Secular evolution of the lithosphere beneath the eastern North China Craton: evidence from Mesozoic basalts and high-Mg andesites

Hong Fu Zhang*, Min Sun, Xin Hua Zhou, Mei Fu Zhou, Wei Ming Fan, Jian Ping Zheng

*Corresponding author for this work

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327 Citations (Scopus)


Geochemical and isotopic data from Mesozoic lavas from the Jianguo, Niutoushan, Wulahada, and Guancaishan volcanic fields on the northern margin of the North China Craton provide evidence for secular lithospheric evolution of the region. Jianguo lavas are alkaline basalts with LILE- and LREE-enrichment ((La/Yb) N=12.2-13.2) and MORB-like Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic ratios ((87Sr/86Sr)i<0.704; εNd=3.9-4.8; (206Pb/204Pb) i≈18). Niutoushan basalts are similar but show evidence of olivine fractionation. Wulahada lavas are high-Mg andesites (Mg#∼67) with EM1 Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic signatures. Geochemical data suggest that the basalts originated from MORB-type asthenosphere whereas the high-Mg andesites were derived an EM1 mantle source, i.e., a refractory lithospheric mantle modified by a previously subducted slab. The result, combined with the available data of the Mesozoic basalts from the southern portion of the NCC (Zhang et al., 2002), manifests a vast secular evolution of the lithospheric mantle beneath the eastern NCC from the Paleozoic refractory continental lithosphere to this Mesozoic modified lithosphere. Compared with the cratonic margin, the lithospheri c mantle beneath the center of the craton was less extensively modified, implying the secular evolution was related to the subduction processes surrounding the NCC. Therefore, we suggest that the interaction of the slab-derived silicic melt with the old refractory lithospheric mantle converted the Paleozoic cratonic lithospheric mantle into the late Mesozoic fertile mantle, which was also different from the Cenozoic counterpart. A geodynamic model is proposed to illustrate such a secular lithosphere evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4373-4387
Number of pages15
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2003
Externally publishedYes


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