Comparison of mantle-derived matierals from different spatiotemporal settings: Implications for destructive and accretional processes of the North China Craton

Jian Ping Zheng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)


Cratonic destruction or lithospheric thinning beneath North China makes it as one of the most ideal areas for the studying on the formation and evolution of continent. However, the mechanism, time, range and dynamic setting of the destruction, even the lithospheric status before the destruction, are contentious. The comparison among mantle xenoliths in the volcanic rocks from different captured times (e.g. Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic) and locations (e.g. intra-plate or its rim, the translithospheric Tanlu fault or the North-South Gravity Line), and peridotitic massifs within the Sulu-Dabie ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism belt along the southern margin of the North China Craton, indicates that (1) the cratonic lithosphere is heterogeneous in structure and composition, and contains mantle weak zones; and (2) the Mesozoic-Cenozoic lithospheric thinning process is complex, including lateral spreading of lithosphere, interaction between melt and peridotite, non-even asthenospheric erosion (huge lithospheric thinning), and the limited lithospheric accretion and thus thickening, which resulted in the final replacement of the refractory cratonic lithosphere by juvenile fertile mantle. In early Mesozoic, the integrity of the North China Craton was interrupted, even destroyed by subduction and collision of the Yangtze block. The mantle wedge of the North China Craton was also metasomatized and modified by melt/fluids revealed from the subducted Yangtze continent. Lithospheric mantle extension and tectonic intrusion of the North China Craton also occurred, accompanied by the asthenospheric upwelling that due to the detachement of the subducted Yangtze continent (orogenic root). During early Cretaceous-early Tertiary, the huge thinning of lithosphere was triggered by the upwelling asthenosphere due to the subduction of the Pacific plate. Since late Tertiary, the cooling of the upwelling asthenosphere resulted in the replacement of the mantle in existence by the newly accreted lithosphere, accompanied with a little thickness in lithosphere and thus finally achieved the lithospheric thinning as a whole. The translithospheric faults, such as the Tanlu fault, play excellent channels for asthenospheric upwelling. Meanwhile, the channels in lithosphere are usually irregular, which resulted in different eruption times of magma. Peridotite xenolith in the basalts erupted at 100 Ma is mainly fertile, indicating such a fact, that is, the mantle replacement occurred before the eruption (e.g. 125-100 Ma) beneath the eastern part of the North China Craton.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3397-3416
Number of pages20
JournalChinese Science Bulletin
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Cratonic destruction
  • Different spatiotemporal settings
  • Heterogeneity
  • North China
  • Peridotite


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