3.6 Ga lower crust in central China

New evidence on the assembly of the North China craton

Jianping Zheng*, W. L. Griffin, Suzanne Y. O'Reilly, Fengxiang Lu, Chunyang Wang, Ming Zhang, Fangzheng Wang, Huimin Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

276 Citations (Scopus)


U-Pb and Hf isotope analyses of zircons from felsic granulite xenoliths in Mesozoic volcanics reveal Early Archean (≥3.6 Ga) lower crust beneath the younger (<2.85 Ga) southern margin of the North China craton, and suggest that the eastern part of the craton formed a coherent block by 3.6 Ga. Hf model ages indicate extraction or protoliths from the mantle ca. 4 Ga or earlier, followed by remelting at 3.6-3.7 Ga. Hf isotope data require both recrystallization of magmatic zircons, and growth of new zircon, up to ca. 1.9 Ga. One sample records 2.1-1.9 Ga remelting of a 2.5 Ga protolith. If large parts of the exposed upper continental crust elsewhere also are underlain by older lower crust, estimates of crustal growth rates through time will require revision.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-232
Number of pages4
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004


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