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Mineral chemistry of giant plagioclase basalt: Petrogenetic inferences


Earlier, whole-rock data assisted in constraining magmatic processes accountable for the evolution of Giant Plagioclase Basalt (GPB), although plagioclase chemistry data-based implications are rare and critical, while combining with bulk-rock chemistry to understand magmatic processes regionally. For this reason, giant and small-size plagioclase grains were analyzed using Electron Probe Microanalysis (EPMA). Core to margin of the Kalsubai Subgroup GPB grains show significant variation ranging from An99Ab1–An94Ab6 to An65Ab35–An5Ab95, respectively. Nucleation of An-rich core initiated in the mid-lithospheric level at elevated temperatures, varying between 1490 and 1510°C, but successive An-poor intermediate and marginal layers crystallized at low temperatures between 1200–1360°C and 910–930°C that also in shallower depth, respectively. Moreover, supercharged feldspar-rich magma persisted throughout the Kalsubai Subgroup lavas, as noticed by the absence of zoned plagioclase. Almost similar processes were followed, but in a subdued manner at 1220–1300°C temperature in the Kevlari–Kalan area that lies ~900 km apart in the eastern Deccan Volcanic Province (DVP). Presence of plume-fed magma chamber is also justified by the size and thickness of the Kalsubai Subgroup lavas. Uninterrupted recharge of magma source was continued as Ab/An value remains constant throughout the Kalsubai Subgroup lava sequence. Further, residence period of 3.2–17.4 ka is assigned to GPB of the Kalsubai Subgroup. Owing to high eruption rate, younger formations of the main DVP do not contain GPB, but Kevlari Kalan GPB contains labradorite (An60Ab40–An50Ab50) rich plagioclase, crystallized during storage of the magma for a shorter interval comparing to Kalsubai Subgroup GPB lavas.

Research Highlights

  • Giant plagioclase contains Ca- rich (An99) core and Ca-poor (An65) rim

  • Three crystallization episodes assigned to Kalsubai GPB and one to Kevlari Kalan GPB

  • Owing to high eruption rate, younger western DVP is devoid of GPB.

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We acknowledge Prof P O Alexander, Department of Applied Geology, Dr H S Gour Vishwavidyalaya, Sagar for providing Kevlari Kalan GPB samples. We are also thankful to Prof N V Chalapathi Rao, Department of Geology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, for help in the EPMA analysis of GPB samples.

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Authors and Affiliations



Virinder Pal Singh (VP) carried out fieldwork, collected giant plagioclase basalt samples from western part of the DVP and prepared geological sections. He has done petrographic study at Geochemistry Lab, University of Delhi, EPMA analyses of samples at BHU, EPMA Lab. Varanasi and preparation of database. J P Shrivastava has conceptualized the entire idea. He has done petrographic study, helped in data handling and use of software, calculation of stoichiometric and empirical formulae, manuscript writing and supervised work at each and every step (right from inception to writing of final draft of the MS). Pramod Kumar was actively involved in various stages of MS preparation and revision of the MS. Also, he has provided logistic support to VP.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to J P Shrivastava.

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Communicated by Jyotisankar Ray

This article is part of the Topical Collection: Deccan Traps and other Flood Basalt Provinces – Recent Research Trends.

Supplementary materials pertaining to this article are available on the Journal of Earth System Science website (

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Singh, V.P., Shrivastava, J.P. & Kumar, P. Mineral chemistry of giant plagioclase basalt: Petrogenetic inferences. J Earth Syst Sci 131, 172 (2022).

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  • Deccan Volcanic Province (DVP)
  • Giant Plagioclase Basalt (GPB)
  • residence time
  • mineral chemistry
  • three episodes of crystallization