Journal of Earth Science

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 571–584 | Cite as

Post-Collisional, Potassic Volcanism in the Saga Area, Western Tibet: Implications for the Nature of the Mantle Source and Geodynamic Setting

  • Hui Zhao
  • Jingsui YangEmail author
  • Fei Liu
  • Jian Huang
  • Li Zhang
Special Issue on Ophiolite, Orogenic Magmatism and Metamorphism Dedicated to IGCP 649: Diamonds and Recycled Mantle


Post-collisional potassic and ultrapotassic volcanic rocks are widely distributed across the Tibetan Plateau, and they are considered to be indicators of evolving mantle dynamics. A suite of potassic basalts younger than 55 Ma from the Saga area of western Tibet has been reported. The geochemical characteristics of these rocks distinguish themselves from other potassic-ultrapotassic volcanic rocks in Tibet, such as positive Nb, Ta, and Ti anomalies and strong enrichment in large ion lithophile elements (LILE), suggesting that phlogopite, rutile and/or sphene might have originated from the mantle source. These basalts are also characterized by a very wide range of 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.709 043–0.711 915) and relatively high 143Nd/144Nd ratios (0.512 426–0.512 470, εNd= −4.60 to −3.87). We propose a petrogenetic model for the Saga potassic rocks in which the lithospheric mantle source was infiltrated by a volatile-rich (H2O, CO2) and low-degree silicate melt derived from the asthenosphere in the Middle to Late Proterozoic. After the initial Indo-Asian collision, Neo-Tethyan slab breakoff resulted in the partial melting of the previously metasomatized lithospheric mantle and the formation of the Saga potassic rocks. It is likely that the eruption of these volcanic rocks lasted at least 10 Ma.

Key words

potassic volcanic rocks basalt Sr-Nd isotopes Saga area western Tibet 


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We thank Profs. Paul Robinson, Sunlin Chung, Sandro Conticelli, Zhidan Zhao and an anonymous reviewer for comments and suggestions on the manuscript. This study was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (No. 2014DFR21270), China Geological Survey (Nos. DD20160023-01, DD20160022-01), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 41720104009, 41672063, 41773029). The final publication is available at Springer via

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© China University of Geosciences (Wuhan) and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, Part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Harbin Institute of TechnologySouthern University of Science and TechnologyHarbinChina
  2. 2.Department of Earth and Space SciencesSouthern University of Science and TechnologyShenzhenChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Deep-Earth Dynamics of Ministry of Natural Resources, Institute of GeologyChinese Academy of Geological SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.Yunnan Tuocheng Industrial Co.KunmingChina
  5. 5.Key Laboratory of Geochemical Cycling of Carbon and Mercury in the Earth’s Critical Zone, Institute of Geophysical and Geochemical ExplorationChinese Academy of Geological SciencesLangfangChina

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