XENOCRYSTS AND MEGACRYSTS OF ALKALI OLIVINE-BASALT-BASANITE-NEPHELINITE ASSOCIATION MAKHTESH RAMON (ISRAEL): INTERACTION WITH TRANSPORTING MAGMAS AND MORPHOLOGICAL ADJUSTMENT

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Abstract

Xenocrysts and megacrysts hosted in the rocks of Early Cretaceous olivine-basalt-basanite-nephelinite association that outcropped in erosion crater of Makhtesh Ramon (Natural Reserve of Mishmar ha-Nagev, Israel) are the topic of the current research. Magmatic rock association contains the wide spectrum of xenoliths trapped at different crustal levels. These are upper mantle, lower, and upper crustal xenoliths. Mantle xenoliths are represented by peridotites, olivine clinopyroxenites, clinopyroxenites, olivine websterites, websterites and their amphibole-bearing analogs. Lower crustal xenoliths are mafic granulites, such as metagabbros and plagioclasites, upper crustal xenoliths are the fragments of Neoproterozoic tuffs. Xenocrysts and megacrysts are fragments of xenoliths that chipped from them during their transportation to the surface. Different rate of xenoliths, xenocrysts, and megacrysts alteration by host magma and late fluids is a common petrographic particularity. The fluid alteration occurred at phreatomagmatic stage of magma crystallization. Alteration is observed by the appearance of new textures and products of reactional interaction. Xenocrysts and megacrysts are mainly represented by minerals that compatible with rock magmatic association. These are olivine, clinopyroxene, amphibole, nepheline, plagioclase, anorthoclase, apatite, magnetite, and spinel. Xenocrysts of quartz and orthopyroxene are incompatible to host rock magmatic association under-saturated in SiO2. Main reasons determining interaction between magma and xenolith are rapid decompression, metamorphism and metasomatism. Xenocrysts are subjected to metamorphism that corresponds to high-temperature facies of contact metamorphism, up to the partial melting of xenocrysts. Metasomatism is smoothing out the composition of xenocrysts to the composition of the same minerals that crystallized from host melt. There are several important criterions, which permit to identify xenocrysts and divide them from phenocrysts. These are partial melting, solidstate decomposition, recrystallization of primary (before-trapping) textures, recrystallization and self-faceting of initially anhedral grains into the crystals with perfect habit. Chemical composition of xenocrysts has both mineral - geochemical indications of xenogenic origin and new-formed sings of alteration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)718-742
Number of pages25
JournalLithosphere
Volume18
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018

Keywords

  • Israel
  • Makhtesh Ramon
  • magmatic rocks
  • megacrysts
  • melting
  • recrystallization
  • self-faceting
  • solid-state decomposition
  • xenocrysts
  • xenoliths

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology

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