High Ba–Sr adakitic charnockite suite from the Nagercoil Block, southern India: Vestiges of Paleoproterozoic arc and implications for Columbia to Gondwana

Pin Gao, M. Santosh, Cheng Xue Yang, Sanghoon Kwon, Mu Ramkumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The Nagercoil block is the southernmost crustal segment of the Southern Granulite Terrane (SGT) in India and is mainly composed of charnockitic rocks and felsic gneisses (charnockite suite). In this study, we present petrologic, geochemical, zircon U–Pb, REE, and Hf isotopic studies on the charnockites and leucogneiss from the Nagercoil block. Based on field investigations and petrologic studies, the charnockites can be divided into garnet-bearing and garnet-absent anhydrous granulite facies rocks with orthopyroxene. The charnockites and leucogneiss show transition from adakites to non-adakitic magmatic rocks, with enrichment in LREEs (light rare earth elements) and LILEs (large ion lithophile elements), and depletion in HREEs (heavy rare earth elements) and HFSEs (high field strength elements). Some of the charnockites and the leucogneiss show typical HSA (high silica adakite) characters, (high SiO2, Al2O3, Ba–Sr, La/Yb, and Sr/Y). The HSA is considered to have formed from the interaction of slab derived melts and peridotitic mantle wedge. The high Ba–Sr features were possibly inherited from subducted oceanic crust melting under high thermal gradient during Precambrian. The magmas were underplated and subjected to fractional crystallization. Zircon grains from the charnockite and leucogneiss show zoned magmatic cores surrounded by structureless metamorphic rims. Magmatic zircon grains from the charnockites show ages ranging from 1983 ± 8.8 Ma to 2046 ± 14 Ma, and the metamorphic domains show an age range of 502 ± 14 Ma to 547 ± 8.7 Ma. Zircon from the leucogneiss yielded magmatic and metamorphic ages of 1860 ± 20 Ma and 575.6 ± 8.8 Ma. Both charnockites and leucogneiss show two prominent age peaks at 1987 Ma and 568 Ma. The REE data of the zircon grains show LREE depletion and HREE enrichment, with the metamorphic grains showing more depletion in HREE. Zircon Hf isotopic data of the magmatic cores of zircon grains from the charnockite yielded εHf(t) values from −1.17 to 0.46 with TDM and TDMC and age peaks at 2392 Ma and 2638 Ma, suggesting Neoarchean to Paleoproterozoic juvenile sources. We suggest that the high Ba–Sr adakitic charnockite suite from the Nagercoil block formed in a Paleoproterozoic magmatic arc setting during the assembly of the Columbia supercontinent, and underwent high-grade metamorphism associated with the amalgamation of the Gondwana supercontinent during the late Neoproterozoic–Cambrian. Our study provides new insights into the vestiges of Columbia fragments within the Gondwana assembly with two distinct cycles of crustal evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101126
JournalGeoscience Frontiers
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021 May

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dr. Vinod Samuel, Associate Editor, and an anonymous referee for the constructive comments and suggestions which improved our paper. We are grateful to Mr. Hai-dong Liu for his kind help in zircon U–Pb geochronology analysis. This study was funded by Foreign Expert grants to M. Santosh from the China University of Geosciences Beijing, China. This research was partially supported by NRF 2017R1A6A1A07015374 and NRF 2019R1A2C1002211supervised by the Ministry of Science and ICT, Korea to Sanghoon Kwon. This study was also funded the Fundamental Research Fund of Central Universities (Grant 2652019210) through CUGB, China.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'High Ba–Sr adakitic charnockite suite from the Nagercoil Block, southern India: Vestiges of Paleoproterozoic arc and implications for Columbia to Gondwana'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this