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The Saar–Nahe Basin is a late Variscan intermontane basin that developed on the site of an earlier island arc, the Mid-German Crystalline Rise. Within the c. 6500m-thick continental sedimentary fill of the basin, a large variety of igneous rocks was emplaced over a period of c. 4 Ma from 296 to 293 Ma as high-level intrusions and lava flows, extrusive domes, diatremes and pyroclastic deposits, ranging in composition from basalt and basaltic andesite to rhyodacite, rhyolite and trachyte. Composite intrusive–extrusive complexes consist of andesite, rhyodacite and alkali feldspar trachyte with up to 10 wt% K2O. The geochemical characteristics of the most primitive mafic magmas indicate a slightly enriched upper mantle source modified by subduction-related fluids. Nd–Sr–O isotope data indicate that crustal contamination was important in the petrogenesis of the more differentiated magmas.

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