Composition and sources of basalts in the Late Paleozoic rift system of Central Asia: Geochemical and isotopic data

V. V. Yarmolyuk, V. S. Samoilov, V. G. Ivanov, A. A. Vorontsov, D. Z. Zhuravlev

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17 Scopus citations


The Late Paleozoic rift system of Central Asia developed from the Late Carboniferous throughout the Late Permian, i.e., over a time period from 300 to 250 Ma. Differing in age, individual rift zones of this system are composed of petrographically similar basaltic and bimodal basalt-comendite-pantellerite associations. The basalts of zones of different ages and structural settings display many analogous compositional features. All of them affiliate with the alkaline K-Na petrochemical series, and variations in their major-element chemistry are accounted for by fractionation processes. The most significant differences between the rocks of distinct rift zones are their isotopic signatures. For the rocks of the Gobi-Tien Shan zone, these are -15 < εSr < +9 and +8 > εNd > +2. The analogous values for the rocks of the Gobi-Altai and northern Mongolia zones are -3 < εSr < +18 and +6 > εNd > 0, +2 < εSr < +12 and +1.6 > εNd > -0.5, respectively. These variations are related to the involvement of two isotopic sources in the melting processes. One of them was the depleted upper mantle, and the other was the mantle of the EM-II type enriched in radiogenic Sr. The latter source generally dominated over the former and made a more significant contribution to the composition of the mantle plume responsible for the origin of the rift system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)921-935
Number of pages15
JournalGeochemistry International
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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