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Origin of zircon megacrysts in alkaline lavas (French Massif Central): Petrology and in situ U-Pb-Hf isotopes

Abstract : In the south eastern Devès volcanic domain of the French Massif Central, we sampled red zircon megacrysts in, both, alluvium from a small stream and neighbouring mugearite lava. LA-ICP-MS U-Pb dating results yield similar ages for both suites of zircons at about 2.6 Ma. Superchondritic signatures of the Hf isotopes clearly indicate a depleted mantle source for these zircons. The mugearite lava also contains xenoliths of mantle (lherzolites) and lower crustal rocks (granulites). The chemical compositions of the minerals within the mugearite lava are similar to the mineral compositions found in these xenoliths (granulites) and granulite and peridotite xenoliths from other volcanic localities of the Massif Central. The mugearite lava also preserves Variscan zircon crystals dated at 285 Ma, originating from recycled lower continental crust. In spite of their mantle origin, as recorded by in situ Hf isotopes, the geochemistry suggests that these Pliocene zircons do not result from crystallization in the mantle or in mantle-derived mafic magmas. In order to explain this inconsistency, we propose that these zircon grains crystallized from felsic melts produced during the ultimate differentiation of mantle-derived mafic magmas in the mid or upper continental crust. Subsequently, a last basaltic batch forced its way to the surface, scavenging upper mantle and lower crust xenoliths as well as zircon xenocrysts formed in these felsic melts which partly dissolved during their ascent. Large amounts of Cenozoic zircon megacrysts are often associated with sapphires in alluvial deposits in many continental volcanic domains, not only in the French Massif Central but also worldwide. Consequently, a huge volume of felsic differentiates issued from mantle-derived basaltic magmas might be suspected in many alkaline volcanic domains at the global scale.
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Submitted on : Friday, June 5, 2020 - 9:04:41 AM
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Jean-Louis Paquette, Gilles Chazot, Abdelmouhcine Gannoun. Origin of zircon megacrysts in alkaline lavas (French Massif Central): Petrology and in situ U-Pb-Hf isotopes. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, Elsevier, 2020, 399, pp.106907. ⟨10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2020.106907⟩. ⟨hal-02792848⟩



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