Crust recycling in the sources of two parallel volcanic chains in Shandong, North China

Gang Zeng, Li Hui Chen*, Albrecht W. Hofmann, Shao Yong Jiang, Xi Sheng Xu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

86 Citations (Scopus)


Recycled crustal components have been documented for many sources of hotspot-related ocean island basalts, but they have been difficult to identify in continental basalts, because in continental settings, hotspots are often obscured and recycled crustal sources are difficult to distinguish from crustal contamination. We show major, trace element and Sr-Nd-Hf isotopic compositions for two parallel chains of Cenozoic volcanoes from Shandong Province, North China, which are free of crustal contamination and show clear evidence for recycling of mafic lower crust. Sr, Nd, and Hf isotopes in the two volcanic chains form separate binary mixing arrays, which converge on the composition of Dashan, an isolated, nephelinitic volcano with the most depleted isotopic signature. The two chains have lower CaO values and significantly diverging isotope enrichment trends from this common endmember. Both trends deviate from the normal Sr-Nd and Hf-Nd mantle array toward lower 87Sr/86Sr and higher εHf values, all features that point to a (recycled) eclogitic source.We invoke a two-stage evolution model to generate the endmembers of these two mixing trends. In the first stage, recycled mafic crust (eclogite) is depleted by earlier (late Mesozoic) melt extraction, which elevates the Lu/Hf of the residue relative to Sm/Nd due to garnet control during melting. Subsequently, these silica-deficient residues are transported to the deeper mantle. Finally, in Cenozoic time, upwelling mantle (possibly a plume) transports lenses of residual eclogites into the shallow asthenosphere. The recycled crustal components beneath the two chains differ somewhat in isotopic composition due to different degree of the earlier melting. The upwelling mantle spreads beneath the lithosphere and flows toward regions of thinned lithosphere, e.g. the Tan-Lu Fault Zone in North China, where the recycled crust undergo remelting and mix with peridotite-derived melts to produce the two mixing trends observed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-368
Number of pages10
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Alkaline basalts
  • Crustal recycling
  • Intra-continental volcanic chains
  • Lithosphere thickness
  • Lower continental crust

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