Archean (about 2500 Ma) anatexis in eastern North China Block

Si hong Jiang, Leon Bagas, Yi fei Liu, Li li Zhang

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Two Neoarchean alkaline feldspar-rich granites sourced from partially melted granulite-facies granodioritic orthogneiss have been here recognised in the eastern part of the North China Block (NCB). These poorly foliated granites have previously been assumed to be Mesozoic in age and never dated, and so their significance has not been recognised until now. The first granite (AG1) is a porphyritic syenogranite with megacrystic K-feldspar, and the second (AG2) is a quartz syenite with perthitic megacryst. Zircons from the granites yield LA-ICP-MS U-Pb ages of 2499 ± 10 Ma (AG1), and 2492 ± 28 Ma (AG2), which are slightly younger than the granodioritic orthogneiss that they intrude with a crystallisation U-Pb age of 2537 ± 34 Ma. The younger granites have higher assays for SiO2 (71.91% for AG1 and 73.22% for AG2) and K2O (7.52% for AG1 and 8.37% for AG2), and much lower assays for their other major element than the granodioritic orthogneiss. All of the granodioritic orthogneiss and granite samples have similar trace element patterns, with depletion in Th, U, Nb, and Ti and enrichment in Rb, Ba, K, La, Ce, and P. This indicates that the granites are derived from the orthogneiss as partial melts. Although they exhibit a similar REE pattern, the granites have much lower total REE contents (30.97×10−6 for AG1, and 25.93×10−6 for AG2), but pronounced positive Eu anomalies (Eu/Eu* = 8.57 for AG1 and 27.04 for AG2). The granodioritic orthogneiss has an initial 87Sr/86Sr ratio of 0.70144, εNd(t) value of 3.5, and εHf(t) values ranging from −3.2 to +2.9. The orthogneiss is a product of fractional crystallisation from a dioritic magma, which was derived from a mantle source contaminated by melts derived from a felsic slab. By contrast, the AG1 sample has an initial 87Sr/86Sr ratio of 0.6926 that is considered too low in value, εNd(t) value of 0.3, and εHf(t) values between +0.57 and +3.82; whereas the AG2 sample has an initial 87Sr/86Sr ratio of 0.70152, εNd(t) value of 1.3, and εHf(t) values between +0.5 and +14.08. These assays indicate that a Sr-Nd-Hf isotopic disequilibrium exists between the granite and granodioritic orthogneiss. The elevated εHf(t) values of the granites can be explained by the involvement of Hf-bearing minerals, such as orthopyroxene, amphibole, and biotite, in anatectic reactions in the granodioritic orthogneiss. Based on the transitional relationship between the granites and granodioritic orthogneiss and the geochemical characteristics mentioned above, it is concluded that the granites are the product of rapid partial-melting of the granodioritic orthogneiss after granulite-facies metamorphism, and their crystallisation age of about 2500 Ma provides the minimum age of the metamorphism. This about 2500 Ma tectonic-metamorphic event in NCB is similar to the other cratons in India, Antarctica, northern and southern Australia, indicating a possible connection between these cratons during the Neoarchean.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-229
Number of pages15
JournalChina Geology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


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