Cretaceous ultrapotassic magmatism from the Sava-Vardar Zone of the Balkans

Sokol, Kristijan, Prelevic, Dejan, Romer, Rolf L., Bozovic, Milica, van den Bogaard, Paul, Stefanova, Elitsa, Kostic, Bojan and Cokulov, Nenad (2020) Cretaceous ultrapotassic magmatism from the Sava-Vardar Zone of the Balkans Lithos, 354-355 (Article number 105268). DOI 10.1016/j.lithos.2019.105268.

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Supplementary data:



• Geochemically diverse Late Cretaceous small-volume magmatism in the Sava-Vardar Zone.
• Late Cretaceous ultrapotassic lava, equivalent of minette and kersantite.
• Magma derivation from a LREE and K enriched, garnet-bearing anciently metasomatized mantle source.
• Magmatism occurred either in a fore-arc setting or is associated with transtensional tectonics.


Late Cretaceous global plate reorganization associated with the inception of counterclockwise rotation of Africa relative to Europe initiated in the Balkan region small-volume magmatism of diverse geochemical signature along the enigmatic Sava-Vardar Zone. We study a Late Cretaceous lamprophyric sill in Ripanj village near Belgrade to constrain this magmatic episode. The lamprophyre is characterized by high contents of Na, P, Fe and Al, and low contents of K, Ca and Mg. Its original nature (Na, K, Ca and Mg) is concealed by intense alteration (albitization of feldspar and partial chloritization of phlogopite) that erased the ultrapotassic affinity of the rocks and resulted in extremely low K/Na ratios. The recalculated chemical composition demonstrates that the rocks are ultrapotassic, with K2O and MgO >3 wt % and K2O/Na2O > 2, and belong to the durbachite-vaugnerite series, i. e., the plutonic equivalents of minettes and kersantites.

Two phlogopite concentrates gave Ar–Ar ages of 86.80 ± 0.5 Ma and 86.90 ± 0.5 Ma. Our combined elemental and Sr–Nd–Pb isotope data (87Sr/86Sr 0.70667–0.70677, 143Nd/144Nd 0.512426–0.512429, 206Pb/204Pb 18.82–19.13, 207Pb/204Pb 15.67–15.68, 208Pb/204Pb 38.92–39.19) for representative lamprophyric samples suggests magma derivation from a light rare earth elements (LREE) and K enriched, metasomatized mantle source. The content of LREE of the rocks is enriched, whereas heavy rare earth elements (HREE) is depleted. Rare earth elements (REE) of the whole rock and REE of diopside all indicate that garnet was present in their source.

There are two viable and mutually-excluding geodynamic scenarios for the Late Cretaceous magmatism in the Balkans: (i) If the Sava-Vardar ocean still existed in the Late Cretaceous and was subducted under the European plate with arc volcanism along the Apuseni-Banat-Timok-Panagyurishte-Srednjogorje belt, coeval magmatism in the Sava-Vardar Zone occurred in a fore-arc setting, and may be related to ridge subduction; (ii) If the Mesozoic ocean closed already during the Upper Jurassic or Lower Cretaceous, the Late Cretaceous volcanism within the Sava-Vardar Zone represents intracontinental volcanism associated with transtensional tectonics.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Sava-Vardar zone, Mantle metasomatism, Cretaceous ultrapotassic rocks, Durbachite-vaugnerite series, Reconstruction geochemistry
Research affiliation: GFZ
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-MUHS
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.lithos.2019.105268
ISSN: 0024-4937
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2020 07:49
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2020 07:49

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