (e.g. Urach and Hegau provinces in southern Germany). Within the Mediterranean region, the Dinarides, the Pannonian Basin and Bulgaria, anorogenic volcanism locally post-dates an earlier phase of subduction-related magmatism. The major and trace element and Sr-Nd-Pb isotope characteristics of the most primitive mafic magmatic rocks (MgO > 6 wt%) provide important constraints on the nature of the mantle source and the conditions of partial melting. These are predominantly sodic (melilitites, nephelinites, basanites and alkali olivine basalts); however, locally, potassic magma types (olivine leucitites, leucite nephelinites) also occur. In several localities (e.g. Sicily; Vogelsberg and the Rhine Graben, Germany; Calatrava, central Spain) olivine and quartz tholeiites form a significant component of the magmatism. The sodic magmas were derived by variable degrees of partial melting (c. 0.5-5%) within a transitional zone between garnet-peridotite and spinel-peridotite mantle facies, close to the base of the lithosphere; the potassic magma types are interpreted as partial melts of enriched domains within the lithospheric mantle. Mantle partial melting was induced by adiabatic decompression of the asthenosphere, locally in small-scale, plume-like, diapirs, which appear to upwell from c. 400 km depth. © The Geological Society of London 2006.
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