Tectonic transition from Late Carboniferous subduction to Early Permian post-collisional extension in the Eastern Tianshan, NW China

insights from geochronology and geochemistry of mafic-intermediate intrusions

Xiaoran Zhang, Guochun Zhao*, Paul R. Eizenhöfer, Min Sun, Yigui Han, Wenzhu Hou, Dongxing Liu, Bo Wang, Qian Liu, Bing Xu, Chloe Yanlin Zhu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The closure of the Junggar Ocean between the Central Tianshan and Junggar terranes is essential in understanding the final assembly of the southern Central Asian Orogenic Belt. This study presents new whole-rock geochemical, Sr-Nd and zircon U-Pb-Hf isotopic data for mafic-intermediate intrusions from the Central Tianshan block to provide robust constraints on the final closure of the ocean. LA-ICP-MS U-Pb dating on magmatic-type zircons yields weighted mean 206Pb/238U ages of ca. 310 Ma and ca. 290 Ma, which are interpreted as the crystallization ages of the intrusions. Petrographic and geochemical analyses of the Late Carboniferous mafic-intermediate rocks, characterized by typical subduction-related signatures, low Sm/Yb (<2.0) but high Lu/Hf (≥0.2) ratios and positive εNd(t) (+1.2 to +3.1) and zircon εHf(t) (+4.1 to +7.8) values, suggest that their parental magmas were most likely generated by the partial melting of a metasomatized lithospheric mantle wedge in the spinel stability field and emplaced in a continental arc setting. This consideration is consistent with the occurrence of Carboniferous ophiolitic and arc-related granitoids in the region, probably as a result of the southward subduction of the Junggar oceanic plate. In contrast, the Early Permian mafic magmatism exhibits typical within-plate basalt affinities, such as high TiO2 (2.7-3.2 wt.%) contents, elevated Ti/V (86.0-115.1) and Zr/Y (4.9-9.3) ratios, OIB-like trace element patterns and high εNd(t) (+1.1 to +4.5) and zircon εHf(t) (+3.0 to +9.8) values. In association with previous investigations, we suggest that their protoliths were most probably derived from the partial melting of an asthenospheric mantle source in the garnet stability field, plausibly induced by asthenosphere upwelling during the slab break-off of the Junggar oceanic plate, which agrees well with the linear distributions of Permian mafic-ultramafic rocks in the Eastern Tianshan. Collectively, our data pinpoint a tectonic transition from oceanic subduction to post-collisional extension during Late Carboniferous to Early Permian time, probably triggered by the closure of the Junggar Ocean and subsequent arc-continent collision between the Central Tianshan and Junggar terranes that gave rise to the final assembly of the Eastern Tianshan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-281
Number of pages13
JournalLithos
Volume256-257
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Geochemistry
  • Junggar Ocean
  • Sr-Nd
  • Tianshan
  • Zircon U-Pb-Hf

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