The central ailaoshan ophiolite and modern analogs

Chun Kit Lai*, Sebastien Meffre, Anthony J. Crawford, Khin Zaw, Jacqueline A. Halpin, Chuan-Dong Xue, Abhisit Salam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)


The Central Ailaoshan (CAL) ophiolite represents an important tectonic component of the Jinshajiang-Ailaoshan-Song Ma suture zone separating the South China and Indochina blocks in the mainland SE Asia. The CAL ophiolite occurs as a complex tectonic mélange, and preserves the history of the opening and closure of the once vast Jinshajiang-Ailaoshan-Song Ma branch of the Paleotethys. New and existing geological data indicate that the CAL ophiolite contains magmatic rocks generated by: (1) L. Devonian-E. Carboniferous (ca. 380-330. Ma) volcanic passive margin-breakup development in the NW Gondwana margin; (2) L. Permian (ca. 258. Ma) Emeishan large igneous province-related continental rift magmatism, together with (and intruded by) (3) earliest M. Triassic (ca. 244. Ma) continent-continent syn-collisional S-type granitoids. The Devono-Carboniferous suites of the CAL ophiolite are highly comparable with many continental margin-type Alpine Tethyan ophiolites. In addition, the various CAL magmatic suites have strong South China block-affinities with coeval magmatism particularly in the western South China block, Jinshajiang-, Song Ma-, and Song Da terranes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-88
Number of pages14
JournalGondwana Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Jinshajiang–Ailaoshan–Song Ma suture
  • Ophiolite
  • Paleotethys
  • Gondwana volcanic passive margin
  • South China–Indochina collision

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