U-Pb and Hf-isotope analysis of zircons in mafic from Fuxian kimberlites: Evolution of the lower crust beneath the North China craton

Jianping Zheng, L. Griffin, Suzanne Y. O'Reilly, Fengxiang Lu, Chunmei Yu, Ming Zhang, Huimin Li

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    136 Citations (Scopus)


    Mafic xenoliths from the Paleozoic Fuxian kimberlites in the North China craton include garnet granulite, and minor pyroxene amphibolite, metagabbro, anorthosite and pyroxenite. The formation conditions of the amphibolites are estimated at 745-820 °C and 7.6-8.8 Kb (25-30 km); the granulites probably are derived from greater depths in the lower crust. LAMICPMS U-Pb dating of zircons from four granulites reveals multiple age populations, recording episodes of magmatic intrusion and metamorphic recrystallisation. Concordant ages and upper intercept ages, interpreted as minimum estimates for the time of magmatic crystallisation, range from 2,620 to 2,430 Ma in three granulites, two amphibolites and two metagabbros. Lower intercept ages, represented by near-concordant zircons, are interpreted as reflecting metamorphic recrystallisation, and range from 1,927 to 1,852 Ma. One granulite contains two metamorphic zircon populations, dated at 1,927 ± 55 Ma and 600-700 Ma. Separated minerals from one granulite and one amphibolite yield Sm-Nd isochron ages of 1,619 ± 48 Ma (143Nd/144Nd)i=0.51078), and 1,716 ± 120 Ma (143Nd/ 144Nd)i=0.51006), respectively. These ages are interpreted as recording cooling following metamorphic resetting; model ages for both samples are in the range 2.40-2.66 Ga. LAM-MC-lCPMS analyses of zircon show a range in 176Hf/177Hf from 0.28116 to 0.28214, corresponding to a range of εHf from -34 to + 12. The relationships between 207Pb/206Pb age and εHf show that: (1) the granulites, amphibolites and metagabbro were derived from a depleted mantle source at 2.6-2.75 Ga; (2) zircons in most samples underwent recrystallisation and Pb loss for 100-200 Ma after magmatic crystallisation, consistent with a residence in the lower crust; (3) metamorphic zircons in several samples represent new zircon growth, incorporating Hf liberated from breakdown of silicates with high Lu/Hf; (4) in other samples metamorphic and magmatic zircons have identical 176Hf/177Hf, and the younger ages reflect complete resetting of U-Pb systems in older zircons. The Fuxian mafic xenoliths are interpreted as the products of basaltic underplating, derived from a depleted mantle source in Neoarchean time, an important period of continental growth in the North China craton. Paleoproterozoic metamorphic ages indicate an important tectonic thermal event in the lower crust at 1.8-1.9 Ga, corresponding to the timing of collision between the Eastern and Western Blocks that led to the final assembly of the North China craton. The growth of metamorphic zircon at 600-700 Ma may record an asthenospheric upwelling in Neoproterozoic time, related to uplift and a regional disconformity in the North China craton.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)79-103
    Number of pages25
    JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2004


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