Iranian ultrapotassic volcanism at ~11 Ma signifies the initiation of post-collisional magmatism in the Arabia–Eurasia collision zone



Ultrapotassic rocks are a common, but volumetrically minor, hallmark of post-collisional magmatism along the Alpine–Himalayan orogenic belt. Here, we document the occurrence of ultrapotassic volcanic rocks from the Eslamy peninsula, NW Iran in the Arabia–Eurasia collision zone. Our results indicate that magma genesis involved melting of phlogopite- and apatite-bearing peridotites in the sub-continental lithospheric mantle at ~11 Ma. These peridotites likely formed by metasomatism involving components derived from subducted sediments during Neotethyan subduction. The ~11 Ma ultrapotassic volcanism was preceded by a magmatic gap of ~11 Ma after the cessation of arc magmatism in NW Iran and Armenia, thus likely representing the initiation of post-collisional magmatism. The age coincides with the onset of collision-related magmatic activity and topographic uplift in the Caucasus–Iran–Anatolia region, and also with other regional geological events including the closure of the eastern Tethys gateway, the end of Arabian underthrusting and the start of escape tectonics in Anatolia.