EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Sapphire-bearing magmatic rocks as indicators of the continental collision tectonic events: a case study of Uralian orogenic belt

Elena Sorokina1,2, Roman Botcharnikov1, Yuriy Kostitsyn2, Delia Rösel3,4, Tobias Häger1, Mikhail Rassomakhin5,6, Nataliya Kononkova2, Alina Somsikova2, Jasper Berndt7, Tomas Lüdwig8, Elena Medvedeva6, and Wolfgang Hofmeister1
Elena Sorokina et al.
  • 1Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany (
  • 2Vernadsky Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry Russian Academy of Sciences
  • 3Institut für Geologie, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Bernhard-v-Cotta Strasse 2, Freiberg, Germany
  • 4Department of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Guldhedsgatan 5A, 413 20 Gothenburg, Sweden
  • 5Institute of Mineralogy SU FRC MiG UB RAS, 456317 Miass, Chelyabinsk Region, Russia
  • 6Ilmen State Reserve SU FRC MiG UB RAS, 456317 Miass, Chelyabinsk Region, Russia
  • 7Institut für Mineralogie, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Corrensstrasse 24, 48149 Münster, Germany
  • 8Institut für Geowissenschaften, Univesität Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 234-236, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany

Gem corundum (mainly ruby) occurrences are commonly associated with orogenic belts. Corundum deposits of metamorphic origin are known as robust indicators of continent-continent collision tectonic events. Although sapphire-bearing primary magmatic deposits are also found in orogenic belts, their link to continental collision process remains poorly understood. Here we show that primary igneous blue sapphire occurrences in the Ilmenogorsky alkaline complex of Ilmen Mountains in Uralian orogenic belt are indicative of the continent-continent collision processes among Kazakhstania, Laurussia, and Siberia 330 – 250 Ma ago (Sorokina et al. 2017).

The results of geochemical, mineralogical, and geochronological research of corundum syenite pegmatites demonstrate that in situ primary magmatic corundum-bearing mineral assemblages can be used to evaluate the formation conditions and the time constraints of magmatic processes imposed by tectonic activity during orogenesis.

Thus, the corundum syenite pegmatites have recorded a multistage evolution of the Ilmenogorsky complex. They crystallized at temperatures of 700 – 750°C at 275 and 295 Ma ago (in situ LA-ICP-MS U-Pb zircon dating) within the timeframe of the continental collision of the Uralian orogeny. The isotopic signatures show a geochemical link of these deposits to nepheline syenites – miaskites of the main igneous body in Ilmenogorsky complex. While, some corundum syenite-pegmatites express the metamorphic overprint at temperatures of 700 – 780°C occurred 249 ± 2Ma ago (TISM Rb-Sr isotopy) during limited post-collision stretching period in the area of Ilmenogorsky complex (Sorokina et al. 2021). Hence, these results imply that primary magmatic corundum deposits can be used as an important indicator of continental collision events.


1.              Sorokina E.S., Botcharnikov R., Kostitsyn Yu.A., Rösel D., Häger T., Rassomakhin M.A., Kononkova N.N., Somsikova A.V., Berndt J., Ludwig T., Medvedeva E.V., Hofmeister W. (2021). Sapphire-bearing magmatic rocks trace the boundary between paleo-continents: a case study of Ilmenogorsky alkaline complex, Uralian collision zone of Russia. Gondwana research 2021 (in press).

2.  Sorokina, E.S., Karampelas, S., Nishanbaev, T.P., Nikandrov, S.N., Semiannikov, B.S., (2017). Sapphire Megacrysts in Syenite Pegmatites from the Ilmen Mountains, South Urals, Russia: New Mineralogical Data. Canadian Mineralogist 55, 823–843

How to cite: Sorokina, E., Botcharnikov, R., Kostitsyn, Y., Rösel, D., Häger, T., Rassomakhin, M., Kononkova, N., Somsikova, A., Berndt, J., Lüdwig, T., Medvedeva, E., and Hofmeister, W.: Sapphire-bearing magmatic rocks as indicators of the continental collision tectonic events: a case study of Uralian orogenic belt, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9122,, 2021.

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