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Abstract

Metabasites from the Lützow-Holm Complex, East Antarctica, are the equivalent of metamorphosed ultramafic and mafic rocks with ultrabasic to intermediate compositions, which occur as layers and blocks in the quartzo-feldspathic or metasedimentary gneisses. Field occurrences and whole-rock geochemistry suggest that the ultramafic rocks are all cumulitic protoliths, whereas the mafic rocks are mostly basaltic protoliths including some cumulates. Moreover, in a regional context, the geochemistry of metabasites shifts from island arc to ocean-floor affinities in a southwesterly direction from the Prince Olav Coast to the Lützow-Holm Bay area. Neodymium isotopic data suggest that the metamorphic rocks from the Prince Olav Coast and the northern Lützow-Holm Bay areas were derived from immature continental crust formed by active Mesoproterozoic crustal growth, whereas those from the southern Lützow-Holm Bay area were derived from mature continental crust and oceanic crust of older age. Thus, these results suggest that the Lützow-Holm Complex includes lithological units with various origins and ages that were amalgamated by multiple subduction, and underwent high-grade metamorphism as a result of the final collision of East and West Gondwana during the Pan-African orogeny.

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