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Petrogenesis and Tectonic Setting of the Basement Rocks around Irruan Area, Bamenda Massif, SE Nigeria

Ominigbo O. E. , Ukwang E. E., Okumoko D. P., Ukpai U. J.
Journal of Geosciences and Geomatics. 2020, 8(1), 35-44. DOI: 10.12691/jgg-8-1-5
Received March 01, 2020; Revised April 04, 2020; Accepted April 13, 2020

Abstract

The basement rocks around Irruan in southern Obudu Plateau, southeastern Nigeria were studied using field mapping and geochemical data. Both igneous (granodiorite and biotite granite) and metamorphic rocks (granite gneiss, banded gneiss and migmatite gneiss) were mapped in the area. The rocks are generally quartzofeldspathic and range from alkali-calcic to calc-alkali. Fairly strong negative correlation exists between Al2O3 and Na2O with SiO2 as well as between Al2O3 and Fe2O3. The magma source for the Irruan granitoids is continental as indicated by the high SiO2 content (≥70.11 wt.% except the biotite granite that records 61.10 wt.% of SiO2) and discriminant plots for the area. A sedimentary protholith has been interpreted for the gneissic rocks. Magmatism in the area commenced during the later stages of the Pan-African orogeny and continued much into the post-orogenic period, leaving behind, imprints of syn-collosional and post-orgenic tectonic settings.

1. Introduction

The Basement Complex rocks of southeastern Nigeria has attracted less research interests compared to their southwestern and northwestern counterparts 1, 2, 3. More so, most of the existing research on the Obudu Plateau 4, 5, 6 seem to be concentrated on the north of the plateau with the area of the present seemingly lacking in detailed and comprehensive studies till date. And as pointed out by 7, most of the existing researches on the basement rocks of the Irruan area are largely regional in scale.

Based on geochronological data, similarities have been established between the basement rocks of southeastern Nigeria and those of western Cameroun 8, 9. However, rocks of both peraluminous and metaluminous characteristics have been reported for the Cameroun Volcanic Line (east of the study e.g. 10, 11), and the Nigerian segment of the Bamenda massif 1, 12, 13. There is therefore, the need to carry out a correlation study of the rocks of the Irruan area with a view to establishing their true petrogenetic attributes and tectonic setting.

This paper seeks to ascertain the petrogenesis and tectonic environment of the basement rocks of the Irruan area using field mapping and geochemical data. These data enable the inference on the aforementioned geological aspects of the rocks of the study area.

2. Location of the study and Regional Geological Setting

Situated at the southern tip of the Obudu Plateau, the area of the study falls within Latitude N06o23and N06o30and Longitude E008o45and E009o2 (Figure 1). Irruan is an agrarian community in northern Boki in Cross River state, southeastern Nigeria. The area is characterized by an undulating topography, with the highest point being the Ndemenchang Hill which is an extension of the Afi Moutain belt. The Irruan area is generally underlain by a series of basement rocks. These rocks are part of the larger crystalline rocks which make up the Nigerian Basement Complex.

The Nigerian Basement Complex is part of the reactivated Pan-African belt which resulted from the collision of the passive continental margin of the West African craton and the active margin of the Tuareg shield (Pharusian belt, Figure 2). This collision orogenesis otherwise known as the Trans-Saharan Pan-African Orogen is characterized by thrust-nappe development, high grade metamorphism, massive granite plutonism and late orogen-parallel tectonics 1.

Lithologically, the Nigerian Basement Complex consists of four 4 rock units: the Migmatite-gneiss-quartzite complex, the Schist belts, the charnockitic gabbroic and dioritic rocks as well as the Older Granites 14, 15, 16. The granites and granitoids generally consist of quartz, biotite, orthoclase and plagioclase feldspars, with the plagioclase being predominantly of oligoclase in composition 1.

The migmatite gneisses make up about 60% of the Nigerian Basement and consist of a heterogeneous assemblage of dominantly amphibolite-facies, orthogneisses and paragneisses as well as traces of basic to ultrabasic rocks. The petrological units are a grey foliated biotite and/or biotite hornblende quartzo-feldspathic gneiss of tonalitic to granodioritic composition 14, 15. The Schist belt is otherwise regarded as the Younger Pan-African metasedimetary series and occupies north-south synclinoria in the Basement Complex. The Schists Belt overlies the migmatite gnesiss complex and comprises of predominantly metasediments with inter-layered gneisses and in rare cases, amphibolites otherwise interpreted as metavolcanics. These are low grade, metasediment-dominated rocks with lithologic units such as semi-pelites, quartzites, marbles, amphibolites, ultramafic and minor felsic to intermediate metavolcanics and greywackes 15, 16.

The Older Granites which are often referred to as the Pan-African granitoids consist of strongly granitic plutons and charnockites. Typically, the Older Granites intrude both the migmatite gneisses and the schists. Important lithologic units in the Pan-African granitoids include biotite- and biotite-muscovite granites, charnockite, diorites, monzonites, serpentinites and anorthosites 14, 15, 16.

3 Research Methodology

Ground-truthing to ascertain the field occurrence and geological attributes of the rocks was carried out using the standard geological survey-mapping method described by Rahaman 17. Rocks were observed in their in situ conditions with their field relationships, mineralogical and structural characteristics recorded in a field notebook whilst features of geological importance were plotted on a base map. Thereafter, fresh samples of the studied rocks were collected for laboratory analyses. The determination of the major and trace elements composition of the rocks was done using the X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) technique. The XRF analyses were carried out using the standard procedures of (18). This was done at the National Geosciences Laboratory of the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA), Kaduna, Nigeria.

4. Results and Discussion

4.1. Geochemistry

The Irruan basement rocks are siliceous with SiO2 weight composition ranging from 61.10% to 83.8% and enriched in Al2O3 (Table 1). FeO3 and Al2O3 enrichment are pronounced in biotite granite and granodiorite with both rock types showing average Al2O3 wt. % of 12.00 and 12.46 respectively. The granite gneiss, banded gneiss and migmatite gneiss show relatively lower values of 11.87, 7.8 and 8.6 respectively. The rocks are generally depleted in SO3, MgO and MnO. There is a linear positive correlation between Fe2O3 and K2O in the granodiorite of the area. The (Na2O + K2O + CaO/Al2O3) ratios range from 0.27 to 0.95 whilst the aluminium saturation index (ASI) for the sampled rocks is greater than one (an average of 2.03 for the gneissic rocks). This is indicative of peraluminous character for these rocks. However, with A/CNK range of 0.74 – 1.46 (average of 1.13), there is clearly the presence of slightly metaluminous rocks in the area, even though the peraluminous rocks predominate.

As shown in Table 2, the rocks are highly variable in their trace elements composition. Generally, the concentrations of Sb, U, Th, Tn, and Sn are negligible in most of the sampled rocks. The Ge concentrations are also negligible for the gneissic rocks but fairly enriched in the granodiorite and biotite granite.

4.2. Petrogenesis and Protholiths of the Irruan Basement Rocks

As shown in Figure 3, there is a fairly strong negative correlation of Fe2O3, Al2O3 and Na2O with SiO2 which suggests that fractional crystallization played a role in the evolution of the magmatic suite in the area. 19 opined that a strong negative of SiO2 with Fe2O3 and MgO on the Hacker diagram indicates pyroxene and hornblende fractionation.

Also, the occurrence of gneissose foliation, drag folds and the prevalence of quartzo-feldspathic veins are suggestive of evidence of partial melting (anatectic melt) during metamorphism of the rocks. According to 2, these characteristics are indicative of plastic deformation and mobility typical of the fourth regime of metamorphism. The active contribution of process(es) other than fractional crystallization is further supported by the modified alkali-lime index (MALI) plot (Figure 4). The rocks plot across three (3) different trends of calcic, calc-alkalic and alkali-calcic series. 20 and 21 hold the view that a suite of rocks that cross the trend lines on the MALI is an indicator that the crystallization of the parent magma involved mixing of more than one parent magma. It is therefore suggested that multiple magma crystallization processes accounted for the magamatic evolution of the Irruan granitods, with partial melting and fractional crystallization playing varying roles in the evolution of these rocks.

As shown in Figure 5, the gneissic rocks of the area metamorphosed from sedimentary and/or metasedimentary protoliths. The strongly peraluminous (Figure 6), fairly potassic and high silica content of the rocks clearly further supports the inference that the metamorphic rocks of the Irruan area metamorphosed from sedimentary and/or metasedimentary protoliths 20. The peraluminous character and sedimentary protoliths interpreted for the metamorphosed rocks of the area are consistent with recent findings by 31 on the source of the granitoids around the Irruan area.

4.3. Tectonic Setting

The Irruan granitoids are thought to have originated from the continental crust. This inference is strongly supported by discriminant plots of the tectonic environment (Figure 7 and Figure 8) which clearly show active continental tectonic setting for the rocks. The continental origin of the rocks is further supported by the felsic (SiO2 ≥61.10 wt.%) composition of the rocks. These rocks are considered to have evolved within continental crustal environment (within plate granites) without significant contributions from oceanic ridge and/or arc-related events (Figure 12). Similarly, the Irruan granitoids, as shown from the discriminant plots (Figure 10 and Figure 11) are predominantly syn-collisional with traces of volcanic arc granite present.

Magmatic evolution of the granitic rocks of the area are clearly polygenic, with imprints of both orogenic and anorogenic origin. Figure 7, Figure 8 and Figure 9 suggest a significant contribution of active orogeny to the evolution of these rocks. However, as shown in Figure 13, there is also a noticeable post-orogenic signatures in these rocks. Magmatism of the Irruan granitoids may have occurred during the later stages of the Pan-African orogenic event and continued till the collisional events of the post-orogenic period in the area. Thus, we propose that it is the continued magmatic events (peri- and post-orogenic) in the area that gives some of the sampled rocks their syn-collisional and post-collisional signatures as seen in the discriminant plots for the tectonic setting of the rocks.

The inference that the Irruan basement rocks were emplaced during the collision of the passive continental margin of the West African craton and the active margin of the Pharusian belt (the Tuareg shield) during the Pan-African orogeny and continued into the post-orogenic period is in agreement with some earlier studies on the tectonic evolution of the southeastern Nigeria 1, 30.

5. Conclusion

The Irruan area is underlain by quartzo-feldspathic igneous and metamorphic rocks. The granitic rocks are thought to have evolved from both partial melting and fractional crystallization. A sedimentary and/or metasedimentary protolith has been interpreted for the metamorphosed rocks in the area which are largely peraluminous. The variations in the lithologic units within the area may have been due to differences in the compositions of the sedimentary progenitors. Orogenic to post-orogenic tectonic settings in a largely continental environment have been inferred for these rocks. The findings from this study are comparable to some of the earlier studies on the crystalline rocks of southeastern Nigeria.

References

[1]  Obiora, S. C. (2012). Chemical Characterization and Tectonic Evolution of Hornblende-Biotite Granitoids from the Precambrian Basement Complex around Ityowanye and Katsina-Ala, southeastern Nigeria. Journal of Mining and Geology, vol. 48 (1), pp. 13-29.
In article      
 
[2]  Obiora, S. C. (2006). Petrology and geotectonic setting of Basement Complex rocks around Ogoja, south-eastern Nigeria. Ghana Journal of Science, vol. 46, pp. 13-25.
In article      View Article
 
[3]  Ekwueme, B. N. (1990). Rb-Sr Ages and Petrologic Features of Precambrian Rocks from the Oban Massif, Southeastern Nigeria. Precambrian Research, vol. 47, pp. 271-286.
In article      View Article
 
[4]  Ukwang, E. E. and Ekwueme, B. N. (2009). Trace element geochemistry and tectonic setting characterization of granulite facies rocks from southwest Obudu Plateau, southeastern Nigeria. Chinese Journal of Geochemistry, vol. 28(3), pp. 248-257.
In article      View Article
 
[5]  Ephraim, B. E., Ekwueme, B. N. and Adamu, I. C. (2006): Preliminary Report on the Geology of Northeast Obudu, Bamenda Massif, Southeastern Nigeria. International Journal of Natural and Applied Sciences, vol. 1 (1), pp. 84-89.
In article      
 
[6]  Ukwang, E. E., Ekwueme, B. N. and Horsley, R. J. (2003). Petrology and Granulite Facies Rocks in Ukwortung Area of Obudu Plateau, South Eastern Nigeria. Global Journal of Geological Sciences, vol. 1 (2), pp. 159-168.
In article      View Article
 
[7]  Ominigbo, O. E. (2020). Petrology and structural attributes of the Basement Rocks around Irruan, Obudu Plateau, southeastern Nigeria. Unpublished M.Sc. thesis submitted to the Department of Geology, University of Calabar, Nigeria.
In article      
 
[8]  Ukwang, E. E., Ekwueme, B. N. and Kroner, A. (2012). Single Zircon Evaporation Ages: Evidence for the Mesoproterozoic Crust in Southeastern Nigerian Basement Complex. Chinese Journal of Geochemistry, vol. 31, pp. 048-054.
In article      View Article
 
[9]  Ekwueme, B. N. and Kroner, A. (1998). Single Zircon Evaporation Ages from the Oban Massif, southeastern Nigeria. Journal of African Earth Sciences, vol. 26 (2), pp. 195-205.
In article      View Article
 
[10]  Kouankap-Nono, G. D., Wotchoko, P., Magha, A., Ganno, S., Njoya, N., Afahnwie Ngambu, A., Nzenti, J. P. and Kamgang Kabeyene, V. (2018). Contrasting Ba-Sr Granitoids from Bamenda Area, NW Cameroon: Sources, Characteristics and Implications for the Evolution of the Pan African Fold Belt. Journal of Geosciences and Geomatics, vol. 6 (2), pp. 65-76.
In article      View Article
 
[11]  Bate-Tibang, E. E. B., Suh, C. E., Cottle, J., Ateh, K. I., Tiabou, A. F., Nche, L. A., Che, V. B. and Vishiti, A. (2017). Petrology and geochronology of felsic volcanics in the Sabga area (Bamenda Highlands): implications for age variation along the Cameroon Volcanic Line. Journal of Geoscioences, vol. 62, pp. 231-246.
In article      View Article
 
[12]  Obioha, Y. E and Ekwueme, B. N. (2011). Petrology and chemical composition of gneisses of northwest Obudu Plateau, southeastern Nigeria. Global Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences, vol. 17 (2), pp. 215-226.
In article      
 
[13]  Beka, F. and Ukaegbu, V. (2009). Petrology and major element geochemistry of high-K peraluminous granites in southeast Obudu Plateau, southeastern Nigeria. Journal of Mining and Geology, vol. 44 (2).
In article      View Article
 
[14]  Rahaman, M. A. (1989). Review of the Basement Geology of South Western Nigeria. In Kogbe, C. A. Geology of Nigeria (2nd Edition), Rock View, pp. 39-56, Jos.
In article      
 
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In article      
 
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In article      View Article
 
[17]  Rahaman, M. A. O. (2009). Field Work as a Basic Geological Tool. InProceedings of Field Mapping Standardization Workshop, Lambert-AikhionbareandOlayinka, A. I. (Eds.), Ibadan University Press, Ibadan. P.2.
In article      
 
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In article      
 
[19]  Okonkwo, C. T. and Folorunso, I. O. (2013): Petrochemistry and geotectonic setting of granitic rocks in Aderan area, SW Nigeria. Journal of Geography and Geology, vol. 5(1), pp. 30-44.
In article      View Article
 
[20]  Frost, B. R., Barnes, C. G., Collins, W. J., Arculus, R. J., Ellis, D. J and Frost, C. D. (2001). A Geochemical Classification for Granitic Rocks. Journal of Petrology, 42 (11), pp. 2033-2048.
In article      View Article
 
[21]  Obasi, R. A. (2016). Geochemistry, S-Type Classification and Petrography of Granites from Idanre, Ondo State, South West Nigeria. International Journal of Scientific and Engineering Research, vol. 7 (12), pp. 859-879.
In article      
 
[22]  Lopez de Luchi, M. G., Cerredo, M. E., Siegesmund, S., Steenken, A. and Wemmer, K. (2003). Provenance and Tectonic Setting of the Protoliths of the Metamorphic Complexes of Sierra de San Luis. Revista de la Geologica Argentina, vol. 58 (4), pp. 525-540.
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[30]  Ukaegbu, V. U. and Ekwueme, B. N. (2006). Petrogenesis and Geotectonic of the Pan- African Basement Rocks in Bamenda Massif, Obudu Plateau, southeastern Nigeria: Evidence from Trace Element Geochemistry. Chinese Journal of Geochemistry, vol. 25 (2), pp. 122-131.
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[31]  Ibe, C. U. and Obiora, C. S. (2019). Geochemical characterization of Granitoids in Katchuan Irruan area: further evidence for peraluminous and shoshonitic compositions and and post-collisional setting of granitic rocks in the Precambrian Basement Complex of Nigeria. Acta Geochemical, vol. 38 (5), pp. 734-752.
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Published with license by Science and Education Publishing, Copyright © 2020 Ominigbo O. E., Ukwang E. E., Okumoko D. P. and Ukpai U. J.

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Ominigbo O. E., Ukwang E. E., Okumoko D. P., Ukpai U. J.. Petrogenesis and Tectonic Setting of the Basement Rocks around Irruan Area, Bamenda Massif, SE Nigeria. Journal of Geosciences and Geomatics. Vol. 8, No. 1, 2020, pp 35-44. http://pubs.sciepub.com/jgg/8/1/5
MLA Style
E., Ominigbo O., et al. "Petrogenesis and Tectonic Setting of the Basement Rocks around Irruan Area, Bamenda Massif, SE Nigeria." Journal of Geosciences and Geomatics 8.1 (2020): 35-44.
APA Style
E., O. O. , E., U. E. , P., O. D. , & J., U. U. (2020). Petrogenesis and Tectonic Setting of the Basement Rocks around Irruan Area, Bamenda Massif, SE Nigeria. Journal of Geosciences and Geomatics, 8(1), 35-44.
Chicago Style
E., Ominigbo O., Ukwang E. E., Okumoko D. P., and Ukpai U. J.. "Petrogenesis and Tectonic Setting of the Basement Rocks around Irruan Area, Bamenda Massif, SE Nigeria." Journal of Geosciences and Geomatics 8, no. 1 (2020): 35-44.
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  • Figure 2. Geological map of parts of West African showing the position of Nigeria and its Pan-African basement, the Congo-Gabon craton, the West Africa craton and the Tuareg shield (modified after 1)
  • Figure 8. Ternary Plot of Tectonic Setting of the Irruan Basement Rocks (boundaries modified after 23, 24). 1 = Ocean Island, 2 = Continental, 3 = Spreading Centre Island, 4 = Mid Oceanic Ridge, 5 = Island and Active Continental Margin
[1]  Obiora, S. C. (2012). Chemical Characterization and Tectonic Evolution of Hornblende-Biotite Granitoids from the Precambrian Basement Complex around Ityowanye and Katsina-Ala, southeastern Nigeria. Journal of Mining and Geology, vol. 48 (1), pp. 13-29.
In article      
 
[2]  Obiora, S. C. (2006). Petrology and geotectonic setting of Basement Complex rocks around Ogoja, south-eastern Nigeria. Ghana Journal of Science, vol. 46, pp. 13-25.
In article      View Article
 
[3]  Ekwueme, B. N. (1990). Rb-Sr Ages and Petrologic Features of Precambrian Rocks from the Oban Massif, Southeastern Nigeria. Precambrian Research, vol. 47, pp. 271-286.
In article      View Article
 
[4]  Ukwang, E. E. and Ekwueme, B. N. (2009). Trace element geochemistry and tectonic setting characterization of granulite facies rocks from southwest Obudu Plateau, southeastern Nigeria. Chinese Journal of Geochemistry, vol. 28(3), pp. 248-257.
In article      View Article
 
[5]  Ephraim, B. E., Ekwueme, B. N. and Adamu, I. C. (2006): Preliminary Report on the Geology of Northeast Obudu, Bamenda Massif, Southeastern Nigeria. International Journal of Natural and Applied Sciences, vol. 1 (1), pp. 84-89.
In article      
 
[6]  Ukwang, E. E., Ekwueme, B. N. and Horsley, R. J. (2003). Petrology and Granulite Facies Rocks in Ukwortung Area of Obudu Plateau, South Eastern Nigeria. Global Journal of Geological Sciences, vol. 1 (2), pp. 159-168.
In article      View Article
 
[7]  Ominigbo, O. E. (2020). Petrology and structural attributes of the Basement Rocks around Irruan, Obudu Plateau, southeastern Nigeria. Unpublished M.Sc. thesis submitted to the Department of Geology, University of Calabar, Nigeria.
In article      
 
[8]  Ukwang, E. E., Ekwueme, B. N. and Kroner, A. (2012). Single Zircon Evaporation Ages: Evidence for the Mesoproterozoic Crust in Southeastern Nigerian Basement Complex. Chinese Journal of Geochemistry, vol. 31, pp. 048-054.
In article      View Article
 
[9]  Ekwueme, B. N. and Kroner, A. (1998). Single Zircon Evaporation Ages from the Oban Massif, southeastern Nigeria. Journal of African Earth Sciences, vol. 26 (2), pp. 195-205.
In article      View Article
 
[10]  Kouankap-Nono, G. D., Wotchoko, P., Magha, A., Ganno, S., Njoya, N., Afahnwie Ngambu, A., Nzenti, J. P. and Kamgang Kabeyene, V. (2018). Contrasting Ba-Sr Granitoids from Bamenda Area, NW Cameroon: Sources, Characteristics and Implications for the Evolution of the Pan African Fold Belt. Journal of Geosciences and Geomatics, vol. 6 (2), pp. 65-76.
In article      View Article
 
[11]  Bate-Tibang, E. E. B., Suh, C. E., Cottle, J., Ateh, K. I., Tiabou, A. F., Nche, L. A., Che, V. B. and Vishiti, A. (2017). Petrology and geochronology of felsic volcanics in the Sabga area (Bamenda Highlands): implications for age variation along the Cameroon Volcanic Line. Journal of Geoscioences, vol. 62, pp. 231-246.
In article      View Article
 
[12]  Obioha, Y. E and Ekwueme, B. N. (2011). Petrology and chemical composition of gneisses of northwest Obudu Plateau, southeastern Nigeria. Global Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences, vol. 17 (2), pp. 215-226.
In article      
 
[13]  Beka, F. and Ukaegbu, V. (2009). Petrology and major element geochemistry of high-K peraluminous granites in southeast Obudu Plateau, southeastern Nigeria. Journal of Mining and Geology, vol. 44 (2).
In article      View Article
 
[14]  Rahaman, M. A. (1989). Review of the Basement Geology of South Western Nigeria. In Kogbe, C. A. Geology of Nigeria (2nd Edition), Rock View, pp. 39-56, Jos.
In article      
 
[15]  Rahaman, M. A. (1988). Recent Advances in the Study of the Basement Complex of Nigeria. In Precambrian Geology of Nigeria, Geological Survey of Nigeria, Kaduna South, pp. 11-43.
In article      
 
[16]  Odeyemi, I. B. (1981). A Review of the Orogenic Events in the Precambrian Basement of Nigeria, West Africa. Geologische Rundschau, vol. 70 (3), pp. 897-909.
In article      View Article
 
[17]  Rahaman, M. A. O. (2009). Field Work as a Basic Geological Tool. InProceedings of Field Mapping Standardization Workshop, Lambert-AikhionbareandOlayinka, A. I. (Eds.), Ibadan University Press, Ibadan. P.2.
In article      
 
[18]  Tsuchiya, N., Shibata, T., Koide, Y., Owada, M., Takazawa, E., Goto, Y., Choi, J. H., Terada, S. and Hariya, Y. (1989). Major Element Analysis of Rock Samples by X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry, using Scandium Anode Tube. Journal of Faculty of Science, Hokkaido University, vol. 22 (3), pp. 489-502.
In article      
 
[19]  Okonkwo, C. T. and Folorunso, I. O. (2013): Petrochemistry and geotectonic setting of granitic rocks in Aderan area, SW Nigeria. Journal of Geography and Geology, vol. 5(1), pp. 30-44.
In article      View Article
 
[20]  Frost, B. R., Barnes, C. G., Collins, W. J., Arculus, R. J., Ellis, D. J and Frost, C. D. (2001). A Geochemical Classification for Granitic Rocks. Journal of Petrology, 42 (11), pp. 2033-2048.
In article      View Article
 
[21]  Obasi, R. A. (2016). Geochemistry, S-Type Classification and Petrography of Granites from Idanre, Ondo State, South West Nigeria. International Journal of Scientific and Engineering Research, vol. 7 (12), pp. 859-879.
In article      
 
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