Elemental and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic geochemistry of Late Paleozoic volcanic rocks beneath the Junggar basin, NW China: implications for the formation and evolution of the basin basement

Jianping Zheng*, Min Sun, Guochun Zhao, Paul T. Robinson, Fangzheng Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The basement beneath the Junggar basin has been interpreted either as a micro-continent of Precambrian age or as a fragment of Paleozoic oceanic crust. Elemental and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic compositions and zircon Pb-Pb ages of volcanic rocks from drill cores through the paleo-weathered crust show that the basement is composed mainly of late Paleozoic volcanic rock with minor shale and tuff. The volcanic rocks are mostly subalkaline with some minor low-K rocks in the western Kexia area. Some alkaline lavas occur in the central Luliang uplift and northeastern Wulungu depression. The lavas range in composition from basalts to rhyolites and fractional crystallization played an important role in magma evolution. Except for a few samples from Kexia, the basalts have low La/Nb (<1.4), typical for oceanic crust derived from asthenospheric melts. Zircon Pb-Pb ages indicate that the Kexia andesite, with a volcanic arc affinity, formed in the early Carboniferous (345 Ma), whereas the Luliang rhyolite and the Wucaiwan dacite, with syn-collisional to within-plate affinities, formed in the early Devonian (395 and 405 Ma, respectively). Positive εNd(t) values (up to +7.4) and low initial 87Sr/86Sr isotopic ratios of the intermediate-silicic rocks suggest that the entire Junggar terrain may be underlain by oceanic crust, an interpretation consistent with the juvenile isotopic signatures of many granitoid plutons in other parts of the Central Asia Orogenic Belt. Variation in zircon ages for the silicic rocks, different Ba, P, Ti, Nb or Th anomalies in the mafic rocks, and variable Nb/Y and La/Nb ratios across the basin, suggest that the basement is compositionally heterogeneous. The heterogeneity is believed to reflect amalgamation of different oceanic blocks representing either different evolution stages within a single terrane or possibly derivation from different terranes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)778-794
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Asian Earth Sciences
Volume29
Issue number5-6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Heterogeneous basement
  • Junggar basin
  • Late Paleozoic volcanic rocks
  • Lava geochemistry
  • NW China
  • Oceanic crust
  • Sr-Nd-Pb isotopes

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