Petrogenesis of rift-related tephrites, phonolites and trachytes (Central European Volcanic Province, Rhon, FRG): Constraints from Sr, Nd, Pb and O isotopes

Jung, S.; Mezger, Klaus; Hauff, F.; Pack, A.; Hoernes, S. (2013). Petrogenesis of rift-related tephrites, phonolites and trachytes (Central European Volcanic Province, Rhon, FRG): Constraints from Sr, Nd, Pb and O isotopes. Chemical geology, 354, pp. 203-215. Elsevier 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2013.06.026

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The volcanic rocks of the Rhön area (Central European Volcanic Province, Germany) belong to a moderately alkali basaltic suite that is associated with minor tephriphonolites, phonotephrites, tephrites, phonolites and trachytes. Based on isotope sytematics (87Sr/86Sr: 0.7033–0.7042; 143Nd/144Nd: 0.51279–0.51287; 206Pb/204Pb: 19.1–19.5), the inferred parental magmas formed by variable degrees of partial melting of a common asthenospheric mantle source (EAR: European Asthenospheric Reservoir of Cebriá and Wilson, 1995). Tephrites, tephriphonolites, phonotephrites, phonolites and trachytes show depletions and enrichments in some trace elements (Sr, Ba, Nb, Zr, Y) indicating that they were generated by broadly similar differentiation processes that were dominated by fractionation of olivine, clinopyroxene, amphibole, apatite and titaniferous magnetite ± plagioclase ± alkalifeldspar. The fractionated samples seem to have evolved by two distinct processes. One is characterized by pure fractional crystallization indicated by increasing Nb (and other incompatible trace element) concentrations at virtually constant 143Nd/144Nd ~ 0.51280 and 87Sr/86Sr ~ 0.7035. The other process involved an assimilation–fractional crystallization (AFC) process where moderate assimilation to crystallization rates produced evolved magmas characterized by higher Nb concentrations at slightly lower 143Nd/144Nd down to 0.51275. Literature data for some of the evolved rocks show more variable 87Sr/86Sr ranging from 0.7037 to 0.7089 at constant 143Nd/144Nd ~ 0.51280. These features may result from assimilation of upper crustal rocks by highly differentiated low-Sr (< 100 ppm Sr) lavas. However, based on the displacement of the differentiated rocks from this study towards lower 143Nd/144Nd ratios and modeled AFC processes in 143Nd/144Nd vs. 87Sr/86Sr and 207Pb/204Pb vs. 143Nd/144Nd space assimilation of lower crustal rocks seems more likely. The view that assimilation of lower crustal rocks played a role is confirmed by high-precision double-spike Pb isotope data that reveal higher 207Pb/204Pb ratios (15.62–15.63) in the differentiated rocks than in the primitive basanites (15.58–15.61). This is compatible with incorporation of radiogenic Pb from lower crustal xenoliths (207Pb/204Pb: 15.63–15.69) into the melt. However, 206Pb/204Pb ratios are similar for the differentiated rocks (19.13–19.35) and the primitive basanites (19.12–19.55) implying that assimilation involved an ancient crustal end member with a higher U/Pb ratio than the mantle source of the basanites. In addition, alteration-corrected δ18O values of the differentiated rocks range from c. 5 to 7‰ which is the same range as observed in the primitive alkaline rocks. This study confirms previous interpretations that highlighted the role of AFC processes in the evolution of alkaline volcanic rocks in the Rhön area of the Central European Volcanic Province.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences > Isotope Geology

UniBE Contributor:

Mezger, Klaus


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology








Klaus Mezger

Date Deposited:

18 Jun 2014 11:28

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:31

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