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Geochemical Journal
Geochemical Journal An open access journal for geochemistry
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Petrogenesis of Butajira-Kibet Quaternary Basaltic Rocks; Central Main Ethiopian Rift

Asfie Meshesha Nigussie, Dereje Ayalew, Gezahegn Yirgu
Geochemical Journal, Early Release (Accepted: 2023/04/11)


Major and trace element data are presented for Quaternary basalts from Butajira-Kibet area, close to the western escarpment of the Central Main Ethiopian Rift to investigate the petrogenetic processes involved and the nature of mantle source compositions. The data indicate that the basalts are mildly alkaline characterized by moderate to high contents of MgO (6.85-9.00 wt. %) and TiO2 (2.40-2.92 wt. %). In the primitive mantle-normalized multi-element diagram, they exhibit troughs at Th, U, Rb and K and peaks at Ba, Nb, Ta, La, Pb and Sr with positive Eu/Eu*(1.01-1.17). Incompatible element ratios e.g., Ba/Nb (8.92-16.25), Rb/Nb (0.42-0.70), K/Nb (233.00-340.00) and Nb/U (47.97-61.05) suggest that the basalts are unaffected by crustal contamination. The acquired data do not evidence fractionation of plagioclase and clinopyroxene. On the other hand, relationships between major elements and their ratios (e.g., Na2O and Ca2O/Al2O3) and trace element ratios (e.g., Zr/Y and (La/Sm)N) indicate partial melting of a clinopyroxene - rich mantle at medium pressure. Chondrite - normalized REE diagram is characterized by relatively flat HREE (TbN/YbN=1.73-2.13) and significantly enriched HREE (higher than 10-times chondritic values) patterns. LREE/MREE versus MREE/HREE modelling of non-modal batch melting indicates that the basalts are formed by 1.5-3% partial melting of spinel peridotite mantle source with minor contribution from garnet-bearing peridotite. Primitive mantle-normalized multi-element diagram and trace element ratios, such as Nb/Zr, Nb/U, Ba/La, Rb/Zr and Ba/Nb, suggest that the studied basalts are not affected by carbonatite and/or hydrous phase metasomatism. Rather, they are closely similar to the OIB source (mainly EM-I) and the SCLM. They are most likely the result of significant interaction of melts from a mantle plume and the SCLM.


Keywords: Butajira-Kibet, Main Ethiopian Rift, Mantle Source, OIB, Petrogenesis

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