Author ORCID Identifier : Ali Polat

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Publication Title

Comparisons between Tethyan Anorthosite-bearing Ophiolites and Archean Anorthosite-bearing Layered Intrusions: Implications for Archean Geodynamic Processes


Archean, Tethyside, Anorthosite, Ophiolite, Tectonic setting, Subduction zone, Trace element


Elucidating the petrogenesis and geodynamic setting(s) of anorthosites in Archean layered intrusions and Tethyan ophiolites has significant implications for crustal evolution and growth throughout Earth history. Archean anorthosite-bearing layered intrusions occur on every continent. Tethyan ophiolites occur in Europe, Africa, and Asia. In this contribution, the field, petrographic, petrological, and geochemical characteristics of 100 Tethyan anorthosite-bearing ophiolites and 155 Archean anorthosite-bearing layered intrusions are compared. Tethyan anorthosite-bearing ophiolites range from Devonian to Paleocene in age, are variably composite, contain anorthosites with highly calcic (An44-100) plagioclase and magmatic amphibole. These ophiolites formed predominantly at convergent plate margins, with some forming in mid-ocean ridge, continental rift, and mantle plume settings. The predominantly convergent plate margin tectonic setting of Tethyan anorthosite-bearing ophiolites is indicated by negative Nb and Ti anomalies and magmatic amphibole. Archean anorthosite-bearing layered intrusions are Eoarchean to Neoarchean in age, have megacrystic anorthosites with highly calcic (An20-100) plagioclase and magmatic amphibole and are interlayered with gabbros and leucogabbros and intrude pillow basalts. These Archean layered intrusions are interpreted to have predominantly formed at convergent plate margins, with the remainder forming in mantle plume, continental rift, oceanic plateau, post-orogenic, anorogenic, mid-ocean ridge, and passive continental margin settings. These layered intrusions predominantly crystallized from hydrous Ca- and Al-rich tholeiitic magmas. The field, petrographic and geochemical similarities between Archean and Tethyan anorthosites indicate that they were produced by similar geodynamic processes mainly in suprasubduction zone settings. We suggest that Archean anorthosite-bearing layered intrusions and spatially associated greenstone belts represent dismembered subduction-related Archean ophiolites.

Funding Reference Number

NSERC, RGPIN-2019-04236