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Halloul N.,Ministere de lEnvironnement et du Developpement Durable | Gourgaud A.,University Blaise Pascal
Journal of African Earth Sciences | Year: 2012

The Neogene volcanism of Tunisia is bimodal, comprising both mafic lavas and rhyolites. The rhyolites occur as domes and related breccias, and as dykes in the Nefza area, associated with an albite granite. The rhyolites volcanics are 12.9-8.2. Ma. Mafic lavas occur in the Nefza and Mogods areas, as dykes and sills, and are younger than the felsic lavas at 8.4-5. Ma.The rhyolites exhibit phenocrysts of quartz, plagioclase (An 25-55), alkali feldspar (Or 63-91), biotite, Fe-Ti oxides and rare cordierite and tourmaline. A study of the cordierite shows it to be magmatic in character, in equilibrium with glass and other minerals, and with a large range of compositions (Fe * 34-64). Magmatic cordierite in rhyolites is exceptional and cordierite/liquid partition coefficients were determined for rare earth elements. According to mineralogical and geochemical data, including Sr isotopes, there are two groups of rhyolites. The first group is the cordierite bearing-rhyolites, which have Fe-rich biotite, and is related to localised crustal melting. The second group, which lack cordierite, but has Mg-rich biotite, is related to AFC processes.The mafic magma is represented by moderately Na-alkaline silica undersaturated hawaites and mugearites, with phenocrysts of olivine (Fo 69-85), plagioclase (An 49-67), clinopyroxene (augite) and ulvöspinel. Geochemical data suggest that they are transitional in nature, between calc-alkaline and alkaline magmas, as also found in Algeria and Morocco. These magmas evolved by fractional crystallization and crustal contamination.The magmatic change through time from calk-alkaline to transitional, as also found for Algeria and Morocco at the same point in time, is consistent with a slab breakoff process. The more recent mafic magmas are related to an extensional post-collisional environment. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

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