Published: 2023-04-24
Cretaceous magmatism from the Sava-Vardar Zone of the Balkans
Authors: Kristijan Sokol, Dejan Prelević and Ana Radivojević
The complex geodynamic evolution of the northernmost Neotethys is the subject of a long-living controversy. The most perplexing issues are related to the waning stage(s) of the Tethyan ocean(s) in the Balkans and the timing of the Europe-Adria collision. Some authors consider this collision to have occurred in the Late Jurassic, whereas others envisage that have happened at the end of the Cretaceous along the Sava-Vardar Zone. The second model assumes this zone contains a relic suture between Africa- and Europe-derived units. Late Cretaceous magmatism along the Sava-Vardar Zone includes several centres of small-volume transitional to alkaline Na-basalt (with subordinate rhyolitic rocks) and rare ultrapotassic lavas. This volcanism occurs in both Europe- and Africa- derived units of the collisional zone. The geochemical and isotope compositions of the Late Cretaceous lavas suggest that they are not a part of dismembered ophiolite sequences, but represent intracontinental magmas derived from variably enriched mantle sources. The transitional to alkaline Na-basaltic lavas show a clear “within plate” geochemical signature with typical mantle-like 87Sr/86Sri, 143Nd/144Ndi and 206Pb/204Pbi ratios with relatively high HFSE/LILE ratios, and without orogenic geochemical signatures such as high LILE/HFSE ratios, positive Pb and negative Ti–Nb–Ta anomalies. In contrast, the ultrapotassic lavas are lamprophyres demonstrating enriched 87Sr/86Sri, 143Nd/144Ndi and 206Pb/204Pbi ratios, LILE enrichment, and orogenic geochemical signatures. A broad range of MREE/HREE ratios in these locations suggests polybaric mantle melting. Our working melting model is that the mafic melts were generated as a continuum with low-degree melting in the asthenospheric mantle within the garnet stability field and high-degree melting of the freshly metasomatized lithospheric mantle in the spinel stability field. The ultimate trigger of the mantle melting along the Sava-Vardar Zone should be localized extension during transtensional tectonics, in a system of pull-apart basins (Köpping et al., 2019). Acknowledgements: This research was financed by the Science Fund of the Republic of Serbia through project RECON TETHYS (7744807). Köopping, J., Peternell, M., Prelević, D., Rutte, D., 2019. Cretaceous tectonic evolution of the Sava-Klepa Massif, Republic of North Macedonia e results from calcite twin-based automated paleo stress analysis. Tectonophysics 758. How to cite: Sokol, K., Prelević, D., and Radivojević, A.: Cretaceous magmatism from the Sava-Vardar Zone of the Balkans, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-349,, 2023.
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