Abstract

In the Igherm inlier (western Anti-Atlas, Morocco) doleritic dyke swarms with various directions and gabbroic intrusive bodies were emplaced during Neoproterozoic times, cutting across either Eburnean micaschists and granites or Panafrican limestones and quartzites. All these rocks were deformed by the main Panafrican schistosity and covered by molassic and volcanic Upper Neoproterozoic series. The primary mineralogical assemblages (plagioclase, augite, olivine...) of the mafic rocks are nearly completely replaced by secondary assemblages (albite, actinolite, chlorite, epidote, calcite, quartz, leucoxene, magnetite, hematite...). However, three main groups have been recognized by the means of relative chronology and petrography. The group 1 is earlier, as shown by the intrusive character of the dykes of the other two groups into its gabbroic bodies. Using incompatible trace elements and rare earth elements it appears that this magmatism is truly heterogeneous and that the three groups have different magmatic affinities. The group 1 corresponds to tholeiitic dolerites and gabbros characterized by intersertal and ophitic textures and by high contents in Fe 2 O 3 (12.16 to 16.64%), TiO 2 (1.46 to 2.5%), Zr (90 to 174 ppm), Nb (7 to 13 ppm), Y (21.68 to 38.74 ppm) and V (264 to 419 ppm). The REE contents are low (Sigma REE = 49 to 137 ppm) and the REE patterns are flat [1.99<(La/Yb) N <4.56] showing a relative slight enrichment in LREE and no anomaly in Eu (0.89>Eu/Eu (super *) <1.11). These features as the TiO 2 vs FeO (super *) /MgO and V vs Ti/1000 diagrams are characteristic of anorogenic intraplate magmas. The group 2 corresponds to calc-alkaline dolerites and gabbros showing fine-grained intersertal textures and high contents of Al 2 O 3 (14.10 to 20.64%) and low contents of Fe 2 O 3 (8.35 to 12.91%), TiO 2 (0.68 to 1.41%), Zr (66 to 106 ppm), Nb (5 to 7 ppm), Y (16.41 to 20.75 ppm) and V (144 to 264 ppm). The REE contents vary from 67 to 155 ppm and the REE patterns are fractionated (2.78<(La/Yb) N <6.62) with a strong enrichment in LREE. The slight positive Eu anomaly (0.91<Eu/Eu (super *) <1.37) is related to the wealth of plagioclases frequently observed in these rocks. The TiO 2 contents of these rocks and their low FeO (super *) /MgO ratios give them a calc-alkaline affinity similar to that of calc-alkaline orogenic basalts related to an oceanic subduction. The group 3 corresponds to alkaline dolerites characterized by fine-grained intersertal textures with high contents of TiO 2 (3.85 to 3.97%), P 2 O 5 (0.66 to 0.77%), Nb (33 to 39 ppm), Zr (262 to 287 ppm), Y (39.6 to 47.7 ppm) and REE (Sigma REE = 205 to 218 ppm). The REE patterns are fractionated (7.77<La/Yb) N <6.65) without no Eu anomaly (0.99<Eu/Eu (super *) <1.02). The Ti/V and Y/Nb ratios (65.26 to 74.95 and 1.19 to 1.22, respectively) are those of alkaline rocks found in intraplate environments. The detailed petrographical, geochemical and field studies of the Igherm inlier show that the mafic magmatism is more complex than previously described. The mafic tholeiitic and alkaline magmatism occurring in the Igherm inlier is also present in the other inliers of the Moroccan Anti-Atlas during Neoproterozoic times. On the other hand the calc-alkaline Neoproterozoic mafic magmatism is very rare elsewhere in the Anti-Atlas except in the Siroua Massif and locally in the Bas Draa and Tagragra d'Akka inliers (western Anti-Atlas). The geodynamical environment of this mafic magmatism is linked to a strong extensional tectonic regime occurring at the northern border of the West African craton during Neoproterozoic times. This regime is related to the oceanic opening described in Central Anti-Atlas and to the emplacement of the ophiolites of Bou Azzer and Siroua or occurs immediately after the oceanic opening. The chemical heterogeneities observed in the three defined groups can be related to heterogeneities of mantellic sources and/or various partial melting ratios of the sub-continental mantle. We can assume that this major fissural magmatic event, not precisely dated, is equivalent to that observed in the other Neoproterozoic provinces in Hoggar, Cameroon, north America and Brazil.

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