Late Permian Melt Percolation through the Crust of North-Central Africa and Its Possible Relationship to the African Large Low Shear Velocity Province
Thursday, 18 December 2014
The Doba gabbro was collected from an exploration well through the Cretaceous Doba Basin of Southern Chad. The gabbro is comprised mostly of plagioclase, clinopyroxene and Fe-Ti oxide minerals and displays cumulus mineral textures. Whole rock 40Ar/39Ar step-heating geochronology yielded a Late Permian plateau age of 257 ± 1 Ma. The major and trace elemental geochemistry shows that the gabbro is mildly alkalic to tholeiitic in composition and has trace element ratios (i.e. La/YbN > 7; Sm/YbPM > 3.4; Nb/Y > 1; Zr/Y > 5) indicative of a basaltic melt derived from a garnet-bearing sublithospheric mantle source. The moderately enriched Sr-Nd isotopes (i.e. ISr = 0.70495 to 0.70839; eNd(T) = -1.0 to -1.3) fall within the mantle array (i.e. OIB-like) and are similar to other Late Permian plutonic rocks of North-Central Africa (i.e. ISr = 0.7040 to 0.7070). The Late Permian plutonic igneous complexes of North-Central Africa are geologically associated with tectonic lineaments suggesting they acted as conduits for sublithospheric melts to migrate to middle/upper crustal levels. The source of the magmas may be related to the spatial-temporal association of North-Central Africa with the African large low shear velocity province (LLSVP). The African LLSVP has remained stable since the Late Carboniferous and was beneath the Doba basin during the Permian. We suggest that melts derived from deep seated sources related to the African LLSVP percolated through the North-Central African crust via older tectonic lineaments and form a discontiguous magmatic province.