Geochemistry and zircon U-Pb geochronology of Paleoproterozoic arc related granitoid in the Northwestern Yangtze Block and its geological implications

Yuanbao Wu*, Shan Gao, Hongfei Zhang, Jianping Zheng, Xiaochi Liu, Hao Wang, Hujun Gong, Lian Zhou, Honglin Yuan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

145 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The early history of the Yangtze Block has not been well constrained yet, due to the scarce outcrops of Archean to Paleoproterozoic rocks. In this study, we report an integrated study of zircon U-Pb age, major and trace element data and Sr-Nd-Hf isotope compositions for gray gneisses from the Houhe complex in the northwestern part of the Yangtze Block. Zircon U-Pb dating yields a weighted mean 207Pb/ 206Pb age of 2081±9Ma for a gneiss. This age is interpreted as the formation age of the Houhe complex and thus the Houhe complex represents the oldest rocks found in the western part of the Yangtze Block. The gray gneisses from the Houhe complex range in SiO 2 contents from 58.63% to 68.59% and Na 2O from 3.88% to 5.28%, and have relatively high Fe 2O 3 contents of 2.86-6.69%, Al 2O 3 of 16.01-18.88%, and MgO of 0.97-2.65%. These rocks show low Sr (149-390ppm), Cr (9.07-45.1ppm) and Ni (4.97-21.3ppm) contents, but high Y (12.9-32.7ppm) and Yb (0.95-2.25ppm). They are characterized by a relative enrichment in LILEs and LREEs, but a depletion in HFSEs. These features are similar to those of calc-alkaline granitoids, suggesting that their formation might be related to a subduction-related process or remelting of preexisted arc rocks. Compiled age spectra of Archean to Paleoproterozoic zircon grains reveal that the western and eastern parts of the Yangtze Block have similar Archean and early Paleoproterozoic age ranges, indicative of the occurrence of an old continental nucleus in both parts. On the other hand, there are large amounts of ca. 2050-2400Ma zircon grains revealed in the western part of the Yangtze Block, implying that there might be a microcontinent with an active-type continental margin during the Paleoproterozoic times in the western part of the Yangtze Block. Because of the poor outcrops of Archean to Paleoproterozoic rocks in the Yangtze Block, it is no possible to establish the exact nature of such an active margin yet. The occurrence of ca. 2.0Ga khondalitic and metasedimentary rocks has been documented in the eastern part of the Yangtze Block, implying that there might be a passive-type continental margin in the eastern part of the Yangtze Block. At ca. 2.0Ga, the collision between the western microcontinent and the eastern part may have resulted in the final arc-continental collision and the amalgamation of the Yangtze Block.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-37
Number of pages12
JournalPrecambrian Research
Volume200-203
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Arc-continental collision
  • Calc-alkaline granitoid
  • Houhe complex
  • Paleoproterozoic
  • Yangtze Block
  • Zircon

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