Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Geological Sciences

First Advisor

Charles R. Stern

Second Advisor

G. Lang Farmer

Third Advisor

Roger Bilham

Abstract

This dissertation presents petrochemical data concerning Neogene olivine basalts erupted both along the margins and within the micro-continental Lut block, eastern Iran, which is a part of the active Alpine-Himalayan orogenic belt. These data demonstrate the following:

1) Basalts that erupted from small monogenetic parasitic cones around the Bazman stratovolcano, Makran arc area, in the southern Lut block, are low-Ti sub-alkaline olivine basalts. Enrichments of LILE relative to LREE, and depletions in Nb and Ta relatively to LILE, are similar to those observed for other convergent plate boundary arc magmas around the world and suggest that these basalts formed by melting of subcontinental mantle modified by dehydration of the subducted Oman Sea oceanic lithosphere.

2) Northeast of Iran, an isolated outcrop of Neogene/Quaternary alkali olivine basalt, containing mantle and crustal xenoliths, formed by mixing of small melt fractions from both garnet and spinel-facies mantle. These melts rose to the surface along localized pathways associated with extension at the junction between the N-S right-lateral strike-slip faults and E-W left-lateral strike slip faults. The spinel-peridotite mantle xenoliths contained in the basalts, which equilibrated in the subcontinental lithosphere at depths of 30 to 60 km and temperatures of 965°C to 1065°C, do not preserve evidence of extensive metasomatic enrichment as has been inferred for the mantle below the Damavand volcano further to the west in north-central Iran.

3) Neogene mafic rocks within the central Lut block represent the last manifestation of a much more extensive mid-Tertiary magmatic event. These basalts formed from both OIB-like asthenosphere and subcontinental lithosphere which preserved chemical characteristics inherited from mid-Tertiary subduction associated with the collision of the Arabian with the Eurasian plate and closing of the Neotethys Ocean. Neogene/Quternary alkali olivine basalts erupted mainly along the major faults that bound the Lut block on the east and west. These low-volumes, low-degree melts have been formed by low variable degrees of partial melting of mantle source produced by upwelling asthenosphere replaced the thinned lithospheric mantle.

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