Plutonic bodies of the Central and Southern Vosges Mts can be assigned to two major early Carboniferous magmatic events: a Visean Mg–K event (c. 345 and 340–336 Ma) and a younger S-type event (329–322 Ma). New petrological, geochemical and Sr–Nd isotopic data highlight the existence of two groups of Mg–K intrusions that might be related to the nature of their primary magma sources; that is, CHUR-like and enriched mantle, which interacted with juvenile and mature crustal material, respectively. The differences between these two groups are explained by a geodynamic scenario involving deep subduction and relamination of the Saxothuringian continental crust under the Moldanubian continent. The relaminated radiogenic Saxothuringian material is thought to have been responsible for dehydration melting of both subducted crust and underlying metasomatized mantle, thereby generating the Mg–K magma subsequently emplaced at middle crustal depth. During their ascent, the mafic magmas interacted with crustally derived felsic melts. Significantly later (c. 10–15 myr) a widespread mid-crustal anatexis occurred, generating voluminous granite intrusions from mixed crustal sources (paragneisses and/or immature felsic–intermediate metaigneous rocks mixed with Mg–K plutons). The principal heat source for such a major melting event is related to the presence of Mg–K plutons rich in heat-producing elements, which were responsible, after the time lag specified, for a temperature increase at mid-crustal levels by in situ radiogenic heat production. The current study underlines the importance of deep continental crust subduction and relamination for the magmatism and development of collisional orogens.
Analytical methods and data, and supplementary figures, are available at http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/SUP18795.