Gaggero, Laura and Oggiano, Giacomo and Funedda, Antonio and Buzzi, Laura (2012) Rifting and arc-related early Paleozoic volcanism along the North Gondwana margin: geochemical and geological evidence from Sardinia (Italy). The Journal of Geology, Vol. 120 (3), p. 273-292. eISSN 1537-5269. Article.
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Three series of volcanic rocks accumulated during the Cambrian to Silurian in the metasediment-dominated Variscan basement of Sardinia. They provide a record of the changing geodynamic setting of the North Gondwana margin between Upper Cambrian and earliest Silurian. A continuous Upper Cambrian–Lower Ordovician succession of felsic submarine and subaerial rocks, dominantly transitional alkaline in character (ca. 492–480 Ma), is present throughout the Variscan nappes. Trace element data, together with Nd isotope data that point to a depleted mantle source, indicate an ensialic environment. A Middle Ordovician (ca. 465 Ma) calc-alkaline bimodal suite, restricted to the external Variscan nappes, overlies the Sardic Unconformity. Negative ϵNdi values (−3.03 to −5.75) indicate that the suite is a product of arc volcanism from a variably enriched mantle. A Late Ordovician–Early Silurian (ca. 440 Ma) volcano-sedimentary cycle consists of an alkalic mafic suite in a post-Caradocian transgressive sequence. Feeder dykes cut the pre-Sardic sequence. The alkali basalts are enriched in Nb-Ta and have Zr/Nb ratios in the range 4.20–30.90 (typical of a rift environment) and positive ϵNdi values that indicate a depleted mantle source. Trachyandesite lavas have trace element contents characteristic of within-plate basalt differentiates, with evidence of minor crustal contamination.
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