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Volume 32 Issue 4
Aug.  2021
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Alongkot Fanka, Chidchanok Kasiban, Toshiaki Tsunogae, Yukiyasu Tsutsumi, Chakkaphan Sutthirat. Petrochemistry and Zircon U-Pb Geochronology of Felsic Xenoliths in Late Cenozoic Gem-Related Basalt from Bo Phloi Gem Field, Kanchanaburi, Western Thailand. Journal of Earth Science, 2021, 32(4): 1035-1052. doi: 10.1007/s12583-020-1347-1
Citation: Alongkot Fanka, Chidchanok Kasiban, Toshiaki Tsunogae, Yukiyasu Tsutsumi, Chakkaphan Sutthirat. Petrochemistry and Zircon U-Pb Geochronology of Felsic Xenoliths in Late Cenozoic Gem-Related Basalt from Bo Phloi Gem Field, Kanchanaburi, Western Thailand. Journal of Earth Science, 2021, 32(4): 1035-1052. doi: 10.1007/s12583-020-1347-1

Petrochemistry and Zircon U-Pb Geochronology of Felsic Xenoliths in Late Cenozoic Gem-Related Basalt from Bo Phloi Gem Field, Kanchanaburi, Western Thailand

doi: 10.1007/s12583-020-1347-1
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  • The Cenozoic basalts exposed in Bo Phloi Gem Field, Kanchanaburi Province, western Thailand are a host to different gem materials (e.g., sapphire, black spinel, black pyroxene and zircon) as well as other xenocrysts and xenoliths from the deep-seated formations onto the earth surface. However, only felsic xenoliths have never been investigated and reported in detail though they are in fact significant evidence of ancient tectonic processes of this area. In this study, the felsic xenoliths were sampled and classified, on the basis of petrochemistry, into granite, syenogranite, and syenite. However, they contain similar mineral assemblages including essentials of quartz, K-feldspar, and plagioclase with different proportions and accessories of biotite, zircon, and opaque minerals. Moreover, large phenocrysts of K-feldspar and plagioclase commonly present as a primary texture which are frequently corroded and replaced by 'sieved texture' with secondary cumulative fringe of tiny feldspar and quartz. These secondary textures clearly indicate quenching after re-heating during transportation by basaltic magma. Geochemical analyses indicate that the alkaline and peraluminous magma show enrichment of Rb and depletion of Ba, Nb, Ta, Ti with steep slope of LREE/HREE enrichment patterns. These evidences suggest low-degree partial melting of crustal materials related to the collisional S-type granite magmatism. In addition, U-Pb dating of zircon from a felsic xenolith yields 211.6±1.3 Ma comparable to the Late Triassic magmatism of the central belt granite in this region which is resulted from the collision between Sibumasu and Indochina terranes.
  • Electronic Supplementary Materials: Supplementary materials (Tables S1–S5) are available in the online version of this article at https://doi.org/10.1007/s12583-020-1347-1.
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Petrochemistry and Zircon U-Pb Geochronology of Felsic Xenoliths in Late Cenozoic Gem-Related Basalt from Bo Phloi Gem Field, Kanchanaburi, Western Thailand

doi: 10.1007/s12583-020-1347-1

Abstract: The Cenozoic basalts exposed in Bo Phloi Gem Field, Kanchanaburi Province, western Thailand are a host to different gem materials (e.g., sapphire, black spinel, black pyroxene and zircon) as well as other xenocrysts and xenoliths from the deep-seated formations onto the earth surface. However, only felsic xenoliths have never been investigated and reported in detail though they are in fact significant evidence of ancient tectonic processes of this area. In this study, the felsic xenoliths were sampled and classified, on the basis of petrochemistry, into granite, syenogranite, and syenite. However, they contain similar mineral assemblages including essentials of quartz, K-feldspar, and plagioclase with different proportions and accessories of biotite, zircon, and opaque minerals. Moreover, large phenocrysts of K-feldspar and plagioclase commonly present as a primary texture which are frequently corroded and replaced by 'sieved texture' with secondary cumulative fringe of tiny feldspar and quartz. These secondary textures clearly indicate quenching after re-heating during transportation by basaltic magma. Geochemical analyses indicate that the alkaline and peraluminous magma show enrichment of Rb and depletion of Ba, Nb, Ta, Ti with steep slope of LREE/HREE enrichment patterns. These evidences suggest low-degree partial melting of crustal materials related to the collisional S-type granite magmatism. In addition, U-Pb dating of zircon from a felsic xenolith yields 211.6±1.3 Ma comparable to the Late Triassic magmatism of the central belt granite in this region which is resulted from the collision between Sibumasu and Indochina terranes.

Electronic Supplementary Materials: Supplementary materials (Tables S1–S5) are available in the online version of this article at https://doi.org/10.1007/s12583-020-1347-1.
Alongkot Fanka, Chidchanok Kasiban, Toshiaki Tsunogae, Yukiyasu Tsutsumi, Chakkaphan Sutthirat. Petrochemistry and Zircon U-Pb Geochronology of Felsic Xenoliths in Late Cenozoic Gem-Related Basalt from Bo Phloi Gem Field, Kanchanaburi, Western Thailand. Journal of Earth Science, 2021, 32(4): 1035-1052. doi: 10.1007/s12583-020-1347-1
Citation: Alongkot Fanka, Chidchanok Kasiban, Toshiaki Tsunogae, Yukiyasu Tsutsumi, Chakkaphan Sutthirat. Petrochemistry and Zircon U-Pb Geochronology of Felsic Xenoliths in Late Cenozoic Gem-Related Basalt from Bo Phloi Gem Field, Kanchanaburi, Western Thailand. Journal of Earth Science, 2021, 32(4): 1035-1052. doi: 10.1007/s12583-020-1347-1
  • Bo Phloi Gem Field in Kanchanaburi Province, western Thailand (Fig. 1a) is tectonically located in Sibumasu terrane (Sone and Metcalfe, 2008) which have also been named as Shan-Thai (e.g., Charusiri et al., 2002; Bunopas, 1981). This terrane is extensively located at the eastern Myanmar and the western Thailand. In Thailand, the main tectonic features and rock formations are significantly related to Sibumasu and Indochina terranes (Bunopas and Vella, 1992; Bunopas, 1981). The latter terrane covers the main parts of eastern Thailand and extends eastwards to Laos and Cambodia. Both main terranes are separated by two parallel fold belts, namely Sukhothai terrane (Sone and Metcalfe, 2008; Bunopas, 1981) and Loei fold belt (Bunopas, 1981) (Fig. 1a). Moreover, Sibumasu terrane also extends southwards to the Malay Peninsula bounded by the Pattani (Bentong-Raub) suture zone to the east (Ferrari et al., 2008; Charusiri et al., 2002; Bunopas and Vella, 1992; Bunopas, 1981). Rock formations along the Sibumasu terrane are dominated by the Paleozoic sedimentary rocks (Raksaskulwong and Wongwanich, 1994; Bunopas, 1981), Mesozoic sedimentary rocks (Raksaskulwong and Wongwanich, 1994), and Triassic granitic intrusions (Wai-Pan Ng et al., 2015a, b; Searle et al., 2012; Charusiri et al., 1993; Cobbing et al., 1992; Nakapadungrat and Putthapiban, 1992; Cobbing et al., 1986).

    Granitic intrusions in the Sibumasu terrane have been grouped mainly in the central belt granite (CBG) and partly in the Western Belt Granite (WBG) (Charusiri et al., 1993; Nakapadungrat and Putthapiban, 1992). CBG covers large areas extending from northern Thailand to the main range of Malaysia. They are characterized by porphyritic coarse-grained granites and foliated granites which mainly contain biotite granite, and muscovite-biotite granite with subordinate hornblende-biotite granite (Nakapadungrat and Putthapiban, 1992). These characteristics belong to S-type and I-type affinities (Searle et al., 2012; Charusiri et al., 1993; Nakapadungrat and Putthapiban, 1992; Cobbing et al., 1986).

  • Precambrian Thab Sila gneisses are the oldest rock unit (Nantasin et al., 2012; Bunopas and Bunjitradulya, 1975) exposed along NE-SW thrust faults in the northern part of the area. The Palaeozoic sedimentary rocks, which is composed majorly of carbonate rocks (Cambrian–Ordovician U-Thong Marble, and Ordovician Thung Song Group) and clastic rocks (Sillurian– Devonian Bo Phloi Formation), are widely distributed in the area (Fig. 1b) (Department of Mineral Resources, 1977). Mesozoic (Jurassic) sandstones outcrop locally along the conjugate faults bordering the Mesozoic and Precambrian formations in the northern part. Quaternary sediments have been deposited extensively in the area (Fig. 1b) (Department of Mineral Resources, 1977) which appears to have been controlled by rift basin. Moreover, Triassic granites are scattered in the western mountain ranges belonging to CBG (Nantasin et al., 2012; Putthapiban, 2002; Charusiri et al., 1993; Nakapadungrat and Putthapiban, 1992). The Cenozoic basaltic plug remnant at Khao Lantom (sample location) is believed to be the main source of blue sapphire and associated minerals found in the Quaternary basin. However, some basaltic flows were observed in the basin at depth between 15–20 m when the gem mines were in operation previously. This rift basin appears to have evolved during crustal expansion after the collision between the Indo-Australian Plate and the southern margin of the Eurasian Plate (McCabe et al., 1988; Tapponnier et al., 1986, 1982). Varieties of xenocrysts and xenoliths have been observed in this basalt as reported earlier. It should be noted that felsic xenoliths are the main focus of this study.

  • Felsic xenoliths predominantly embedded in this basaltic plug (Fig. 2) are generally grayish white, yellowish-white to white in color with some dark bands creating weak to strong foliation (Fig. 2b). Microscopically, these felsic xenoliths usually show porphyritic texture with large feldspar phenocrysts. They also contain similar mineral assemblages including essentials of quartz, alkali feldspar, and plagioclase with slightly different proportions ranging from syenitic to granitic compositions. Their accessory minerals include biotite, opaque minerals, apatite, and zircon (Figs. 2c2h). Syenitic xenoliths contain about 30%–50% alkali feldspar, 20%–30% plagioclase, and 15%–25% quartz with minor amounts (less than 10%) of biotite, and accessory phases including opaque minerals, apatite, and zircon (Figs. 2c2e).

    Figure 2.  (a) Cenozoic gem-related basalt crops out at Khao Lantom in Bo Phloi Town showing (b) various sizes of felsic xenoliths with general characteristics embedded in the basalt. Photomicrographs showing mineral assemblages of syenitic xenoliths (c) to (e) including mainly phenocrysts of alkali feldspar, plagioclase and quartz with accessory minerals and granitic xenoliths (f) to (h) showing dominant quartz, alkali feldspar, and plagioclase with less abundant minerals. Quenched texture along edges of the phenocryst is indicated by the arrows. Q. Quartz; Pl. plagioclase; Kfs. alkali feldspar; Opq. opaque minerals; Bt. biotite; Zrn. zircon; Ap. apatite.

    Granitic xenoliths consist mainly of 30%–50% quartz, 20%–40% alkali feldspar, 15%–35% plagioclase, and minor amount of biotite (less than 10%) together with accessories of opaque minerals, apatite, and zircon (Figs. 2f2h). Both rock types show similar porphyritic texture with phenocrysts ranging in size from 0.5 mm to 2 cm. Such phenocrysts are mostly characterized by alkali feldspar and plagioclase with subordinate quartz (Figs. 2c2h). Secondary "quenched" textures are often observed as microcrystalline aggregates mainly surrounding the feldspar phenocrysts (Figs. 2c2h). These features indicate partial melting and rapid cooling of feldspar phenocrysts as they ascent to the surface during eruption of the basalts.

  • Felsic xenoliths (Fig. 2) embedded in the Cenozoic basalts at Khao Luntom (Fig. 1 and Fig. 2a) were collected and investigated for petrographic features, whole-rock geochemistry, and mineral chemistry. These xenoliths usually range in size from 2 up to 50 cm in diameter (Fig. 2b). Twenty-five samples of felsic xenoliths were prepared as polished thin sections for petrographic study prior to analyses of mineral chemistry using an Electron Probe Micro-Analyzer (EPMA) model JEOL JXA-8100 based at the Geology Department, Chulalongkorn University. Analytical conditions were set at 15 kV and about 2 µA using a focused beam spot (smaller than 1 µm). Mineral and pure oxide standards were used for calibration at the same condition followed by automatic ZAF correction and reporting of weight percent oxides.

    Eleven samples were then selected and ground for whole-rock geochemical analyses. Major and minor oxides (i.e., SiO2, TiO2, Al2O3, FeOtotal, MnO, MgO, CaO, Na2O, K2O and P2O5) were analyzed using an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (XRFs), Bruker model AXS S-4 Pioneer, at the Geology Department, Chulalongkorn University. Rock standards provided by Geological Survey of Japan (GSJ) and United States Geological Survey (USGS), including JG-2, JR-1, JG-1a, JB-1b, JA-2, GSP-2, BHVO-2, STM-1 were used for calibration. Loss on ignition (LOI) was also measured by weighting rock powders before and after heating in a furnace, at 1 050 ℃ for 3 h. Compositions of trace and rare earth elements were carried out by an inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometer (ICP-OES), model Perkin Elmer Optima 5300DV, and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), model Elan 6100 at SGS (Thailand) Limited. Detection limits range from 0.000 5 ppm to 0.01% for trace elements.

    Two zircons from the felsic xenolith (Sample BP109) were analyzed for trace element compositions using a Perkin-Elmer ELAN 6000 ICP-MS coupled to a laser ablation microscope, at GEMOC, Macquarie University in Australia. Detailed descriptions of the instrumentation and analytical and calibration procedures were described by Belousova et al. (2002). Moreover, U-Pb geochronology was also investigated using zircons extracted from the felsic xenolith (Sample BP101). The analytical procedure was described by Tsutsumi et al. (2012). The zircon samples, zircon standard FC1 (206Pb/238U=0.185 9, Paces and Miller, 1993), and NIST SRM 610 standard glass were mounted together in the resin before polishing. Cathodoluminescence (CL) images taken from scanning electron microscope were then employed to investigate the internal structure. ICP-MS (Agilent 7700x) combined with ESI NWR213 laser ablation system based at the National Museum of Nature and Science, Japan was used to analyze the U-Th-Pb isotopes. The Nd-YAG laser with a 213 nm wavelength was set at 5 ns pulse together with a 25-micrometers spot size and 4–5 J/cm2 laser power. Instead of argon gas, helium gas was used as carrier gas to enhance a higher transport efficiency of ablated materials as suggested by Eggins et al. (1998) and Tsutsumi et al. (2012). The common Pb correction for concordia diagrams and each age determination was done using the 208Pb and 207Pb (Williams, 1998), on the basis of the proposed model for common Pb compositions by Stacey and Kramers (1975). The Isoplot 4.15/Ex software (Ludwig, 2008) was used to calculate the upper and lower intercepts in the concordia diagram.

  • Whole-rock geochemical composition, including major and trace elements, of the xenoliths are summarized in Table S1. The granitic xenoliths represent SiO2-rich compositions ranging from 66 wt.% to 73 wt.% whereas the syenitic xenoliths show lower SiO2 contents, ≤64 wt.%. Both of xenoliths show high potassium contents (5.20 wt.%–7.87 wt.% K2O). However, Na2O+K2O contents of syenitic xenoliths (9.82 wt.%–11.96 wt.%) slightly exceed that of the granitic xenoliths (7.91 wt.%–10.08 wt.%). Moreover, the syenitic xenoliths display slightly higher Al2O3 contents (13.11 wt.%–19.11 wt.%) relative to the granitic xenoliths (13.20 wt.%–14.90 wt.%). On the contrary, CaO contents of the syenitic xenoliths (0.58 wt.%–3.06 wt.%) are slightly lower than the granitic ones (1.01 wt.%–2.10 wt.%).Moreover, Al2O3/(Na2O+K2O+CaO) ratios are high in both the granitic xenoliths (1.2–1.5) and the syenitic xenoliths (1.0–1.5). The other minor elements fall within the same ranges, e.g., FeOt (0.53 wt.%–3.59 wt.%), MgO (0.28 wt.%–2.04 wt.%), MnO (0.02 wt.%–0.06 wt.%). According to CIPW normatives (Table S1), the syenitic xenoliths show obviously lower normative quartz (Q: 2.69%–8.02%) than the granitic xenoliths (Q: 16.57%–32.69%). On the other hand, the syenitic xenoliths reveal higher normative corundum (Crn: ≤3.09%) than the granitic xenoliths (Crn: ≤1.64%). These results indicate that the granitic rocks are more silica saturated whereas the syenitic xenoliths are more alumina saturated. These major and minor compositions are clearly reflected by mineral assemblages, for instance different modal abundances of alkali feldspar, plagioclase, and quartz.

    Geochemically, TAS diagram (total alkaline: Na2O+K2O: SiO2) proposed by Cox et al. (1979) was adopted for the rock classifications of the xenoliths (Fig. 3). These felsic xenoliths are plotted within the fields of syenite and granite consistent with xenoliths' classification. Moreover, these xenoliths are comparable to granitic rocks from CBG of Thailand which were reported by Nakapadungrat and Putthapiban (1992), Putthapiban (2002). Plots of SiO2 against other major and minor oxides in the Harker diagram (Fig. 4) reveal mainly negative correlations of TiO2, Al2O3, FeOt, MgO, CaO, and Na2O against SiO2 similar to CBG (Fig. 4). These trends may reflect characteristics of S-type granite (Nakapadungrat and Putthapiban, 1992; Chappell and White, 1974).

    Figure 3.  Discrimination diagram of plutonic rocks (after Cox et al., 1979) plotting between SiO2 and Na2O+K2O of the studied felsic xenoliths fallen within the fields of granite and syenite. They are comparable to compositions of CBG of Thailand (correlated data are from Putthapiban, 2002; Nakapadungrat and Putthapiban, 1992).

    Figure 4.  Harker variation diagrams (Harker, 1909) showing plots of SiO2 against other xoides of the studied felsic xenoliths comparing to the compositions of CBG of Thailand (data from Putthapiban, 2002; Nakapadungrat and Putthapiban, 1992).

    The primitive mantle-normalized spider diagrams (Fig. 5) of both syenitic and granitic xenoliths exhibit similar patterns of Rb enrichment and depletions of Ba, Nb, Ta, Ti which are comparable to the typical collisional S-type granite (Grosse et al., 2011). The syenetic xenoliths yield (La/Yb)N ratio varying from 18.66 to 47.55 which is narrower than those of the granitic xenoliths (1.37–162.66). Additionally, the syenitic xenoliths display similar (La/Sm)N ratios (4.20–4.87), in contrast with the granitic xenoliths (2.72–7.64). The chondrite-normalized REE patterns of these xenoliths (Fig. 6) show slight enrichment of light REE (LREE) and depletion of heavy REE (HREE). In addition, the marked negative Eu anomalies displayed by both xenoliths imply feldspar fractionation. Their REE patterns are similar to the typical collisional S-type granite (reported by Grosse et al., 2011) (Figs. 6a and 6b).

    Figure 5.  Primitive mantle-normalized spider diagrams (primitive mantle values from Sun and McDonough, 1989) of (a) granitic xenoliths and (b) syenitic xenoliths comparing to shade patterns of the collisional S-type granites (Grosse et al., 2011).

    Figure 6.  Chondrite-normalized REE patterns (chondrite values from Sun and McDonough, 1989) of (a) granitic xenolith and (b) syenitic xenolith comparing to shade patterns of the collisional S-type granites (Grosse et al., 2011).

  • Chemical compositions of alkali feldspar and plagioclase are summarized in Table S2. End-member plots of these feldspars are shown in Fig. 7. Alkali feldspars of granitic xenoliths show orthoclase contents (Or52–78) higher than those of syenitic xenoliths (Or51–54) (Fig. 7). As regards the plagioclase compositions, both granitic and syenitic plagioclases fall within the identical andesine range, An31–41 for granitic xenolith and An35–38 for syenitic one. Comparing the feldspar inclusions in the alluvial sapphire deposited around the study area, these feldspar inclusions contain different compositions with mostly lower Or content (Or10–49 data from Khamloet et al., 2014) as shown in the shaded field (Fig. 7). Some representative analyses of these feldspar inclusions are also shown in Table S2.

    Figure 7.  End-member plots (after Smith and Brown, 1974) of alkali feldspar and plagioclase in the felsic xenoliths comparing to feldspar inclusions in alluvial sapphire from Bo Phloi Deposit (shade field, data from Khamloet et al., 2014).

  • Ilmenite, which is the dominant opaque minerals, shows similar chemical compositions in both granitic and syenitic xnoliths (Table S3). They contain 50.65 wt.%–52.08 wt.% TiO2 and 42.92 wt.%–47.19 wt.% FeO, with less abundant 0.09 wt.%–0.19 wt.% Al2O3, 0.28 wt.%–0.39 wt.% MnO, ≤0.01 wt.% CaO, and 1.07 wt.%–3.98 wt.% MgO. However, granitic ilmenite presents slightly lower FeO and higher MgO contents than those of the syenitic ilmenite. These ilmenite compositions are different from those occurring as inclusions in sapphire from Bo Phloi as reported by Khamloet et al. (2014). These authors reported lower TiO2 (45.73 wt.%–49.63 wt.%), FeO (27.64 wt.%–41.02 wt.%), and MgO (0.53 wt.%–0.98 wt.%) contents (Table S3).

  • Zircons from both syenitic and granitic xenoliths show similar compositional ranges such as 63 wt.%–64 wt.% ZrO2 and 1 wt.% HfO2, which are different from zircon inclusions in sapphire (e.g., about 65 wt.%–66 wt.% ZrO2 and 1 wt.%–2 wt.% HfO2) (Table 1). In addition, Zr/Hf ratios (87–107) of zircons in both xenolith types are significantly higher than those (25.64–61.19) of zircon inclusions in alluvial sapphires as reported by Khamloet et al. (2014). Trace elements and REE compositions of the zircons from granitic xenolith (Sample No. 109) are presented in Fig. 8 and Table 2. Chondrite-normalized REE patterns (chondrite values from Taylor and McLennan, 1985) reveal a steeply rising slope from the LREE to HREE (Fig. 8) with positive Ce and negative Eu anomalies. In addition, these REE patterns are plotted to compare with those zircons from various magmatic rocks (data from Belousova et al., 2002) and zircon inclusions in alluvial sapphire from Bo Phloi deposit (data from Khamloet et al., 2014). The REE patterns of the zircon from this study are similar to the patterns of the zircons from both syenitic rocks and granitoid (Belousova et al., 2002). However, REE patterns of zircons from syenitic rocks seem to have higher slope than granitoid (Fig. 8). REE patterns of the zircon inclusions in alluvial sapphire (Khamloet et al., 2014) also show higher slope than the xenolithic zircon under study (Fig. 8).

    Oxide Zircons in felsic xenoliths Zircon inclusions(Khamloet et al., 2014)
    Granitic xenoliths Syenetic xenoliths
    BP101-Zrn1 BP101-Zrn3 109-Zrn13 109-Zrn21 201-Zrn22 201-Zrn11 201-Zrn12 1B3ib2 2DGC6a-REE2 3LGC1d
    SiO2 34.04 35.15 35.23 35.42 36.2 34.37 35.44 33.08 32.49 33.08
    ZrO2 63.78 63.21 63.09 63.01 62.55 63.49 62.5 64.65 65.57 66.18
    HfO2 1.14 1.08 1.12 1.01 1.03 1.25 1.17 1.62 1.75 1.59
    Al2O3 0 0.01 0.01 0 0.01 0 0 0.12 0.01 0.02
    FeOt 0.01 0 0.19 0.39 0.12 0.38 0.34 0.06 0.06 0
    CaO 0.04 0.02 0.02 0 0.01 0.02 0 0.01 0 0.01
    Total 99.00 99.47 99.85 99.92 99.95 99.78 99.74 99.54 99.88 100.88
    4(O)
    Si 1.04 1.06 1.061 1.064 1.08 1.044 1.068 1.013 0.998 1.004
    Zr 0.95 0.93 0.926 0.923 0.91 0.94 0.918 0.966 0.982 0.979
    Hf 0.010 0.009 0.010 0.009 0.009 0.011 0.010 0.017 0.018 0.016
    Al 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.004 0 0.001
    Fe3+ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Fe2+ 0 0 0.005 0.010 0.003 0.01 0.009 0 0 0
    Ca 0.001 0.001 0.001 0 0 0.001 0 0.002 0.001 0
    Total 2.001 2.000 2.000 2.000 2.000 2.000 2.000 2.002 2.001 2.000

    Table 1.  Representative EPMA analyses data of zircon in felsic xenoliths embedded in Cenozoic basalt and zircon inclusions in alluvial sapphire fromBo Phloi Gem Field, Kanchanaburi, Thailand

    Figure 8.  Chondrite-normalized REE patterns of zircons from the granitic xenolith Sample BP109 comparing to the patterns of zircon inclusion in alluvial sapphire from Bo Phloi Deposit (Khamloet et al., 2014), zircons in various magmatic rocks (Belousova et al., 2002), and shade pattern of zircons in typical S-type granite (Wang et al., 2012).

    Element (ppm) 109ZRA_1 109ZRA_2
    Ti 48.58 44.63
    Y 1 036.25 995.03
    Nb 2.29 1.91
    La 1.966 0.183
    Ce 16.22 3.94
    Pr 1.601 0.195
    Nd 15.25 3.61
    Sm 16.65 7.75
    Eu 0.534 0.207
    Gd 43.85 24.75
    Tb 10.87 7.65
    Dy 108.02 98.07
    Ho 33.86 32.16
    Er 134.28 133.87
    Tm 26.29 26.38
    Yb 225.26 241.53
    Lu 41.76 45.1
    Hf 12 810.49 14 242.43
    Ta 0.615 0.981
    Pb 3.32 1.426
    Th 492.43 227.66
    U 613.86 913.55

    Table 2.  Trace element compositions of zircon in granitic xenolith Sample BP109 embedded in Cenozoic basalt from Bo Phloi, Kanchanaburi, Thailand

  • Forty two zircons (Fig. 9) separated from the representative felsic xenolith (granitic Sample BP101) were analyzed using LA-ICP-MS technique to examine the ages of the felsic xenoliths. All analytical data of these zircons (Table S4) were plotted on the concordia diagrams in Fig. 10. The analytical spots with their U-Pb ages and internal structures observed under cathodoluminescence (CL) images are shown in Fig. 9. The zircon grains with subhedral to euhedral shape range from 100 to 300 µm in length (Fig. 9). Moreover, oscillatory zoning textures are clearly observed in these zircons (Fig. 9) which reflects magmatic crystallization. In addition, these zircons reveal high Th/U ratios (> 0.1), ranging from 0.10 to 1.16, which also support their magmatic origin (Shi et al., 2020; Gou et al., 2019; Chen et al., 2017; Hoskin and Schaltegger, 2003; Belousova et al., 2002; Hoskin and Ireland, 2000).

    Figure 9.  CL images of zircons separated from the granitic xenolith Sample BP10l present analytical spots with their yielded 206Pb/238U ages with their details reported in Tlabe 6

    Figure 10.  (a) Tera-Wasserburg concordia diagram showing 238U/206Pb and 207Pb/206Pb ratios, and (b) histogram displays 238U-206Pb ages with a probability curve and weighted average 238U-206Pb ages of zircons in the granitic xenolith (Sample No. BP101).

    According to the Tera-Wasserburg concordia diagrams (Fig. 10a) and weight histograms with a density curve (Figs. 10b), the U-Pb zircon data show a weighted mean 238U-206Pb age of 211.6±1.3 Ma, which reflects the crystallization of the felsic xenoliths during the Late Triassic Period. Therefore, these data suggest that felsic xenoliths embedded in the Cenozoic basalts in the Bo Phloi Gem Field appear to have been formed during magmatism contemporaneous to the Late Triassic Period before the alkaline basaltic magma carried them to the surface much later during the Cenozoic Period (Sutthirat, 2001; Sutthirat et al., 1994; Barr and MacDonald, 1981).

  • Based on the present study involving the petrology, geochemistry, and zircon U-Pb geochronology of the felsic xenoliths as well as granitic and syenitic xenoliths embedded in Late Cenozoic sapphire-bearing basalt from Bo Phloi area, Kanchanaburi, western Thailand, it can be concluded as follows.

    (1) Felsic xenoliths can be classified into granitic xenoliths and syenitic xenoliths which contain similar major assemblages of alkali feldspar, plagioclase, and quartz, although their modal abundances are different.

    (2) Mineral assemblage, mineral chemistry, and whole-rock geochemistry of the felsic xenoliths indicate alkaline and peraluminous magma series related to collisional S-type granite magmatism, which is comparable to the formation of CBG in Thailand and Southeast Asia.

    (3) Enrichment of Rb and depletions of Ba, Nb, Ta, and Ti as well as the steep LREE/HREE enrichment patterns indicate low degree of partial melting of crustal materials.

    (4) Zircon U-Pb geochronology of the felsic xenolith yielded 211.6±1.3 Ma, suggestive of magmatic events associated with the collision between the Sibumasu (Shan-Thai) and the Indochina terranes during the Late Triassic Period.

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