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Textural, chemical, and isotopic effects of late-magmatic carbonatitic fluids in the carbonatite–syenite Tamazeght complex, High Atlas Mountains, Morocco

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Abstract

Carbonatites of the Eocene Tamazeght complex, High Atlas Mountains, Morocco, consist of calciocarbonatites (alvikite and sövite dykes) and magnesiocarbonatites (diatreme breccias and dykes rocks). These are associated with ultramafic, shonkinitic, gabbroic to monzonitic and various foid syenitic silicate units. Stable and radiogenic isotope compositions for carbonatites and silicate rocks indicate that they share a common source in the mantle, although for some carbonatitic samples contamination with sedimentary rocks seems important. The observed isotopic heterogeneity is mainly attributed to source characteristics, fractional crystallization (accompanied by various degrees of assimilation), and late- to post-magmatic fluid–rock interaction. During the late fluid–rock interaction, Sr, Mn, and possibly also Fe were mobilized and redistributed to form secondary carbonate minerals in carbonatites. These fluids also penetrated into the adjacent syenitic rocks, causing enrichment in the same elements.

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Acknowledgements

Julian Schilling was of invaluable help during fieldwork and shared his ideas during numerous discussions. Ali Bajja (University of Marrakesh) is acknowledged for his cooperation that facilitated our fieldwork and Boudaoud Boujemaa supplied the infrastructure in the field. Thomas Wenzel is thanked for his help during microprobe measurements, Bernd Steinhilber for oxygen and carbon isotope analysis of carbonatite samples, Annabel Händel for the careful and time-consuming hand picking of the large number of mineral separates used in this study and Zsófia Wáczek (Lausanne) for analyzing them. Thomas Wenzel, Heiner Taubald, Wolfgang Siebel and Ralf Halama and four anonymous reviewers gave valuable comments at an earlier stage of this work. This research was supported by the Alfried Krupp Prize for Young University Teachers of the Krupp Foundation and by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (grant Ma 2135/11-1 and 11-2), which is gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Michael A. W. Marks.

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Marks, M.A.W., Neukirchen, F., Vennemann, T. et al. Textural, chemical, and isotopic effects of late-magmatic carbonatitic fluids in the carbonatite–syenite Tamazeght complex, High Atlas Mountains, Morocco. Miner Petrol 97, 23–42 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00710-009-0075-0

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