In the southwestern part of the French Massif central (Decazeville basin, at the Sillon Houiller fault termination; Figeac and Lacapelle-Marival basins along the Argentat fault), Stephanian volcanism exhibits shoshonitic affinities. Their chondrite-normalized rare earth element (REE) patterns are enriched in light REE, but almost flat for heavy REE, with marked negative Eu anomalies. Primitive mantle-normalized element spectra show negative Nb, Ta, P, Sm, Ti, and positive Th, U, Pb anomalies, respectively. εNd values are negative and homogeneous (−6 to −4). This volcanism shares the same geochemical patterns as the late-orogenic Stephanian-Permian magmatism from the southern part of the Variscan belt (Pyrénées, Alps, Sardinia). We explain these geochemical characteristics as resulting from the partial melting of a metasomatised mantle. We propose a new mechanism to explain this melting process: horizontal displacement along the main late-orogenic strike-slip faults might bring into contact a hydrated lower crust with the lithospheric mantle. Mantle metasomatism within the strike-slip fault zone may then induce partial melting.

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