Re-Os isotopic constraints on the evolution of the Bangong-Nujiang Tethyan oceanic mantle, Central Tibet

Qi Shuai Huang*, Ren Deng Shi, Suzanne Y. O'Reilly, William L. Griffin, Ming Zhang, De Liang Liu, Xiao Ran Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Geochemical (including Re-Os isotopic) studies of the mantle rocks of ophiolites in the Bangong-Nujiang suture zone in central Tibet have provided a coherent picture of the evolution of the Bangong-Nujiang Tethyan oceanic mantle from mid-ocean ridge (MOR) to subduction-zone (SSZ) settings.Clinopyroxene (cpx)-harzburgites and lherzolites in the Bangong Lake ophiolite were formed in a MOR setting, as demonstrated by the Cr# of spinels (<0.60) and whole-rock LREE-depleted patterns. Suprachondritic 187Re/188Os ratios (up to 1.833) of cpx-harzburgites and their spinels can be explained by interaction with melts derived from high Re/Os sources. Re-depletion (TRD) model ages (0.48-0.55Ga) suggest these rocks may represent a Pan-African domain beneath the Gondwana continent. High TiO2 contents of spinels and whole-rock samples imply that the lherzolites were formed through a refertilization process. Similarly, Re-Os isotopic systematics of sulfides in the lherzolites (187Re/188Os: 0.173-1.717, 187Os/188Os: 0.12646-0.17340) demonstrate that they are mixtures of primary and secondary sulfides. 187Os/188Os ratios (0.1211-0.1226) of whole-rock lherzolites give TRD ages of 0.73-0.97Ga, indicating the presence of Neoproterozoic lithospheric mantle under the spreading ridges.Mantle rocks in the SSZ-type ophiolites from Bangong Lake, Dongqiao and Nagqu reflect the complex evolution of the Bangong-Nujiang oceanic mantle during the SSZ stage. Most harzburgites from the Bangong Lake ophiolite give TRD ages of 1.0-1.5Ga, possibly representing relics of a Mesoproterozoic lithospheric mantle. However, three samples have both high Os contents (1.32-4.45ppb) and near-chondritic 187Os/188Os (0.1260-0.1297), and may represent Mesozoic oceanic lithospheric mantle. 187Os/188Os ratios of dunites and harzburgites from the Dongqiao and Nagqu ophiolites vary from 0.1174 to 0.1316 and give TRD ages up to 1.43Ga, also suggesting the existence of a Mesoproterozoic lithospheric mantle which has experienced mantle refertilization and later metasomatism caused by percolation of several generations of melts and/or fluids.We interpret the old mantle domains in the Bangong-Nujiang ophiolite belt as relics of ancient sub-continental lithospheric mantle (SCLM), which may have survived during the opening of the Bangong-Nujiang Tethyan ocean basin, and subsequently were incorporated into Mesozoic oceanic lithospheric mantle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-45
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015


  • Bangong-Nujiang suture zone
  • Mantle Re-Os isotopes
  • Tethyan ophiolite ages
  • Tibet
  • Tibet mantle evolution


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