The relations between felsic and mafic volcanic rocks in continental flood basalts of Ethiopia: implication for the thermal weakening of the crust
Dereje Ayalew, 2011. "The relations between felsic and mafic volcanic rocks in continental flood basalts of Ethiopia: implication for the thermal weakening of the crust", The Formation and Evolution of Africa: A Synopsis of 3.8 Ga of Earth History, D. J. J. Van Hinsbergen, S. J. H. Buiter, T. H. Torsvik, C. Gaina, S. J. Webb
Download citation file:
Sr and Nd isotopic compositions are presented for a Miocene bimodal basalt–rhyolite suite from north Shewa, central Ethiopian plateau. Whole-rock Rb–Sr isochron of the rhyolites yields an age of 20.7±2.4 Ma, marking the onset of volcanism in central Ethiopia c. 20 Ma, 10 Ma after initial magmatism in the northern Ethiopian plateau. Initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios slightly vary in the basalts as well as in the rhyolites, ranging from 0.70440 to 0.70641 and from 0.70563 to 0.70658, respectively. Initial 143Nd/144Nd ratios show significant variations in the basalts (0.51248–0.51274), but remain nearly constant in the rhyolites (0.51273–0.51278). The Sr and Nd isotopic ratios of the basalts are interpreted to reflect their derivation from Afar plume contaminated by crustal materials (up to 15% contamination). The rhyolites evolved dominantly by fractional crystallization of mantle-derived basaltic magmas similar in composition to the exposed flood basalts.
Figures & Tables
The African continent preserves a long geological record that covers almost 75% of Earth’s history. The Pan-Africanorogeny (c.600–500—Ma) brought together old continental kernels (West Africa, Congo, Kalahari and Tanzania) to form Gondwana and subsequently the supercontinent Pangaea by the late Palaeozoic. The break-up of Pangaea since the Jurassic and Cretaceous, primarily through opening of the Central Atlantic, Indian, and South Atlantic oceans, in combination with the complicated subduction history to the north, gradually shaped the African continent.
This volume contains 18 contributions that discuss the geology of Africa from the Archaean to the present day. It celebrates African geology in two ways: first, it highlights multidisciplinary Earth science research by viewing the formation and evolution of Africa from 18 different angles; second, it celebrates the work of Kevin Burke and Lewis Ashwal and portrays the wide range of interests and research angles that have characterized these two scientists throughout their careers, working in Africa, and studying African geology.