Abstract

The Saghro Cenozoic lavas form a bimodal suite of nephelinites (with carbonatite xenoliths) and phonolites emplaced in the Anti-Atlas belt of Morocco. Despite the paucity of samples with intermediate composition between the two main types of lava (only one phonotephrite flow is reported in this area), whole-rock major element modelling shows that the two main lithologies can be linked by fractional crystallization. The most primitive modelled cumulates are calcite-bearing olivine clinopyroxenites, whereas the final stages of differentiation are characterized by the formation of nepheline-syenite cumulates. This evolution trend is classically observed in plutonic alkaline massifs associated with carbonatites. Late-stage evolution is responsible for the crystallization of hainite- and delhayelite-bearing microdomains, for the transformation of aegirine-augite into aegirine (or augite into aegirine-augite), and for the crystallization of lorenzenite and a eudialyte-group mineral as replacement products of titanite. These phases were probably formed, either by crystallization from late residual peralkaline melts, or by reaction of pre-existing minerals with such melt, or hydrothermal peralkaline fluid.

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