International Journal of Earth Sciences

, Volume 101, Issue 4, pp 1047–1063 | Cite as

Miocene to recent alkaline volcanism between Al Haruj and Waw an Namous (southern Libya)

  • Jacques-Marie Bardintzeff
  • Catherine Deniel
  • Hervé Guillou
  • Bernard Platevoet
  • Philippe Télouk
  • Khaled M. Oun
Original Paper


Unspiked K–Ar ages, petrological, geochemical and isotopic data are reported on samples from southern Libya (Wan an Namous—Al Haruj area). The Wan an Namous intracaldera cone dated at 0.2 Ma consists of unusually undersaturated foidite, representing the most extreme compositions among Libyan and Tibestian lavas. A basanitic and a basaltic lava flow located north-west of Wan an Namous, and probably belonging to the Al Haruj volcanic field, were dated at 5.1 Ma and 8.1 Ma. These data extend the range of ages previously reported for Al Haruj lavas. REE and multi-element patterns are typical of alkaline intraplate magmas. Sr ratios range from 0.70314 to 0.70812, whereas Nd ratios are very homogeneous (0.51290–0.51293). Pb ratios (19.231 < 206Pb/204Pb < 19.547, 15.607 < 207Pb/204Pb < 15.641 and 38.859 < 208Pb/204Pb < 39.242) are typical of HIMU-FOZO compositions. Such isotope characteristics are very similar to those available on two Gharyan (northern Libya) lavas and largely overlap those of Hoggar and Cameroon Line alkaline rocks. These lavas were produced by low and variable degrees of partial melting of a garnet- and amphibole-bearing mantle source, constraining the depth of melting between 80 and 150 km. Crustal contamination was also probably involved for the oldest sample. Mineral compositions of a dunite–harzburgite xenolith clearly indicate that the lithospheric mantle was affected by partial melting and metasomatic processes by magmatic liquids, probably associated with the genesis of Cenozoic lavas. Lithospheric delamination and asthenospheric upwelling, due to the reactivation of lithospheric megastructures induced by the Africa-Europe convergence, could represent a model for the genesis of Libyan lavas, as in Hoggar.


Waw an Namous Al Haruj Libya Ages Whole rock and mineral geochemistry Isotopes Mantle 



JMB warmly thanks the logistic help of Libyan officials during his short stay in Libya. F. Pothé, chairman of Terra Incognita, is thanked for providing sample W9, L. Daumas for drawing figures and I. Vlastélic for including the three Pb separates in his set of analyses on the MC-ICPMS. J. Marin kindly duplicated the Na2O measurement for W3. A. Azzouni, J. Bébien, S. Blancher, B. Bonin, G. Delpech, S. M. Muhongo, M. L. Pascal, R. Pichon and P. M. Vincent are thanked for useful remarks. Careful reviews by G. Franz and an anonymous reviewer greatly helped to improve this paper. We also thank C. Breitkreuz for valuable suggestions and editorial handling of the manuscript.

Supplementary material

531_2011_708_MOESM1_ESM.xls (38 kb)
Table A. Selected microprobe analyses of olivine. Calculation on the basis of 3 cations. c: core, r: rim (XLS 38 kb)
531_2011_708_MOESM2_ESM.xls (46 kb)
Table B. Selected microprobe analyses of pyroxene. Clinopyroxene, except analyses 13 and 69 in W9 (orthopyroxene). Calculation on the basis of 16 cations. c: core, r: rim. Calculated Fe3+, Fe2+, FeO, Fe2O3; Enstatite (Mg mole %), Ferrosilite (Fe2+ + Fe3+ mole %) and Wollastonite (Ca mole %) components. Components in mole %, following the sequence of Lindsley (1983). (XLS 46 kb)
531_2011_708_MOESM3_ESM.xls (40 kb)
Table C. Selected microprobe analyses of Fe–Ti oxides. Ti-magnetite except analyses 158, 57 and 19 (spinel). Calculation on the basis of 24 cations, and recalculated Fe3+ and Fe2+ contents. (XLS 39 kb)
531_2011_708_MOESM4_ESM.xls (39 kb)
Table D. Selected microprobe analyses of feldspathoids and feldpar. c: core, r: rim. Analyses 190, 60 and 56: nepheline with calculation on the basis of 24 cations. Ne-Ks-Qz (wt.%) calculated considering an excess of Si over Na + K (analysis 56: Si-rich nepheline, see text). Analysis 41: sodalite with the number of ions calculated on the basis of 21 O in the 3Al2O3.6SiO2 framework. Analyses 58–46: plagioclase with calculation on the basis of 5 cations. (XLS 39 kb)
531_2011_708_MOESM5_ESM.xls (34 kb)
Table E. Selected microprobe analyses of glass (XLS 34 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacques-Marie Bardintzeff
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Catherine Deniel
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  • Hervé Guillou
    • 7
  • Bernard Platevoet
    • 1
    • 3
  • Philippe Télouk
    • 8
  • Khaled M. Oun
    • 9
  1. 1.Univ Paris-Sud, Laboratoire de Pétrographie-Volcanologie and équipe PlanétologieOrsayFrance
  2. 2.Univ Cergy-Pontoise, IUFMCergy-PontoiseFrance
  3. 3.CNRS, OrsayOrsayFrance
  4. 4.Laboratoire Magmas et VolcansClermont Université, Université Blaise PascalClermont-FerrandFrance
  5. 5.CNRSClermont-FerrandFrance
  6. 6.IRDClermont-FerrandFrance
  7. 7.Laboratoire CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, LSCE/IPSL, Domaine du CNRSGif sur YvetteFrance
  8. 8.Laboratoire des Sciences de la Terre, Ecole Normale Supérieure de LyonLyon Cédex 07France
  9. 9.Geology DepartmentAl-Fateh UniversityTripoliLibya

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