U-Pb and Lu-Hf isotopes in detrital zircon from Neoproterozoic sedimentary rocks in the northern Yangtze Block

implications for Precambrian crustal evolution

Li Juan Wang*, W. L. Griffin, Jin Hai Yu, S. Y. O'Reilly

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

94 Citations (Scopus)


A combined study of Lu-Hf isotopes and U-Pb ages for detrital zircons from sedimentary rocks can provide information on the crustal evolution of sedimentary provenances, and comparisons with potential source regions can constrain interpretations of paleogeographic settings. Detailed isotopic data on detrital zircons from Neoproterozoic sedimentary rocks in the northern part of the Yangtze Block suggest that these rocks have the maximum depositional ages of ~ 750. Ma, and share a similar provenance. In their source area, units of late Archean (2.45 to 2.55. Ga) to Paleoproterozoic (1.9 to 2.0. Ga) U-Pb ages made up the basement, and were overlain or intruded by magmatic rocks of Neoproterozoic U-Pb ages (740 to 900. Ma). Hf isotopic signatures of the detrital zircons indicate that a little juvenile crust formed in the Neoarchean; reworking of old crust dominates the magmatic activity during the Archean to Paleoproterozoic, while the most significant juvenile addition to the crust occurred in the Neoproterozoic. Only the Neoproterozoic zircon U-Pb ages can be matched with known magmatism in the northern Yangtze Block, while other age peaks cannot be correlated with known provenance areas. Similar zircon U-Pb ages have been obtained previously from sediments along the southeastern and western margins of the Yangtze Block. Thus, it is suggested that an unexposed old basement is widespread beneath the Yangtze Block and was the major contributor to the Neoproterozoic sediments. This basement had a magmatic activity at ~ 2.5. Ga, similar to that in North China; but zircon Hf isotopes suggest significant differences in the overall evolutionary histories between the Yangtze and North China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1261-1272
Number of pages12
JournalGondwana Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2013

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