Petrology and geochemistry of late Tertiary/Quaternary mafic alkaline volcanism in Romania

H. Downes, I. Seghedi, A. Szakacs, G. Dobosi, D. E. James, O. Vaselli, I. J. Rigby, G. A. Ingram, D. Rex, Z. Pecskay

Research output: Article

101 Citations (Scopus)


Alkaline volcanic activity occurred in the Persani Mountains (eastern Transylvanian Basin) and Banat (eastern Pannonian Basin) regions of Romania between 2.5 Ma and 0.7 Ma. This volcanism followed an extended period of subduction-related mostly andesitic and dacitic magmatism in the Eastern Carpathian arc. The Persani Mts. alkaline activity coincided with the last phase of subduction-related activity. Several lava flows and pyroclastic deposits in the Persani Mts. carry peridotitic mantle xenoliths and amphibole megacrysts. Major- and trace-element geochemistry indicates that the alkaline magmas are primitive, silica-undersaturated alkali basalts and trachybasalts (7.8-12.3 wt.% MgO; 119-207 ppm Ni; 210-488 ppm Cr) which are LREE-enriched. Mantle-normalised trace-element diagrams reveal an overall similarity to continental intraplate alkali basalts, but when compared with a global average of ocean island basalts (OIB), the Banat lavas are similar to average OIB, whereas the Persani Mts. basalts have higher Rb, Ba, K and Pb and lower Nb, Zr and Ti. These features slightly resemble those of subduction-related magmas, particularly those of a basaltic andesite related to the nearby older arc magmas. With 87Sr 86Sr varying from 0.7035-0.7045 and 143Nd 144Nd from 0.51273-0.51289, the Romania basalts are indistinguishable from those of the western Pannonian basin (Hungary and Austria) and Neogene alkali basalts throughout Europe. Amphibole megacrysts have similar isotopic signatures, and their REE patterns indicate derivation by crystallisation from a mafic alkaline magma. The age-corrected Sr and Nd isotopic compositions of a calc-alkaline basaltic andesite related to the preceeding period of subduction also lies within the field of the younger alkaline magmas. Pb isotopic ratios of the Romanian alkali basalts do not lie on the NHRL, but overlap the field of Tertiary alkali basalts from the western Pannonian basin, and have unusually high 207Pb 204Pb at a given 206Pb 204Pb. Thus it is probable that, although the Romanian alkali basalts have a strong asthenospheric (i.e. OIB-type mantle source) component, their Pb isotopic characteristics were derived from mantle which was affected by the earlier subduction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-81
Number of pages17
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - ápr. 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Petrology and geochemistry of late Tertiary/Quaternary mafic alkaline volcanism in Romania'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Downes, H., Seghedi, I., Szakacs, A., Dobosi, G., James, D. E., Vaselli, O., Rigby, I. J., Ingram, G. A., Rex, D., & Pecskay, Z. (1995). Petrology and geochemistry of late Tertiary/Quaternary mafic alkaline volcanism in Romania. LITHOS, 35(1-2), 65-81.