Three-dimensional conductivity model of crust and uppermost mantle at the northern Trans North China Orogen: evidence for a mantle source of Datong volcanoes

Huiqian Zhang, Qinghua Huang*, Guoze Zhao, Zhen Guo, Y. John Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

While the Eastern Block of North China Craton (NCC) had experienced significant lithospheric destruction in the Mesozoic, the Western Block of NCC and the Trans North China Orogen (TNCO) have undergone localized lithospheric modification since the Cenozoic. The northern TNCO is highlighted by the Cenozoic magmatic activities including Hannuoba basalts and Datong volcanoes and is a seismically active region. In this study 3-D electrical conductivity model of the crust and uppermost mantle is derived by the 3-D inversion technique using data from 72 broadband magnetotelluric (MT) stations. The final model shows that a 15 km thick resistive layer of about 3000 Ω m dominates the upper crust, which may represent the intact Archean and Paleoproterozoic terrains. Whereas in the mid-crust there are marked high conductivity anomalies of about 10 Ω m beneath Shanxi rifting basin, which may result from the interconnected saline fluid of 0.2% to 6% volume fraction. The most important finding is that one significant conductor extended into the mantle is located between Hannuoba field and Datong volcanoes and it connects with the mid-crust conductor beneath the Datong volcanoes. We suggest that this could be the mantle source (partial melting region) for the Quaternary volcanic activities of Datong volcanoes and the melt fraction is estimated as 6.6%. Its location inside the Western Block suggests that the volcanic activities at Datong volcanoes are irrelevant to the tectonic process to the east of TNCO. It is likely to be related to the mantle flows from the Tibetan Plateau around the Ordos block which converges at the northeastern corner of the Ordos block and local upward flow along the slope of the thinning lithosphere resulted in decompression partial melting and the melt percolated upward through the crust to feed the lava eruptions at the Datong volcanoes to the east. Finally, large crustal earthquakes in this region are generally located in resistive zones with high conductivity anomalies beneath. The fluids brought up by hot mantle material may play an important role in fault strength weakening and rupture nucleation at mid-crust depths.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-192
Number of pages11
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume453
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016

Keywords

  • 3-D MT inversion
  • high conductivity anomalies
  • Datong volcanoes
  • North China Craton
  • Trans North China Orogen

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