Numerous early Cretaceous mafic and alkaline dykes, mostly trending in N-S direction, are emplaced in the Archaean gneissic complex of the Shillong plateau, northeastern India. These dykes are spatially associated with the N-S trending deep-seated Nongchram fault and well exposed around the Swangkre-Rongmil region. The petrological and geochemical characteristics of mafic dykes from this area are presented. These mafic dykes show very sharp contact with the host rocks and do not show any signature of assimilation with them. Petrographically these mafic dykes vary from fine-grained basalt (samples from the dyke margin) to medium-grained dolerite (samples from the middle of the dyke) having very similar chemical compositions, which may be classified as basaltic-andesite/andesite. The geochemical characteristics of these mafic dykes suggest that these are genetically related to each other and probably derived from the same parental magma. Although, the high-field strength element (+rare-earth elements) compositions disallow the possibility of any crustal involvement in the genesis of these rocks, but Nb/La, La/Ta, and Ba/Ta ratios, and similarities of geochemical characteristics of present samples with the Elan Bank basalts and Rajmahal (Group II) mafic dyke samples, suggest minor contamination by assimilation with a small amount of upper crustal material. Chemistry, particularly REE, hints at an alkaline basaltic nature of melt. Trace element modelling suggests that the melt responsible for these mafic dykes had undergone extreme differentiation (∼ 50%) before its emplacement. The basaltic-andesite nature of these rocks may be attributed to this differentiation. Chemistry of these rocks also indicates ∼ 10–15% melting of the mantle source. The mafic dyke samples of the present investigation show very close geochemical similarities with the mafic rocks derived from the Kerguelen mantle plume. Perhaps the Swangkre-Rongmil mafic dykes are also derived from the Kerguelen mantle plume.
Volume 130, 2021
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