Abstract

The Karelian epoch of tectono-magmatic activity resulted in an intensive structural–tectonic rearrangement of Archean crustal blocks, origination, development, and orogenesis of the Pechenga – Varzuga belt. Being emplaced on the Archean crust of the continental type, the Pechenga – Varzuga belt is an intracontinental paleorift system formed during four stages: prerifting (2.55–2.30 Ga), early rifting (2.30–2.20 Ga), late rifting (2.20–1.95 Ga), and orogenic (1.95–1.70 Ga). During the stage of 2.55–2.30 Ga, as a result of formation of an extensive asthenolens whose projection to the surface covered most of the Kola – Lapland – Karelian province, there appeared paleoaulacogen depressions and mantle and crustal magma associations with normal alkalinity: gabbronorite dykes (2.55–2.40 Ga), low-Ti picrite–basalt (2.45–2.41 Ga), basalt, andesite–basalt (initial 87Sr/86Sr = 0.7042) and dacite volcanics, peridotite–pyroxenite–gabbronorite (2.50–2.43 Ga, εNd = −1, −2), lherzolite–gabbronorite (or drusite) (2.45 Ga), and gabbro–anorthosite (2.45 Ga) layered intrusions characterized by chromite, platinum, and titanomagnetite mineralization. As the rocks of Archean blocks were generally warmed up, intracrustal chambers of granitoid magmas were common. During the stage of 2.30–2.20 Ga, the asthenolens broke up and differentiation of its fragments significantly increased. Over the most heated fragments, the paleorift system (Pechenga–Varzuga belt) appeared, accompanied by generation of mantle melts with higher alkalinity (volcanic series of picrite – trachybasalt – trachyandesitic basalts, 87Sr/86Sr = 0.7035). During the third stage (2.20–1.95 Ga), rifting reached its maximum owing to intense sinistral fault-rifting, and mantle sources of deep ferropicritic (87Sr/86Sr = 0.7032; εNd = +1.6) and shallow tholeiitic basalt (87Sr/86Sr = 0.7021) melts formed at different depths; eruption of these magmas gave rise to thick volcanic sequences (1.98 Ga), Ni – Cu-bearing differentiated gabbro–wehrlite intrusions (1.98–1.90 Ga, 87Sr/86Sr = 0.7029; εNd = +1.5), and cogenetic, peridotite – olivine gabbro dyke swarms (1.96 Ga, εNd = +1.4), which are characterized by the elevated Fe, Ti, P, and light rare earth element contents. Intrusions of sulfide-bearing gabbronorite and websterite formed in the Lapland–Kolvitsa granulite belt, which experienced collision and high-grade (6–10 kbar (1 kbar = 100 MPa)) metamorphism. During the final stage (1.95–1.70 Ga), enclosure and orogenesis of the paleorift system took place; these events were accompanied by extensive development of mixed mantle–crustal and crustal sources, the formation of calc-alkaline volcanic and sedimentary orogenic associations, and the emplacement of P–Ti-bearing alkaline gabbro – nepheline syenite and U – Mo-bearing monzonite–granodiorite intrusions.

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