Subduction-related petrogenesis of Late Archean calc-alkaline lamprophyres in the Yilgarn Craton (Western Australia)

Eunjoo Choi, Marco L. Fiorentini, Andrea Giuliani, Stephen F. Foley, Roland Maas, Wayne R. Taylor

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37 Citations (Scopus)


We present a comprehensive petrographic, mineralogical and geochemical study of calc-alkaline lamprophyres (CAL) from the Archean Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia. Previous studies have shown that the emplacement age of CAL from the Eastern Goldfields Superterrane of the Yilgarn Craton is ~2684 to ~2640 Ma. A new Rb/Sr mica age for a CAL sample in the Western Yilgarn is ~2070 Ma. Both Archean and Proterozoic CAL analysed in this study display porphyritic textures and contain phenocrysts of amphibole, minor clinopyroxene and biotite in a fine-grained groundmass dominated by feldspar. High MgO, Ni and Cr abundances (up to 11.9 wt%, 373 and 993 ppm. respectively) are consistent with derivation of primitive magmas from a mantle source. Enrichment in H2O, reflected in the abundance of magmatic amphibole and mica, combined with high whole-rock LILE, Th/Yb ratios and negative Nb-Ta anomalies in trace element patterns are consistent with a source that was metasomatised by hydrous fluids analogous to those generated by Phanerozoic subduction-related processes. Chondritic ɛNd and ɛHf signatures and Archean mantle-like Sr isotope signatures of the Late Archean CAL indicate that the fluid metasomatism required to explain their volatile and trace-element enriched composition shortly preceded partial melting (i.e. there was insufficient time to develop enriched radiogenic isotopic signatures). The concurrence of apparently juvenile radiogenic isotopes and fluid-related trace element compositions requires a geodynamic scenario whereby dehydration of a subducted slab triggered metasomatism of the overlying mantle wedge. Our findings therefore support a subduction setting at ~2.6–2.7 Ga along the eastern margin of the Yilgarn Craton. The CAL from the Western Yilgarn have similar compositions but enriched Sr-Nd-Hf isotopes compared to those in the Eastern Goldfields Superterrane. This signature is consistent with melting of lithospheric mantle domains previously enriched by subduction-related metasomatism. Hence, our study suggests the presence of a subduction setting in the Western Yilgarn during the Archean, which is consistent with previous geodynamic reconstructions. However, the geodynamic trigger for the early Proterozoic event that generated CAL magmatism in the Western Yilgarn is currently unclear.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105550
JournalPrecambrian Research
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


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