Derivation of A1-type granites by partial melting of newly underplated rocks related with the Tarim mantle plume

Yuping Su, Jianping Zheng, Lili Liang, Hongkun Dai, Junhong Zhao, Ming Chen, Xianquan Ping, Ziqi Liu, Jian Wang

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8 Citations (Scopus)


The granitic rocks of the Tarim large igneous province (LIP) are temporally and spatially related to mafic intrusions. However, their tectonic setting and genetic relationship are debated. Here, we report geochemical, and zircon U–Pb–Hf isotopic results for three alkali feldspar granitic plutons in the Halajun area, western margin of the Tarim Block. Zircon U–Pb ages suggest these plutons were emplaced at 268–275 Ma, coeval with the neighbouring mafic–ultramafic complexes and syenitic rocks. These granitic rocks have high contents of SiO2, alkalis, Rb, Th, Zr and REE (except Eu), and high ratios of FeO*/MgO and Ga/Al, and show strong depletions in Ba, Sr, Eu, which are commonly observed in the A1-type granites. Zircon Hf isotopes reveal a limited range of εHf(t) values from −1.0 to +3.5 for different samples from three granitic plutons, obviously higher than those (mostly <0) of the mafic rocks. This distinct difference, along with a Daly gap and small volume of mafic rocks, argues against extreme fractionation of mafic magma as the main origin of the A1-type granites. Instead the A1-type granites were most likely derived from partial melting of newly underplated rocks triggered by the upwelling asthenosphere, followed by extensive fractionation. These A1-type granites were emplaced within an anorogenic setting during the late stage of the Tarim LIP, which possibly lasts for more than 30 Ma. The Piqiang mafic–ultramafic complex directly stemmed from asthenospheric mantle and Halajun A1-type granites represent two manners of vertical crustal growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-429
Number of pages21
JournalGeological Magazine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • A-type granites
  • zircon U–Pb ages
  • magma underplating
  • crystal fractionation
  • Permian
  • Tarim mantle plume


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