The petrogenesis of sodic granites in the Niujuanzi area and constraints on the Paleozoic tectonic evolution of the Beishan region, NW China

Jiyuan Yu, Lin Guo, Jianxing Li, Yanguang Li, Robert H. Smithies, Michael T.D. Wingate, Yong Meng, Shefa Chen

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Ordovician to Devonian sodic granites dominate the newly recognized Luotuojuan composite granite in the Lebaquan-Luotuojuan-Niujuanzi region of Beishan, along the southern margin of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt in NW China. The granites include sodic (K2O/Na2O > 0.5) tonalites with low Y (<7 ppm), Yb (<0.7 ppm), high Sr/Y (>68) that formed during at least two events at c. 435 and c. 370-360 Ma. Their compositions are consistent with high-pressure melting of basaltic crust, although relatively non-radiogenic Nd isotope compositions (εNd(t) + 0.9) require some crustal assimilation. The interpretation that these granites reflect melts of a subducted slab (i.e. adakite) is supported by independent local and regional geological evidence for an oceanic subduction-accretion setting, including a long history of calc-alkaline magmatism and the identification of a series of early Paleozoic ophiolite belts. Other sodic granites forming the Luotuojuan composite granite are mainly quartz-diorite and granodiorite formed between c. 391 and c. 360 Ma. These rocks are not adakites, having Sr concentrations and Sr/Y ratios too low and Y and Yb concentrations too high. They are low- to medium-K calc-alkaline rocks more typical of magmas derived through melting in a subduction modified mantle wedge. Compositional changes from sodic to potassic granites, over time frames consistent with subduction processes, suggest at least two separate cycles, or pulses, of hot subduction in the Lebaquan-Luotuojuan-Niujuanzi region. Although early Paleozoic adakites have been inferred to exist elsewhere in the Beishan region, many of the reported adakitic rocks have compositions inconsistent with melting of subducted oceanic lithosphere and so tectonic interpretation of hot subduction might not be valid in these cases. A study of regional granite data also shows not only that adakite magmatism does not extend into the Permian but that if subduction-accretion processes extended into the late Paleozoic, no typical subduction-related magmatism was preserved. New and published Nd isotope data from regional granites also requires at least the local presence of Proterozoic basement, or microcontinental slivers, in the evolution of the Beishan region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-268
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes

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