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Geology, Geochemistry, Geochronology, and economic potential of the Taftan volcanic complex, southeastern Iran Open Access


Other title
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Razavi Khosroshahi, Seyed Amir Mohammad
Supervisor and department
Richards, Jeremy P (Eaerth and Atmospheric Sciences)
Examining committee member and department
Creaser, Robert (Eaerth and Atmospheric Sciences)
Stachel, Thomas (Eaerth and Atmospheric Sciences)
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
The late Miocene-Quaternary Taftan volcanic complex is located above the Makran subduction zone in Sistan and Baluchestan province of southeastern Iran. The earliest volcanic eruptions at Taftan started in the late Miocene (~8 Ma) by explosive eruption of andesitic to dacitic lava on the Cretaceous to Eocene volcanic and sedimentary paleosurface ~20 km to the northwest of the current edifice. Later Plio-Pleistocene volcanism consisted of voluminous andesitic and dacitic lavas and pyroclastic flows (~3.1-0.4 Ma). The major and trace element compositions of the Taftan volcanic rocks show calc-alkaline to high-K calc-alkaline affinity with depletions of Nb, Ta, and Ti and relative enrichment of large-ion lithophile elements (LILE) and Th and U; these are typical signatures of subduction-related arc magmas. From the late Miocene to the late Pleistocene La/Yb and Sr/Y ratios of the Taftan volcanic rocks increase, which likely reflects fractional crystallization of pyroxene and amphibole. Electron microprobe analysis of amphibole phenocrysts from the Taftan volcanic rocks show that amphibole chemistry changed from high-Al pargasite to low-Al magnesio-amphibole from the late Miocene to the Pleistocene. Detailed modelling of amphibole chemistry indicates that the host magmas were water saturated (>5 wt.% H2O) and underwent partial crystallization at various depths between ~20 to ~5 km in the upper crust prior to eruption. Temperature and oxidation state estimates obtained from magnetite-ilmenite mineral pairs from andesites and amphibole phenocrysts in andesites show that they crystallized at temperature from ~1000°C to ~800C under moderately oxidizing conditions (FMQ +1.7 ± 0.3). The presence of small porphyry and epithermal prospects such as the Kharestan Cu porphyry (6.10 ± 0.40 Ma) and Siah jangal epithermal Au deposit in the late Miocene, and several argillic to advanced argillic fumarolic alteration zones in the Taftan Plio-Pleistocene volcanic rocks suggest the potential for additional porphyry and epithermal style mineralization within the volcanic edifice at depth.
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