Geological Society of London
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Correlations between silicic volcanic rocks of the St Mary's Islands (southwestern India) and eastern Madagascar: implications for Late Cretaceous India–Madagascar reconstructions

posted on 2016-06-21, 12:13 authored by Leone Melluso, Hetu C. Sheth, John J. Mahoney, Vincenzo Morra, Chiara M. Petrone, Michael Storey

The St Mary's Islands (southwestern India) expose silicic volcanic and sub-volcanic rocks (rhyolites and granophyric dacites) emplaced contemporaneously with the Cretaceous igneous province of Madagascar, roughly 88–90 Ma ago. The St Mary's Islands rocks have phenocrysts of plagioclase, clinopyroxene, orthopyroxene and opaque oxide, moderate enrichment in the incompatible elements (e.g. Zr = 580–720 ppm, Nb = 43–53 ppm, La/Ybn = 6.9–7.2), relatively low initial 87Sr/86Sr (0.7052–0.7055) and near-chondritic initial 143Nd/144Nd (0.51248–0.51249). They have mineral chemical, whole-rock chemical and isotopic compositions very close to those of rhyolites exposed between Vatomandry–Ilaka and Mananjary in eastern Madagascar, and are distinctly different from rhyolites from other sectors of the Madagascan province. We therefore postulate that the St Mary's and the Vatomandry–Ilaka–Mananjary silicic rock outcrops were adjacent before the Late Cretaceous rifting that split Madagascar from India. If so, they provide a valuable tool to check and aid traditional Cretaceous India–Madagascar reconstructions based on palaeomagnetism, matching Precambrian geological features, and geometric fitting of continental shelves.