Sr–Nd isotopic compositions of Paleoproterozoic metavolcanic rocks from the southern Ashanti volcanic belt, Ghana

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Neodymium (Nd) and strontium (Sr) isotopic data are presented for Paleoproterozoic metavolcanic rocks in the southern part of the Ashanti volcanic belt of Ghana. The metavolcanic rocks are predominantly basalts/basaltic andesites and andesites with minor dacites. Two types of basalts/basaltic andesites (B/A), Type I and Type II, have been identified. The Type I B/A are stratigraphically overlain by the Type II B/A, followed by the andesites and the dacites. The analyzed volcanic rocks commonly have low initial (87)Sr/(86)Sr ratios consistent with previous studies on Paleoproterozoic rocks from the West African craton. The LREE-depleted, tholeiitic Type I B/A exhibit back-arc basin geochemical signatures and show high positive epsilon Nd (i.e., ε(Nd) (2.1 Ga) = +3.89 to +7.21), which suggest a long term depleted source and also indicate that they were produced in an entirely oceanic environment devoid of influence of continental crust. The isotope signatures are thus consistent with the previously published trace element data of the Type I basalts/basaltic andesites in suggesting that their parent magma was generated from a depleted mantle. The Type I B/A have Nd model ages (T(DM2)) of 1.83–2.09 Ga similar to their formation ages, suggesting that they were juvenile at their time of formation. The andesites and the Type II B/A andesites show LREE-enriched patterns and exhibit characteristics of subduction zone-related magmas, and show initial ε(Nd) (2.1Ga) values of –1.15 to + 1.35 and Nd model ages (T(DM2)) of 2.32–2.58 Ga. The LREE-enriched dacitic porphyry also exhibits characteristics of subduction zone-related magmas, and have initial ε(Nd) (2.1Ga) value of –2.24 and Nd model ages (T(DM2)) of 2.64 Ga. The Nd isotopic data confirms the juvenile character of the Birimian crust, but also suggests some contributions of a pre-Birimian crustal material (or Archean?) in the genesis of some of the metavolcanic rocks. Our isotopic result is consistent with the island arc complex model which views Paleoproteozoic terranes of West Africa in the context of subduction–accretion processes.


  • Okayama University Earth Science Report

    Okayama University Earth Science Report 16(1), 9-28, 2009-12-25



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