Thermal and petrological structure of the lithosphere beneath Hannuoba, Sino-Korean Craton, China: Evidence from xenoliths

Shaohai Chen, Suzanne Y. O'Reilly*, Xinhua Zhou, William L. Griffin, Guohui Zhang, Min Sun, Jialing Feng, Ming Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    225 Citations (Scopus)


    Deep-seated xenoliths entrained in the Hannuoba basalts of the northern Sino-Korean Craton include mafic and felsic granulites, mantle wall-rock from spinel- and garnet-spinel peridotite facies, and basaltic crystallisation products from the spinel-pyroxenite and garnet-pyroxenite stability fields. The mineral compositions of the xenoliths have been used to estimate temperatures and, where possible, pressures of equilibration, and to construct a geothermal framework to interpret the upper mantle and lower crustal rock-type sequences for the region. The xenolith-derived paleogeotherm is constrained in the depth interval of 45-65 km and like others from areas of young basalt magmatism, is elevated and strongly convex toward the temperature axis. Two-pyroxene granulites give the lowest temperatures and garnet pyroxenites the highest, while the spinel lherzolites fall between these two groups. The present-day Moho beneath the Hannuoba area is defined at 42 km by seismic data, and coincides with the deepest occurrence of granulite. Above this boundary, there is a lower crust-upper mantle transition zone about 10-km thick, in which spinel lherzolites and mafic granulites (with variable plagioclase contents) are intermixed. It is inferred that this underplating has resulted in a lowering of the original pre-Cenozoic Moho (then coinciding with the crust-mantle boundary, CMB) from about 30 km to its present-day position and was due to intrusions of basaltic magmas that displaced peridotite mantle wall-rock and equilibrated to mafic granulites. Trace element patterns of the diopsides (analysed by laser ablation-ICPMS) from the Cr-diopside series spinel lherzolites and associated layered xenoliths (spinel lherzolites and pyroxenites) indicate a fertile uppermost mantle with moderate depletion by low degrees of partial melting and little evidence of metasomatic activity. The similarity in major and trace element compositions of the minerals in both rock types suggests that the layered ultramafic xenoliths formed by mantle deformation processes (metamorphic segregation), rather than by melt veining or metasomatism.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)267-301
    Number of pages35
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


    • Eastern China lithosphere
    • Granulite xenoliths
    • Hannuoba lithosphere structure
    • Mantle trace elements
    • Mantle xenoliths
    • Sino-Korean Craton


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