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Basaltic dykes of the Eastern Belt of Peninsular

Malaysia: The effects of the difference in
crustal thickness of Sibumasu...

Article in Journal of Asian Earth Sciences · November 2013

DOI: 10.1016/j.jseaes.2013.08.004


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A. A Ghani Ching-Hua Lo
University of Malaya National Taiwan University


Sun-Lin Chung
National Taiwan University


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Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 77 (2013) 127–139

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Journal of Asian Earth Sciences

journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/jseaes

Basaltic dykes of the Eastern Belt of Peninsular Malaysia: The effects

of the difference in crustal thickness of Sibumasu and Indochina
Azman A. Ghani a,b,⇑, Ching-Hua Lo b, Sun-Lin Chung b
Department of Geology, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Department of Geosciences, National Taiwan University, Taipei 106, Taiwan

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: Basaltic dykes of Peninsular Malaysia are confined to the Eastern Belt (Indochina/East Malaya block) as
Received 8 January 2013 compared with the Western Belt (Sibumasu Block). The dyke intruded through a crustal fracture formed
Received in revised form 12 July 2013 by stress developed from the evolution of two offshore basins (Malay and Penyu basins) east of Peninsu-
Accepted 5 August 2013
lar Malaysia. The Ar–Ar dating from the present study combined with the previous geochronological data
Available online 27 August 2013
indicate that the ages of dykes range from 79 ± 2 Ma to 179 ± 2 Ma. Thus it is difficult to correlate the
dykes with the closure of Tethys during Permo-Triassic time because of the younger age of the dykes.
The majority of the dykes exposed in the Eastern Belt may have been attributed to the difference of crus-
Basaltic dyke
tal thickness between the Eastern and Western belt of Peninsular Malaysia. A thicker Western Belt crust
Sibumasu (13 km more than both Eastern and Central belts) is difficult to rupture with normal plate tectonic stress
Peninsular Malaysia and therefore serves to contain the rise of a mantle derived melt. The chemistry indicates the basalts are
Ar–Ar dating olivine to quartz normative and are of the continental within-plate category.
Ó 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction (2002) on the dykes from Perhentian, Redang Islands and mainland
Terengganu. Ghani (2000a,b) divided the dykes in into two main
Indochina, Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia and its offshore re- groups based on their relative age. These are: (1) the older dykes
gion of South East Asia located at the relatively stable Sundaland which are syn-plutonic, and (2) the younger dykes, which are
(Metcalfe, 2011). Sundaland is made up of several tectonic blocks post-plutonic to the host rock. The younger dykes constitute about
such as South China block, Indochina–East Malaya block, Sibumasu 98% of the total dykes found in the Eastern Belt.
block and SW Borneo block. These blocks originate from the India– This paper will focus on the geochemistry of the younger dykes
Australian margin of eastern Gondwana and assembled by the clo- and its implication to regional tectonics. A comprehensive geo-
sure of multiple Tethyan and back-arc ocean basins now repre- chemical based study that includes all data for the younger dykes
sented by suture zones. Among the sutures are Song Ma, Nan in this region and their correlation does not, as yet, exist. This pa-
Uttaradit, Bentong Raub and Sra Kaeo (Metcalfe, 2000, 2001, per reports an ongoing research of the basaltic to intermediate
2002, 2011). One of the common expressions of mantle magma dyke magma that was emplaced throughout the latter half of the
generation related to crustal fracturing during extensional tecton- Mesozoic in Peninsular Malaysia. The dykes were not only re-
ics is the presence of basaltic dykes. Despite being abundant in stricted to the Cretaceous age but were also emplaced during the
many parts of the Southeast Asia, these dykes have been neglected middle Jurassic. The study helps in understanding the characteris-
to-date in regional models. tics of mafic magma emplaced during that time.
In Peninsular Malaysia, mafic dykes, intruding into both inter-
mediate to felsic igneous rocks and older layered rocks, are found
widely not only on the mainland, but also on several islands off 2. Tectonic setting and general geology
the east coast of the peninsula (Fig. 1) (Lee, 1977; Haile et al.,
1983; Ghani, 2000a,b, 2001a). Previous geochemical studies on Peninsular Malaysia is traditionally subdivided into two
basaltic dykes of the Peninsula are found in Haile et al. (1983) on north–south trending zones based on differences in magmatism,
the Kuantan dolerite as well as Ghani (2000a,b) and Ghani et al. stratigraphy, mineralization and structure (Cobbing et al., 1992).
The Peninsula is made up of two blocks, Sibumasu (Continental
⇑ Corresponding author at: Department of Geology, Faculty of Science, University block derived from Gondwana) and Indochina (Arc terranes
of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Tel.: +60 379674203; fax: +60 derived from Southchina or Indochina) blocks (Metcalfe, 2011).
379675149. Sibumasu terrane of Peninsular Malaysia is part of the Sibumasu
E-mail address: azmangeo@yahoo.com (A.A. Ghani). continental lithospheric terrane which also includes western

1367-9120/$ - see front matter Ó 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
128 A.A. Ghani et al. / Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 77 (2013) 127–139

Fig. 1. Map of Peninsular Malaysia showing the study area where most of the dyke samples were collected. Also shown is the distribution of the granitic rocks from
Peninsular Malaysia where most of the dykes intruded granites. The main trends of the dykes are shown in the Rose diagrams. Note the two different trends of northern and
southern part of the study area.

Yunnan (Baoshan and Tenchong Blocks), the Shan States of Burma, Searle et al., 2012). The main granite type is coarse megacrystic
northwest Thailand Peninsular Burma and Thailand (Metcalfe, biotite granite and two-mica granite with SiO2 content more than
1986, 1988). The Indochina terrane of Peninsular Malaysia was 67%. To the east of the suture in Indochina block, granites are older
interpreted as an arc terrane derived from South China or Indo- compared to those from the Western Belt, emplaced approximately
china in the Carboniferous. These two terranes started to collide at about 220–290 Ma and are mainly I-type granitic comprise of
in lower Permian to middle Triassic which marked the closure of extended compositional spectrum from gabbro (±syenites) through
the Tethys Ocean (Metcalfe, 2000). These two terranes are sepa- granodiorite to monzogranite, usually forming small batholiths
rated by the Bentong-Raub suture that represents the main Devo- and plutons (Cobbing et al., 1992; Ghani, 2001b, 2009; Ghani
nian to Middle Triassic Paleo-Tethys Ocean (Metcalfe, 2000, 2011). et al., 2013b). The Eastern granite batholiths intrude into de-
The suture zone is a result of subduction of the Palaeo-Tethys formed, metamorphosed Carboniferous to Triassic sediments and
ocean beneath Indochina during the early Permian and Triassic col- volcanics. Mafic rocks associated with the Permian to Triassic gran-
lision of the Sibumasu terrane with the Indochina block (Metcalfe, ite constitute less than 5% of the total surface exposures. Rare
2000). occurrences of alkali series rock (syenite, monzonite and alkali
The Sibumasu terrane, west of the Bentong Raub suture, is char- gabbro) occur in Perhentian Island and Benom Complex (Ghani,
acterized by tin bearing, continental collision S-type granites, em- 2001b; Mustafa and Ghani, 2003).
placed at around 200–220 Ma (Searle et al., 2012; Ghani et al., The granites, as well as sedimentary and metamorphic rocks of
2013a; Cottam et al., 2013). They have been interpreted as granites the Eastern Belt, have been intruded by a series of basaltic dykes
formed by crustal thickening and melting of the Sibumasu terrane with average thicknesses ranging from 10 cm to 20 m. The dykes
following collision with Indochina and closing of the Bentong-Raub do not occur only at the northeastern part of the Eastern Belt but
suture zone (Mitchell, 1977; Hutchison, 1978; Metcalfe, 2000; are also found abundantly in the southeastern part of the Eastern
A.A. Ghani et al. / Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 77 (2013) 127–139 129

Belt. In this paper most of the dykes were sampled from the central amygdales filled with calcite, zeolite, quartz and analcite are
part of the Eastern Belt including Kuantan, Perhentian Island and occasionally found in the dykes. From the field studies it is likely
central Terengganu (Fig. 1). that the intrusion of the dyke magma occurred in several episodes.
This is based on the cross-cutting relationship between two dykes
with the younger having developed a chilled margin against the
3. Field occurrence and petrography other. The dykes sometimes occur in closely parallel sets forming
straight swarms, indicating that they were emplaced along sharply
The dykes are not uniformly distributed in the Eastern Belt. In defined fractures. In the coastal area of Kuantan, a 2.5 cm thick ma-
some areas, dykes are very common, for instance in the Kuantan fic dyke forms a zig-zag pattern which is clearly an early joint pat-
area, a total of 65 basaltic dykes, both fresh and weathered, have tern (Fig. 3e). The dyke also intruded the volcanic rocks of Permian
been recorded. The length of the dykes exposed is usually less than age (Fig. 3f).
5 m and the thickness vary from 2 cm to 2 m. The thickest dyke re- The minerals present in the dykes, in decreasing order, are oliv-
corded in the Eastern Belt is about 20 m wide, found near Kenyir ine, plagioclase, clinopyroxene, amphibole, iron oxide and chlorite
Lake, Terengganu (Ghani et al., 2001). The general trend of the (Fig. 4). General texture of the dyke is shown in Fig. 4. Olivine,
dykes from the study area is shown in Fig. 1. Dykes from the north- clinopyroxene and plagioclase are the main phenocrystic phase.
ern part of the study area (e.g. Perhentian Islands) show N–S trend They are mainly basaltic andesite in composition, although some
compared to the dykes from south of the study area (e.g. Kuantan lamprophyre has been reported (Mac Donald, 1967). The texture
area) which strike E–W. The N–S and E–W trends coincide with the is either intergranular, porphyritic or sub-ophitic (Fig. 4a–c), and
major trends of Malay and Penyu Basins basement eastcoast off the rock are often chloritised to varying degrees (Fig. 4e), in the
Peninsular Malaysia (Fig. 2). Generally, the dykes are straight, indi- most extreme case with up to about 10% modal chlorite. Amyg-
cating that they have been apparently emplaced along sharply de- dales occur in various shapes and sizes and are commonly filled
fined fractures. Macroscopically, these dyke rocks are mainly with fine crystalline silica, epidote and calcite (Fig. 4d). Pale green
massive and the color varies from dark green to greyish green. fibrous uralite may be present within the chlorite. Plagioclase
The dykes are usually weathered and are totally changed to soil (An32–An35) crystals usually occur as small subhedral to euhedral
when hosted by sedimentary rocks (Fig. 3a). They are aphanitic laths which do not show any preferred orientation. The crystals
and characterized by ophitic to sub-ophitic textures but in places sometimes show twinning but rarely zoning. In porphyritic sam-
they also show porphyritic texture (Fig. 3b and c). The predomi- ples plagioclase crystals can occur up to 1.5 cm in length (Fig. 4f).
nant host rocks of these dykes are the Eastern Belt granitoids. The crystals display oscillatory, normal zonation and albite twin-
The dykes have not been metamorphosed, but sometimes show ning. Clinopyroxene, mainly augite, is subhedral to anhedral and
evidence of having been locally affected by brittle shearing. The occurs as interstitial grains between plagioclase laths, forming a
dykes often exhibit chilled margin 0.5–5 cm thick and show a dar- typical doleritic texture (Fig. 4b). In some samples, euhedral to
ker color compared to the center of the dyke (Fig. 3b). Occasionally anhedral iron oxide can constitute up to 10% of the rock. In rare
dykes enclosed granitic enclaves of various sizes; the largest en- cases, some interstitial calcite may occur. Quartz can occur as an
clave has length of about 0.5 m. interstitial mineral with minute fluid inclusions.
The dykes always show a sharp contact (Fig. 3b) with the host
rock and are almost planar and near vertical, but some display dips 4. Geochronology
as low as 45°. They are either porphyritic (with plagioclase pheno-
crysts) (Fig. 3b and c) or very fine grained. Sometimes they show 4.1. Previous work on the age of the basaltic dykes
symmetrical textural zoning with a chilled margin and a regular in-
ward increase of grain size (Fig. 3c). Angular to sub-angular inclu- Haile et al. (1983) reported K–Ar ages for 10 basalt samples
sions of granitic host rock up to 0.5 m across (Fig. 3d) as well as from the Kuantan area showing that the majority of the dykes

Fig. 2. Onshore of Peninsular Malaysia and offshore of Malay and Penyu basin basement fault pattern (modified after Khalid et al. (1996)). The two basins correspond to the
northern and southern part of the study area.
130 A.A. Ghani et al. / Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 77 (2013) 127–139

Fig. 3. Field photographs of the mafic dykes. (a) Remnant of the mafic dyke intruded the metasediments in the study area. Note that the dyke is completely weathered to soil,
(b) the dyke intruded the biotite granite of the Perhentian Kecil Island. Note that the hornblende and pyroxene phenocrysts tend to accumulate at the center of the dyke, (c)
porphyritic dyke from Teluk Cempedak Kuantan. The phenocrysts consist of subhedral to anhedral plagioclase set in a fine grained matrix, (d) various shaped of granitic
enclaves (marked by blue margin) in the dykes from Kuantan area. Geological hammer as a scale, (e) a 2.5 cm thick dolerite dyke (red arrow) from the Kuantan area with a zig
zag pattern. The dyke intruded into 250 Ma Kuantan Granite, and (f) mafic dyke intruded (red arrow) the Permian volcanics of the Eastern Belt. The thickness of the dyke is
about 6 cm. The dyke shows a clear chilled margin of 1–1.5 cm thick at both margins. (For interpretation of the references to color in this figure legend, the reader is referred
to the web version of this article.)

were emplaced in the range of 79 ± 2 Ma to 129 ± 2 Ma. Ghani et al. of the Central Belt of Peninsular Malaysia. This pluton has been
(2002) dated an older dyke sample from Perhentian Island, intruded by a swarm of intermediate to mafic dykes with
Terengganu, by using the K–Ar technique and found an age widths ranging from 0.4 m to 2 m.
of 219 ± 11 Ma. The sample is a synplutonic dyke which  The PTIAN dyke sample is taken from a dyke intruded into the
intruded the Perhentian Kecil Syenite. In this paper a total of 4 Perhentian Kecil Syenite (Ghani, 2001b). Field occurrence led
younger dyke samples were dated using the 40Ar/39Ar step-heating Ghani (2001b) to classifiy this dyke as an older dyke which
technique. may be coeval with its syenitic host. The features such as neck-
ing, pinch and swell, back veining and lobate to crenulate con-
4.2. Sample descriptions tact of the dykes and the host rock suggest that the dyke magma
intrude while the host rock was ductile.
The four dyke samples that were analyzed include a sample on  The PLANG dyke sample is taken from an intrusion in a small
the Central Belt of Peninsular Malaysia. A summary of the field island (Lang Island) off east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The
occurrences of these samples are given below: island is less than 1 km2 underlain by coarse grained biotite
 The BADAK dyke sample intruded a small granitic body of the
Kijal pluton in the central part of the study area. The pluton is 4.3. Method
zoned from leucogranite and biotite granite to hornblende gran-
ite and gabbroic in composition. All samples were analyzed at the Department of Geosciences,
 The DAMAR dyke sample intruded a leucogranite body (2 km National Taiwan University. Whole-rock chips were crushed and
width) of the Bukit Damar pluton located in the southern part sieved to size 20–40 mesh (850–425 lm), ultrasonically cleaned
A.A. Ghani et al. / Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 77 (2013) 127–139 131

Fig. 4. Petrography and texture of the dyke. (a) Olivine and clinopyroxene phenocrysts surrounded by matrix of plagioclase and clinopyroxene, (b) typical texture of a
medium grained grained dyke consists of clinopyroxene and lath shaped plagioclase, (c) dyke texture at the chilled margin compose of fine grained plagioclase as a main
matrix mineral and clinopyroxene and olivine as a phenocrysts, (d) fine grained polycrystalline quartz form an amygdale in the dyke, (e) in some parts of the dyke chlorite and
opaques make up about 30% of the total dyke composition and (f) large euhedral plagioclase as phenocryst in the basaltic dyke.

in distilled water and dried, and handpicked under a stereoscope to 5. Geochemistry

remove visible impurities. The samples were then irradiated at
THOR Reactor at Tsing-Hua University (Taiwan) for 8 h. After irra- 5.1. Analytical method
diation and closing-off the samples were loaded into an automated
extraction and purification line, and heated using double vacuum 34 dyke samples were analyzed for major and trace elements.
Mo resistance furnace, incrementally from 500 to 1600 C following 8 samples were taken from Perhentian, Lang and Redang islands,
a 30 min/step schedule. The released gas was purified with a Ti off the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia and 26 samples from
sponge and Zr–Al getters and measured with a Varian-MAT the East Coast Mainland. All analyses were carried out at the
GD150 mass spectrometer run in a static mode at the National Tai- Department of Geology, University of Liverpool. Major oxide
wan University. Plateaus was defined by at least four successive elements and trace elements were analyzed by using Siemens
steps with dates that fall within 2r of the average and the gas frac- sequential X-ray spectrometer. The major oxides were deter-
tion of these plateau steps must comprise >50% of total 39Ar re- mined using Cr primary beam radiation generated at 50 kV and
leased. Result of the analyses is shown as age spectrum plots in 40 mA and trace elements using W beam radiation generated at
Fig. 5. 45 kV and 60 mA.
Accuracy in major, trace and REE elements analysis was
4.4. Result checked by routine analysis of the USGS standard G2 with error
of less than 0.5% to 1.0%. REE composition of the dyke samples
The apparent age spectrum for all samples are relatively flat for were taken from Ghani et al. (2002) and Sita Ram et al. (1980).
63–85% of the 39Ar release with plateau ages of 124.07 ± 0.34 Ma
for BADAK, 127.05 ± 0.33 Ma for DAMAR, 178.46 ± 1.05 Ma for 5.2. Results
PTIAN and 179.14 ± 0.75 Ma for PLANG samples (Fig. 5). The gas
composition of the plateau steps suggest intercept ages which Representative major and trace element compositions of the
are consistent with the respective plateau ages and reasonable 40- dykes are given in Table 1. The SiO2 contents range from 44.26%
Ar/36Ar initial values close to atmospheric composition (295.5) in to 56.38%. It is well established that geochemical mobility of ele-
isotope correlation plots. Thus the obtained plateau ages are ments is commonly associated with alteration and metamorphism
adopted to represent the intrusion ages of the dyke samples. of the rocks (Pearce and Cann, 1973; Sun and Nesbitt, 1977; Pearce,
132 A.A. Ghani et al. / Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 77 (2013) 127–139

Fig. 5. 40Ar/39Ar plateau diagrams for samples (a) BADAK, (b) DAMAR, (c) PTIAN, and (d) PLANG. Plateau ages with 2r analytical errors were calculated using the steps
between arrows.

1982; Thompson, 1991). Alteration effects can be observed in the of Na2O + K2O vs. SiO2 (TAS diagram) shows that the majority of
outcrop and can further be verified by petrographic studies under the dyke samples lie within basalt, basaltic trachyandesite and
microscope. Growth of secondary minerals like uralite, chlorite, trachybasalt fields (Fig. 10) and in the continental basalt field in
epidote, and sericite occur in various dyke samples from the study the FeO2 vs. MgO vs. Al2O3 diagram (Fig. 11). On a plot of Zr/Y
area and can be used as parameters to determine the degree of and Zr the majorities of the dyke samples plot in the within-plate
alteration (Kumar and Ahmad, 2007). The mobility of elements in basalt field (Fig. 12) and also plot in the same field on a Ti–Zr–Y
the Eastern Belt dykes were assessed using Harker Zr and CIW ternary diagram (Pearce and Norry, 1979) (Fig. 13). All these plots
[CIW = Chemical Index weathering Al2O3/(Al2O3 + CaO + Na2O)] suggest that the studied dyke rocks exhibiting the characters of
plots (Figs. 6–8), since it is considered that Zr is immobile under within-plate basalt.
most metamorphic conditions (Pearce and Cann, 1973; Floyd and Chondrite normalized profile for REE shows enrichment in LREE
Lees, 1973; Winchester and Floyd, 1977; Sheraton, 1984; Macdon- relative to HREE for all samples (Fig. 14). In general all the samples
ald et al., 1988; Harnois, 1988; Wang et al., 2010). In Figs. 6 and 7, from Perhentian show a similar profile, except sample PSD which
most of the major and trace elements plot are scattered except has a significant negative Eu anomaly. This may attribute to plagio-
TiO2, Na2O, Ce, Y and Zn increase and CaO decreases with increas- clase fractionation. The sample from Redang Island (REDO)
ing Zr. The effect of alteration on the whole rock major elements (Fig. 14) has a significant positive Eu anomaly which may be due
compositions are also determined by CIW molecular ratio diagram to accumulation of plagioclase. Multi-element spidergram
(Harnois, 1988; Wang et al., 2010) (Fig. 8). The studied dykes have (Fig. 15) patterns of the dyke also show enriched characteristics
low CIW values compared to the basic rocks elsewhere (e.g. Wil- for LREE-LILE and depletion of Nb, Sr, P, Ti anomalies.
louran Basic Province, South Australia and Guibei Large Igneous The dykes are characterized by parallel moderately fractionated
Province, South China (Wang et al., 2010). Negative correlation of patterns ((La/Lu)n = 6.6–11.1) and a relatively weak fractionated
CaO–CIW indicates that the alteration resulted in CaO depletion. HREE segment ((Gd/Lu)n = 2.4–3.03) with absence of significant
The increasing of K2O with increasing CIW reflects possible K- Eu anomalies. These REE profiles would suggest that the dyke rocks
metasomatism (Crawford and Hilyard, 1990; Wang et al., 2010). may originated from the same magma chamber as they show a
TiO2, MgO and Na2O show no correlation with CIW implying they remarkable similarity in chemistry.
are essentially immobile. The good correlations in some of the ele-
ments above suggest that they retained original magmatic rela- 6. Discussion
tionships which the element behaves incompatibly under mantle
melting and basalt crystallization. Furthermore the effect of alter- 6.1. Age of the dykes
ation on the wholerock composition may be insignificant because
of the low LOI values (Table 1) in most studied samples. The occurrence of basaltic dykes in the Eastern Belt is one of the
Utilizing FeO/MgO as a fractionation index (with FeO = total main differences between the Eastern and Western Belts of Penin-
iron), Na2O, P2O5, TiO2, FeO, Ce, Zr, Nd, Zn and Y increase while sular Malaysia. Ar–Ar age data presented in this study show the
Al2O3, MgO, CaO, Ni and Sr decrease as FeO/MgO increases dyke magmatism peaking at 125 and 178 Ma. The younger dyke
(Fig. 9). FeO and TiO2 trends in Fig. 10 appear to be inconsistent from Bukit Badak, in the central part of the study area, gives an
with the case expected for early crystallization of ilmenite. Plots age of 124 ± 0.34 Ma which is similar to the uppermost K–Ar age
A.A. Ghani et al. / Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 77 (2013) 127–139 133

Table 1
Major and trace element analyses of the Eastern Belt basaltic dykes.

Major element in wt%
SiO2 47.17 49.93 53.7 56.38 49.93 44.26 56.26 50.12 48.87 52.37 55.97 50.2 56.8 53.5
TiO2 1.13 2.78 2.01 1.36 2.78 2.13 1.41 2.71 1.62 2.35 0.97 1.04 1.78 2.6
Al2O3 16.78 14.32 15.26 16.61 14.32 15.27 16.07 14.48 17.11 15.23 16.67 14.67 14.93 15.05
FeO 8.89 12.44 10.39 10.76 12.44 10.63 6.66 12.2 9.43 11.34 7.01 9.47 9.65 11.57
MnO 0.11 0.24 0.18 0.13 0.22 0.18 0.16 0.22 0.19 0.27 0.13 0.18 0.17 0.26
MgO 8.07 4.35 3.24 4.54 4.35 8.83 4.14 4.24 6.64 3.69 4.82 6.97 3.03 3.41
CaO 11.08 8.93 6.52 0.57 8.93 9.92 6.30 8.16 9.95 5.30 7.39 10.54 4.1 3.83
Na2O 2.20 3.83 3.1 4.03 3.83 2.24 3.02 4.41 2.77 5.51 2.42 2.11 5.42 6.38
K2O 1.26 0.68 2.66 1.60 0.68 1.44 3.34 0.86 1.20 1.32 2.07 1.42 1.78 0.86
P2O5 0.10 0.58 0.69 0.29 0.58 0.47 0.38 0.56 0.40 0.51 0.29 0.22 0.52 0.98
LOI 3.02 1.50 2.19 3.50 1.50 3.50 1.95 2.00 1.15 1.50 1.80 3.00 1.5 1.3
Total 99.80 99.58 99.91 99.77 99.56 98.87 99.69 99.42 99.33 99.75 99.54 99.82 99.68 99.74
Trace element in ppm
Ba 127 128 1509 115 128 458 918 137 228 249 1174 177 266 116
Ce 28 55 62 52 n.d. n.d. 100 67 42 65 75 28.2 88.7 81.7
La 8 29 50 12 18 30 53 23 19 30 43 12.9 37.3 33.1
Nd 14 38 48 n.d. 38 42 n.d. 39 n.d. 39 33 14.9 46.5 48.1
Ni 7 13 n.d. 16 13 143 7 14 34 7 49 25.3 5.4 1.1
Pb 14 4 14 5 4 11 5 6 2 7 38 4.6 2 2.2
Rb 8 14 89 26 14 68 172 21 75 48 121 104.7 49.1 23.6
Sc 34 38 27 31 38 33 24 38 36 32 19 bdl bdl bdl
Sr 639 369 577 227 13 720 989 345 713 259 511 321 264 212.9
Th 3 1 6 4 6 10 1 3 3 15 4 6.1 3.1
V 212 336 109 334 38 270 180 336 250 305 130 210 185 192
Y 27 57 42 47 57 41 44 60 34 52 23 19.4 57.4 59.1
Zn 88 113 120 114 113 99 60 117 69 102 114 40 88 90
Zr 80 299 216 189 299 168 383 316 148 288 169 89.7 357 290

SiO2 49.24 48.18 47.76 50.57 53.70 47.52 55.76 49.52 56.38 50.49 50.54 56.28 48.93
TiO2 1.54 1.46 1.49 1.10 2.01 0.88 1.63 3.46 1.36 2.72 1.72 1.41 1.12
Al2O3 17.00 16.80 16.70 17.50 15.30 18.9 15.5 13 16.60 14.9 14.9 16.10 19.1
FeO 10.22 10.29 10.12 9.58 10.39 8.03 9.34 13.63 10.76 12.44 10 6.66 7.57
MnO 0.11 0.14 0.11 0.12 0.18 0.13 0.21 0.22 0.13 0.21 0.16 0.16 0.18
MgO 6.99 6.60 7.77 5.60 3.24 7.79 3.97 4.07 4.54 4.25 6.15 4.14 6.23
CaO 8.19 8.25 8.05 8.01 6.52 11.26 2.77 7.88 0.57 8.21 9.26 6.3 9.43
Na2O 3.1 3.1 3.07 3.62 3.10 2.31 5.4 3.89 4.03 3.78 2.15 3.02 2.7
K2O 1.37 1.52 1.74 2.03 2.66 0.93 1.83 1.36 1.60 1.10 0.91 3.34 1.7
P2O5 0.41 0.28 0.36 0.20 0.69 0.1 0.38 1.1 0.29 0.68 0.32 0.38 0.31
LOI 1.45 3.03 1.95 1.52 2.15 1.69 3.02 1.35 3.47 1.02 2.92 1.69 1.75
Total 99.62 99.94 99.12 99.85 99.94 97.85 99.81 99.48 99.73 99.80 99.03 99.38 99.02
Ba 337 352 328 424 1509 97 338 350 115 192 142 348 392
Ce 36 42 53 41 62 11 72 74 52 58 46 n.d. n.d.
La 32 31 26 31 50 0 27 22 12 18 12 33 17
Nd 23 42 45 29 48 n.d. n.d. n.d. n.d. n.d. n.d. 40 17
Ni 10 n.d. 63 n.d. n.d. 129 24 0 16 9 77 8 82
Pb 8 11 8 11 14 1 5 1 5 5 7 7 11
Rb 173 148 160 126 89 66 66 35 25 26 73 79 154
Sc 19 26 18 30 27 25 25 28 31 27 23 35 22
Sr 470 650 442 744 270 148 210 313 334 318 200 386 490
Th 3 6 2 4 n.d. 2 7 4 6 5 6 3 3
V 152 199 175 207 109 148 210 313 334 318 200 213 140
Y 34 34 32 23 42 20 62 70 47 54 36 49 23
Zn 95 104 96 92 120 54 147 128 114 121 101 113 95
Zr 173 148 160 126 216 65 283 201 189 195 156 79 154

of the Kuantan dyke (79 ± 2–129 ± 2 Ma; Haile et al., 1983). Com- samples i.e. PTIAN and PLANG gave an even older age that is
piling the age data from this study and Haile et al. (1983) sug- 178.46 ± 1.05 Ma and 179.14 ± 0.75 Ma respectively. Both of them
gested that the younger dyke magmatism had a long time span, suggest that they are infact synplutonic to the host rock. This can
which is 50 Ma. Haile et al. (1983), however, express some doubt be further confirmed by the field evidence such as necking, dis-
on the age interval on the age of the Kuantan dyke as it is too long rupting or pinching and swelling along the dyke length. It further
to reflect a real range for an intrusion. They favored the mean ages confirms a notation given by previous authors (Moore and Hopson,
of their K–Ar data which gives 104 ± 10 Ma for the age of the Kuan- 1961; Pitcher, 1991; Roddick and Armstrong, 1959; Hageskov,
tan dyke intrusion. The present study results also show a same age 1997) that the dyke magma was injected into the mobile semi solid
range for the dyke magmatism in the Central belt, as is evident syenitic magma.
from the 40Ar/39Ar age of 127 ± 0.33 Ma for DAMAR sample. In The age range of the dyke, particularly the lower limit (79 Ma)
the field, the sample intruded the leucogranitic pluton located coincides with the age of Cretaceous granitic magmatism (Cobbing
immediately to the east of the Bentong-Raub line. The other two et al., 1992) which occurs as individual scattered plutons in the
134 A.A. Ghani et al. / Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 77 (2013) 127–139

Fig. 6. Binary plots of major elements vs. Zr for the mafic dykes from the study area.

Fig. 7. Binary plots of trace elements vs. Zr for the mafic dykes from the study area.

Eastern and Central Belts of Peninsular Malaysia. Some of the ba- is no geochemical difference between the younger dykes (79 Ma)
salt dykes also intruded Cretaceous granite, e.g. those in the north- and the dykes (129 Ma).
ern part of Tioman granite with zircon U Pb age 80.1 ± 0.8 Ma
(Searle et al., 2012). 6.2. Magmatic affinities
There is however no age difference between the dykes from the
northern part as compared to dykes from the southern part of the The overall geochemical similarities of the dykes indicate a
study area. There is also no correlation between main dyke trend common mode of origin. Major and trace element bivariate
and the age of the dyke. Geochemical study also shows that there plot vs. XMg and Zr indicate that the magma has undergone
A.A. Ghani et al. / Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 77 (2013) 127–139 135

Fig. 8. CIW vs. major elements oxides for the dykes from the study area.

Fig. 10. Total alkali (Na2O + K2O) vs. SiO2 of the basaltic dykes from the Eastern
Belt. Both of the older dykes plot in the basaltic field.

tholeiite and bears affinities to the tholeiites in continental set-

tings. Within-plate volcanism in a continental setting is not
uncommon. The best example is the Cameroon Line, which is a un-
ique within-plate volcanic province which straddles on continental
Fig. 9. FeO/MgO vs. selected major and trace elements of the basaltic dykes from
margin (Fitton and Dunlop, 1985). It consists of a chain of Tertiary
the Eastern Belt.
to Recent, alkaline volcanoes stretching from the Atlantic island of
Pagalu to the interior of the African continent (Fitton and Dunlop,
differentiation. The present study also indicate that the basalt 1985). They showed that basaltic rocks in the oceanic and conti-
dykes exhibit features expected for those found in a continental nental origin are geochemically and isotopically indistinguishable
affinity setting, being within-plate basalts with olivine to quartz which suggests that they have identical mantle sources.
normative compositions. Chakraborty, (unpublished work, in Sita Multi-element spidergram patterns of the studied dykes show
Ram et al. (1980)) also noted that the dolerite from the Kuantan very diverse patterns (Fig. 15). Most of the samples are character-
area (Fig. 1), ranges in composition from olivine tholeiite to quartz ized by enriched Th, La, Pb and Nd. Nb depletion in few of the
136 A.A. Ghani et al. / Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 77 (2013) 127–139

Fig. 11. FeO–MgO–Al2O3 diagram showing that the majority of the basaltic dykes
Fig. 13. Ti/100 vs. Zr vs. Yx3 diagram of the basaltic dykes showing that the
from the Eastern Belt plot in the continental field.
majority of the samples plot in the within-plate basalt.

Fig. 12. Zr/Y vs. Zr diagram of the basaltic dykes showing that the majority of the
samples plot in the within-plate basalt.

samples may have attributed to (1) subduction-related enrichment

of lithospheric mantle (Kepezhinkas et al., 1997) or (2) chemical
interaction between lithospheric mantle and asthenosphere-de-
rived magmas having incompatible elements but little Nb (Arndt
and Christensen, 1992; Patchett et al., 1994; Gladkochub et al.,
2006), (3) crustal contamination and (4) originated from sub-con-
tinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) (e.g. Wang et al., 2008). The
younger age of the dyke preclude the possibility that the dyke
magmatism was related to late Triassic subduction. The age is
too young and by this time (79–129 Ma) subduction is already
ceased. Thus it is likely that the Nb depletion is caused by either Fig. 14. The profile of 5 younger dyke samples analyzed for REE is shown in the top
interaction between lithospheric mantle and asthenosphere-de- figure. All samples are taken from Perhentian dykes. Below is the comparison
between the dykes from Perhentian (Ghani et al., 2002) and those from the Kuantan
rived magmas or crustal contamination or directly partial melting
area (Sita Ram et al., 1980).
of sub-continental lithosphric mantle (SCLM). Direct melting of
SCLM seems to be the most plausible mechanism for the Nb deple-
tion. As the subduction already already ceased the melting of the magma experience some degree of crustal contamination during
SCLM may be caused by mantle plume that impinge beneath the ascent and/or residence in crustal magma chamber (Mohr, 1987).
continental lithospheric of the Sundaland and caused conductive A few samples show negative Ba anomaly may be either due to
heating and partial melting of the SCLM particularly along the thin alteration or involvement of K-feldspar, hornblende and/or biotite
and weak crustal structure (e.g. Wang et al., 2008). The mafic SCLM crystallization during magmatism (Kumar and Ahmad, 2007).
A.A. Ghani et al. / Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 77 (2013) 127–139 137

Malay, Penyu and West Natuna basins developed as early as the

Cretaceous. He suggested that the high heat flow of the Malay Ba-
sin (>110 mW/m2) resulted from a mantle plume located at the tri-
ple junction between the three basins. It is likely that the stress
developed from the evolution of these two offshore basins east of
Peninsular Malaysia and also fractures the mainland. The fractured
then served as main conduit for mafic dyke emplacement at the
eastern part of Peninsular Malaysia.
The age data suggest that the intrusion of the studied dykes
lasts from 79 Ma to 179 Ma which much younger than the Per-
mo-Triassic subduction event, precluding the notation that the
dykes are related to subduction (Metcalfe, 2000). By 79–179 Ma,
the subducted Tethys oceanic slab is expected to have mostly ther-
mally equilibrated with the surrounding mantle beneath Peninsu-
lar Malaysia. The slab is likely to have sunk below the upper
Fig. 15. Primitive mantle (PM) normalized trace element spider diagram for the
mantle. Several other models have been put forward to explain this
dykes from the study area. The values of PM are from Sun and McDonough (1989).
phenomenon, for instance the slab breakoff model (von Blancken-
burg and Davies, 1995; Davies and von Blanckenburg, 1995; Ather-
6.3. Tectonic implication ton and Ghani, 2002). In this model, the oceanic slab fell away and
more enriched mantle would have become exposed. The process is
The general trend of the dykes in the study area gradually similar to a plume impinging on a continental plate and leading to
changes from N–S in the northern (Perhentian Island) to E–W to limited thermal erosion of continental lithosphere. In this case
the southern (Kuantan) part of the study area (Fig. 1). Between magma would have risen into relatively thin crust, which would
these two areas the dykes shows a NW–SE and SW–NE trends. easily permit the mantle magma to intrude along fractures more
The general trend of dykes both in the Perhentian and Kuantan easily (Mege and Korme, 2004). By the end of the late Triassic,
areas is generally consistent with the trends of sedimentary basins the crustal thickness of the Western, Central and Eastern Belts as
off-shore the eastern coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Two Cenozoic estimated from Metcalfe’s model (Fig. 14 in Metcalfe (2000)) were
sedimentary basins are present off the east coast of Peninsular about 43, 15 and 28 km respectively. Both the Eastern and Central
Malaysia: Malay and Penyu Basins (Fig. 2). Offshore faults inferred Belts are about 13 km thinner, compared to the Western Belt. It is
from overlying sediments and magnetic/gravity anomalies indicate suggested here that the Western Belt contains very few basaltic
the following different structural domains for these two basins: (1) dykes of the same age when compared to the dykes in the study
the southern Malay Basin and Penyu Basin, the dominant trends area because it consists of much thicker continental crust. A thicker
directions are E–W and NW–SE and (2) the northern Malay Basin, crust is more difficult to rupture with normal plate tectonic stress,
dominated by the N–S fault direction (Khalid et al., 1996; Mazlan and therefore serves to contain the rise of a mantle derived melt
et al., 1999). The tectonic development of these two offshore basins (Anderson et al., 1992). The thicker crust may be the result of the
has been discussed by various workers (Khalid et al., 1996; Tjia and continental collision between the Indochina and Sibumasu blocks
Liew, 1996; Mazlan and Watts, 1998; Tjia, 1998, 1999; Mazlan during the Permo-Triassic. This is supported by gravity work by
et al., 1999). The best model for the development of Malay, Penyu Ryall (1982) which showed that the Central Belt of Peninsular
and West Natuna basins in the South China Sea, South East Asia is Malaysia consists of thinner crust compared to both Eastern and
by Tjia (1998). He proposed a failed triple junction model for Western Belts. Supporting this is the presence of high Ba–Sr rock

Fig. 16. Cartoon cross-sections illustrating differences in crustal thickness of Eastern and Western belts of Peninsular Malaysia. A thicker western Belt crust is more difficult
to rupture with normal plate tectonic stress and therefore serves to contain the rise of a mantle derived melt.
138 A.A. Ghani et al. / Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 77 (2013) 127–139

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