Whole-rock Nd-Hf isotopic study of I-type and peraluminous granitic rocks from the Chinese Altai: constraints on the nature of the lower crust and tectonic setting

Yang Yu, Min Sun*, Xiaoping Long, Pengfei Li, Guochun Zhao, Alfred Kröner, Arnaud Broussolle, Jinhui Yang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The nature of the lower crust and tectonic setting of the Chinese Altai in the early to middle Paleozoic are still hotly debated. Decoupling between zircon Hf and whole-rock Nd isotopic systems for granites results in different interpretations for the above issues. In order to solve the problem, whole-rock Nd-Hf isotopic analyses were conducted on representative early to middle Paleozoic I-type granite and strongly peraluminous granites and rhyolites from the Chinese Altai. The I-type granites show metaluminous to weakly peraluminous feature and have εNd(t) values ranging from -2.2 to +0.8 and εHf(t) from +3.9 to +12.9, respectively. The strongly peraluminous granites and rhyolites have similar εNd(t) and εHf(t) values ranging from -3.0 to +1.7 and from +2.1 to +10.4, respectively. All samples plot above the Terrestrial Array on Nd-Hf isotopic diagram, indicating significant Nd-Hf isotopic decoupling in the magma sources. These samples show flatten HREE pattern and have Lu/Hf ratios similar to the average crust, suggesting that Nd-Hf isotopic decoupling was not originated from an ancient basement with elevated Lu/Hf ratios. The observed isotopic decoupling is similar to those modern island arcs, such as the Lesser Antilles and Sunda, where Nd selectively enriched over Hf due to metasomatism in the mantle wedge and consequently resulted in decoupling between the Sm-Nd and Lu-Hf isotopic systems. Our results, combined with the available data, show that prolonged subduction and crust-mantle interaction caused the Nd-Hf isotopic decoupling in the lithospheric mantle beneath the Chinese Altai. The crust of the Chinese Altai was extracted from the lithospheric mantle and inherited the Nd-Hf isotopic decoupling feature. Therefore, the Hf, rather than Nd, isotopic data more faithfully reflect the nature of the lower crust that was quite juvenile in the Paleozoic, and the Chinese Altai represents an early Paleozoic magmatic arc possibly built near western Mongolia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-141
Number of pages11
JournalGondwana Research
Volume47
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Nd–Hf decoupling
  • Chinese Altai
  • Central Asian Orogenic Belt
  • Continental growth
  • Accretionary orogeny

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