The Heilongjiang group: a Jurassic accretionary complex in the Jiamusi Massif at the western Pacific margin of northeastern China

Fu Yuan Wu*, Jin Hui Yang, Ching Hua Lo, Simon A. Wilde, De You Sun, Bor Ming Jahn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

481 Citations (Scopus)


The tectonic setting of the Eastern Asian continental margin in the Jurassic is highly controversial. In the current study, we have selected the Heilongjiang complex located at the western margin of the Jiamusi Massif in northeastern China for geochronological investigation to address this issue. Field and petrographic investigations indicate that the Heilongjiang complex is composed predominately of granitic gneiss, marble, mafic-ultramafic rocks, blueschist, greenschist, quartzite, muscovite-albite schist and two-mica schist that were tectonically interleaved, indicating they represent a mélange. The marble, two-mica schist and granitic gneiss were most probably derived from the Mashan complex, a high-grade gneiss complex in the Jiamusi Massif with which the Heilongjiang Group is intimately associated. The ultramafic rocks, blueschist, greenschist and quartzite (chert) are similar to components in ophiolite. The sensitive high mass-resolution ion microprobe U-Pb zircon age of 265 ± 4 Ma for the granitic gneiss indicates that the protolith granite was emplaced coevally with Permian batholiths in the Jiamusi Massif. 40Ar/39Ar dating of biotite and phengite from the granitic gneiss and mica schist yields a late Early Jurassic metamorphic age between 184 and 174 Ma. Early components of the Jiamusi Massif, including the Mashan complex, probably formed part of an exotic block from Gondwana, affected by late Pan-African orogenesis, and collided with the Asian continental margin during the Early Jurassic. Subduction of oceanic crust between the Jiamusi block and the eastern part of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt resulted in the formation of a huge volume of Jurassic granites in the Zhangguangcai Range. Consequently, the collision of the Jiamusi Massif with the Central Asian Orogenic Belt to the west can be considered as the result of circum-Pacific accretion, unrelated to the Central Asian Orogenic Belt. The widespread development of Jurassic accretionary complexes along the Asian continental margin supports such an interpretation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-172
Number of pages17
JournalIsland Arc
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Heilongjiang complex
  • Jiamusi Massif
  • Jurassic subduction
  • Northeastern China
  • Ophiolite


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