Neoproterozoic subducted materials in the generation of Mesozoic Luzong volcanic rocks

evidence from apatite geochemistry and Hf-Nd isotopic decoupling

Ming Tang*, Xiao Lei Wang, Xi Sheng Xu, Cheng Zhu, Tao Cheng, Yao Yu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)


A combined study including apatite geochemistry, zircon U-Pb, Lu-Hf isotopes and whole-rock geochemistry including Nd isotopes was carried out for the late Mesozoic volcanic rocks from the Luzong Basin, in the lower Yangtze River region, South China. Whole-rock geochemistry indicates the enrichments of large ion lithophile elements (LILE) and light rare earth elements (LREE) as well as depletions of Nb, Ta and Ti. The extremely low Cl contents in apatites strongly contrast with the rather high-K contents in whole rocks. Potential loss of Cl during syn- and post-magmatic processes having been ruled out, Cl-K decoupling is attributed to be a feature inherited from the primary magma, which indicates the involvement of highly dehydrated sediments and altered oceanic crust in the mantle source. A calculation based on apatite and whole-rock geochemistry further illustrates that the source was composed of four end-members in the perspective of Cl/K, Cl/Nb and F/K ratios. The Hf-Nd isotopes are decoupled for the basaltic trachytes from the lower volcanic sequences in the Luzong Basin, with rather low εHf(t) values (mean=-10.3) and inconsistent Hf-Nd model ages (Hf~1.8Ga, Nd~1.3Ga), which indicate the "zircon effect" that in turn requires the incorporation of continental detritus in the source via subduction. However, Hf and Nd isotopes are nearly coupled for the rocks from the upper volcanic sequences in the Luzong Basin. Late-Mesoproterozoic two-stage Hf and Nd model ages (ca. 1.2Ga) of rocks from the upper volcanic sequences in the Luzong Basin are similar to those of the Neoproterozoic igneous rocks from the Jiangnan orogen, suggesting their relationship with the same subduction event. Based on the combined apatite geochemistry and Hf-Nd isotopes, this work suggests that the source of Luzong volcanic rocks might incorporate Neoproterozoic subducted slab fragments and detrital sediments that had been blocked in the deep lithospheric mantle below the Luzong area since the Neoproterozoic assembly between the Yangtze and Cathaysia blocks. The partial melting may be triggered by the back-arc lithospheric extension related to the subduction of Paleo-Pacific plate in the late Mesozoic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-280
Number of pages15
JournalGondwana Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Apatite
  • Cl-K decoupling
  • Luzong volcanic rocks
  • Subduction
  • Zircon effect

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